It begins! New York Comic Con 2012 is this weekend and there’s been a lot of anticipation that this would be the big news event of the year for comics and manga. It’s a great show, having an audience big enough to be an important promotional opportunity but without all the same Hollywood-suffocation of SDCC. This is the first time in a few years I haven’t attended, but fortunately there’s no shortage of Twitter tweets and news posts to keep us all informed of the news as it breaks.
Vertical Inc. was one of the first to provide us eager readers with manga news. They’ve licensed two new series both due out next year:
Twin Knights – Osamu Tezuka
Helter Skelter – Kyoko Okazaki
Of the two, Twin Knights is definitely the big news for me. It’s a sequel series to Tezuka’s Princess Knight which Vertical released in two omnibus volumes last year. This follow-up story takes place years in the future with the birth of Princess Sapphire’s twin children – Prince Daisy and Princess Violetta. When the two grow older, the son is kidnapped and his sister juggles her own identity while pretending to be him in order to go out and make a rescue. Sounds great to me!
The other series really piques my interest as well. I haven’t heard of Helter Skelter in detail until now but it sounds like a story that fits well in Vertical’s library of books which includes titles like Lychee Light Club, Black Jack and 7 Billion Needles.
“Helter Skelter revolves around Ririko, a model who underwent extensive plastic surgery to attain her beauty. The clinic who performed Ririko’s surgeries goes under investigation for questionable business practices, and Ririko’s body starts to deteriorate. As the model’s prominence in the entertainment industry begins to falter, so does her sanity.” – AnimeNewsNetwork
The first volume of Twin Knights will be released in July 2013 for $12.95/US, $13.95/CAN. Volume one of Helter Skelter will premiere in July 2013 as well for $16.95/US, $18.95/CAN.
ANN has a full write-up of the event, including this interesting tidbit “…gauging interest in starting a subscription model so that series will stay in print.”. Fantagraphics recently offered a subscription-like service for their series, Wandering Son. Omnibus volumes were a big trend-shift for print manga in North America – could subscription models be next? If it’ll keep printed books in my hands, then sign me up! My only real issue with subscriptions directly with publishers is cutting out the comic-store middle man, but it’s all test-and-see now.
Back to the manga goods in closing – two awesome licenses! Excellent choices, Vertical. I’m eagerly awaiting them both next summer.