We're told there will be goodies at the end. Yay!
Black Jack volume 3 hardcovers should be in stores soon, but they can't say when exactly since Diamond is distributing them.
If you hit up Words Without Borders, its February issue will be graphic novels only, and will include a Black Jack story, which sounds awesome.
New books in the crafts series-- Cute Dogs, two volumes due out in September and November. They're much like the Cute book by Aranzi and Aranzo, which is actually Vertical's best-seller. The cutesy girl in me totally wants these books. And yes, they're looking for Cute Cats, too.
A new Sudoku series, Sudoku Plus, starting in October, with three volumes over three months. Apparently these are also among the company's best-selling titles...which makes me feel sad for Black Jack, Dororo, and also the Parasite Eve novel, which you should read, beecause it's phenomenal.
Oh yes, cookbooks too. An Iron Chef Chen book called Knockout Chinese in May, and a book designed for me: Kumiko Ibraki's The Worry-Free Bakery: Treats without Oil and Butter in October.. That's kind of my favorite cooking shtick ("how do I make this with less fat?"), so I will most definitely be buying that one.
Another new cookbook series which sounds good: Kentaro Kobayashi's Easy Japanese Cooking, which is starting in April-- five books on donburi, noodles, bento, veggies, and appetizers. I am so hungry after seeing all the photos on these.
Two non-fiction titles, Toshio Okada's Sayonara Mr. Fatty: A Geek's Diet Memoir; Okada is best known for being one of the higher-ups at Gainax. The second title is Kimiko's Walking Your Way To A Better Life: Steps For A More Confident You.
Moving on finally to fiction: Mariko Koike's disturbing Cat in the Coffin, about a man and his daughter and the nanny and...nothing else can be said without spoiling things. Ouch. Also, Natsuhiko Kyogoku's The Summer of Ubume; we're told that Kyogoku is sort of like Japan's Neil Gaiman, very charismatic. These are due out in June and August, respectively. He's sort of an older brother to authors like Nishi Oishin.
And that's it, no new manga-- but they have their hands full with Black Jack and the economy in general. It is noted that they may get additional funds via an alliance with a Japanese publisher, which will also get them the rights to new titles, so with luck this deal will go through and we'll hear more about it soon!
Into the Q&A now, reactions on Haikasoru? We're told that they hope for its success. On the difficulty of licensing titles-- lots of competition, but also do they have trouble with licensors who don't believe the books will sell? Vertical would love to get the rights to Tezuka's Jungle Emperor, Rose of Versailles, etc. but apparently they're just not expected to do very well.
How long before the company can take more risks again? The new investment is coming in installments, so they're not sure. It will also affect how much marketing they can do, and it will depend on the overall economy.
A lot of companies in Japan are commemorating Tezuka's 80th birthday this year, is Vertical planning anything? No, no money! Besides, Black Jack is taking up all the time.
That's it, except for the drawing...I didn't win. Aww! OK, that's it...except for my thoughts on the Yatterman film!