SDCC 12: Viz offers free ice cream and SHONEN JUMP ALPHA

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It’s PR but it includes FREE ICE CREAM. And LUFFY. We glimpsed the brand new Viz booth last night and it looks spectacular.

Coming Attractions: Book Expo America: The Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012!

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Once a year, booksellers, librarians, and assorted biblios assemble at Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in North America. 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the graphic novel pavilion at BEA, and while many graphic novel publishers are absent, there are many more “mainstream” publishers offering an amazing multitude of titles, genres, subjects, and audiences!

This year, John Hogan of Graphic Novel Reporter hosts The Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012! panel, where a team of five diverse individuals recommend a variety of graphic novels due to be published in 2012! Last year’s selections got lots of press and accolades, and quite a few of the titles below seem to be just as interesting and intriguing!

Free Comic Book Day 2012: Reviews!

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I read (almost) every Free Comic Book Day title, and let you know what’s the best!

Webcomic alert: DR. SLUMP by Akira Toriyama

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Best known for his hectic DRAGONBALL series, Akira Toriyama is probably one of the most successful cartoonists of all time. His first big hit was DR. SLUMP, a slapstick humor strip about an inventor who creates a little girl robot who is hopelessly naive about the world.

Hijinks ensue. Hijinks that anyone who likes FAMILY GUY will appreciate. This is not sophisticated humor but it is energetic, wildly imaginative cartooning at the highest level. It’s also world building in the classic McCloudian-approved way, with the setting of Penguin Village, like Springfield or Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, a friendly place filled with colorful characters.

VIZ names Ken Sasaki as President and CEO

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Some moves at the top for VIZ, as Ken Sasaki moves into the role of president and CEO as Hidemi Fukuhara moves up to the role of Vice Chairman for VIZ Media.

Coming Attractions: February 2012: Part Three

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Here it is, the stunning conclusion of new titles shipping in February!

Since this is Oscars weekend, I’ve included some award winners below! Hugo! Edgar! Carnegie! Stoker! Even Shamus! (No, not that one!)

Lots of adaptations! One is a comic based on a movie based on a prose novel!

Sign up for Viz app and get one Volume 1 free

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Viz Media is running a nice promotion: new users can download their free app for iPad, iPhone or iPod and, after registering for an account, download a free volume 1 manga of your choice.

Digital NARUTO precedes print from Viz

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ICv2 catches the fact that two volumes of NARUTO will be released digitally before the print edition. Vol. 54 and Vol. 55 will be available as part of the shift to Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, the digital weekly that’s replacing the print edition. The availability window is pretty steep — NARUTO Vol. 54 is available now; the print version drops January 3.

It’s just a scheduling anomaly but it is still startling to see one of the world’s best selling comics available in digital first.

NYCC Announcements: Viz Takes Shonen Jump Digital, Syncs Closer to Japanese Original

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This is interesting.  Viz is migrating Shonen Jump to a digital edition that’s only 2 weeks removed from the Japanese original.  (And you can probably chalk that up to translation time.)  They’re on the library model for this.  Full access annual subscription or $0.99 4-week rental.   The annual access subscription comes out to roughly $0.54/issue. […]

Urasawa’s MONSTER debuts on Netflix streaming

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A growing body of comics observers have jumped on the bandwagon for Naoki Urasawa as the best genre cartoonist currently working with his layered, dynamic storytelling. But not everyone has gotten the religion! His 21st CENTURY BOYS is currently coming out from Viz, but with 15 volumes in print it could be a bit daunting to jump into. For those who prefer a video introduction, MONSTER, based on the manga of the same name, just began streaming from Netflix. The 74-episode series deals with Dr. Kenzo Tenma and his efforts to stop an insane killer whose life he saved as a boy.

Viz releases digital BAKUMAN ahead of print

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To mark their 100th manga for their iPad app, leading manga publisher Viz Media is launching several promotions, including the release of BAKUMAN #4 in digital form on March 28th, more than a week ahead of its April 5th print debut.

In addition, they are making all #1 manga volumes just 99 cents for the rest of March. Finally, BAKUMAN #1 is available for free for 24 hours, starting today at noon PDT. Created by the popular DEATH NOTE team of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, BAKUMAN is a humorous look behind the manga business, following two students who are trying to break into the manga industry,

Viz adds old and new manga licenses

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Viz has just released info on some of its spring manga license, including at least one pick-up from the now defnuct CMX line, TENJO TENGE, the very controversial manga by Oh! Great, which will now be printed in a “100% faithful” edition with 16 pages of full-color art. Other licenses include the very popular NURA: […]

More on Viz and the future of manga

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Ever since the cutbacks at Viz on Monday, the online chatter has been surprisingly quiet. People close to the situation have mainly been in shock, and while the idea that Viz is “too big to fail” has been foremost among American manga commenters, we’re sure we’re not the only ones whose thoughts — after sending […]

Viz layoff reactions

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As word of the layoffs at Viz spread yesterday — 60 people laid off and the entire New York branch closed – the reaction around the industry, at least as expressed by Twitter and Facebook status updates — was complete and utter shell shock. Viz personnel we contacted for confirmation were devastated. While the exact cause of the downsizing and the effects it will have on Viz’s publishing plans are just emerging, a few manga reporters were commenting:

Massive restructuring at Viz

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PW is reporting that there has been massive layoffs at Viz Media — up to 60 people or 40% of the workforce have been laid off. … We are of course saddened by these departures and sincerely appreciate the hard work, passion and dedication of those that have moved on, but we feel confident that with these changes, VIZ Media will be more streamlined and able to withstand the climate of the economy at this time. With the American manga market already in flux, this has to be seen as a body blow to the category as Viz was consistently the best selling American comics publisher, dominating the best seller charts with such mega-hits as Naruto and One Piece. … Sources tell PW that as many as 55 people were laid off at Viz’s San Francisco headquarters and it appears its small New York office, which had about 5 staffers, has been closed.

Iwaoka's SATURN APARTMENTS debuts

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Another intriguing looking Viz Signature manga is coming via their partnership with IKKI Magazine, Hisae Iwaoka’s SATURN APARTMENTS. According to the blurb: Far in the future, humankind has evacuated Earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the earth, 35,000 kilometers up in the sky. […]