DC Invests in Japanese Manga Startup

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Via PW, news that DC has invested in Flex Comics a new print, web and mobile phone manga publisher, as part of DC Comics Japan, a new company that will be overseen b v-p John Nee:

Translated editions of Japanese manga dominate U.S. graphic novel sales and the Flex Comics venture makes DC Comics one of the first English-language publishers with a significant investment in a Japanese manga producer. DC publishes licensed Japanese manga in the U.S. through its CMX imprint.

DC Comics president Paul Levitz described Flex Comics as an “innovative force.” Flex Comics CEO Seiji Takakura said the new venture “will bring authentic Japanese manga to the worldwide English-language audience in new and exciting ways.” Among other investors in Flex Comics are Softbank Technologies, Archetype Technologies and Movida Entertainment.

Simon at Icarus has commentary

Frankly, I’ve been wondering why DC, or any of the major publishers with big multimedia parents and access to their deep pocketbooks, hasn’t done this sooner. And while this story is getting some token coverage everywhere, I’m surprised there hasn’t been much commentary yet. Possibly because no one has fully fathomed the possibilities (neither can I), but this news combines manga, one of the biggest stories in the past ten years of comics, with alternative digital distribution, which may be the biggest news for the next ten. This will, at the very least, give DC valuable experience in both key areas as they develop a future online strategy for their own domestic output.

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