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Kodansha Speaks on US Publishing Plans!

 Ogiue is ready to submit manga to Kodansha.
 Ogiue is ready to submit manga to Kodansha.
Sweet jesus-- I don't want to know how many sexual favors Calvin Reid had to do in order to get Kodansha to actually open up about their plans to publish manga in the US (okay, okay, probably zero-- hyperbole, people!). But he did what every one of us manga news people has been trying to do for ages: he talked directly to Kodansha about their plans. Good job, Calvin-- or as the kids say, awesome get!

Kodansha is setting up a comics line called Kodansha Comics to be headquartered in New York, where Kodansha USA Publishing already is, and to be distributed by Random House. They will launch with reprints of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and Shirow Masamune's Ghost in the Shell. We already knew this much.

Kodansha USA is already helmed by Kodansha vep and board member Yoshio Irie along with Tomoko Suga, a staple of the manga industry (especially thanks to Kodansha's dealings with Random House). The new line "will focus on translating Kodansha's prodigious backlist...into English." Now, THAT explains just about everyone's questions on how a Kodansha-run US manga publisher would coexist with Del Rey Manga, which publishes so much of Kodansha's manga: Del Rey will continue to focus on the newer releases, while Kodansha reaches into its deeeeeeep back pockets for older works.

The company also claims that original publishing "is one of [their] eventual ambitions," and that they're "confident in the long term there's room for more growth," in spite of the current economic climate int he US.

Check back here soon-- the full text of Calvin's interview with Kodansha is going to be published in tomorrow's Publishers Weekly's PW Comics Week and I'm sure it'll have even more info!
Kuroon Oct. 5, 2009 at 9:26 p.m.
coolness
AgentJon Oct. 5, 2009 at 9:55 p.m.
This is interesting news. Could put a bit of hurt on Tokyopops market share, since a number of their most popular titles were taken back by Kodansha. 

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