The Important Stuff
- Peepo Choo, by Felipe Smith, July 13 2010; they're trying to get him a US tour next year for San Diego Comic Con.
- Twin Spica, by Kou Yaginuma
- Needle, by Nobuaki Tadano
- Chi's Sweet Home, by Kanata Konami, June 1 2010 (2nd volume on August 3rd 2010)
- Felipe Smith originally writes Peepo Choo in English and his editor translates, so Vertical's translations will be Felipe's own words.
- A hybrid craft/cookbook MAY be on the agenda for next summer, but it's unclear at the moment.
- If Black Jack continues to do well, they MAY find some additional books in the franchise to publish after the 17th and final volume comes out.
So, apparently Vertical is exactly 6 people, if you wanted to know. For those unfamiliar, the company's first book was the prose novel of The Ring, six years ago-- and most of their books are still prose, even though they're more well-known in our circles for their manga. So they're sort of "like Random House, but smaller and poorer."
First up: Nintendo Magic, How the Video Game Wars were Won, by Osamu Inoue. This is an inside story of Nintendo, a notoriously private company, which is coming out on April 20th 2010, 204 pages of how the company wound up with its name alongside Sony and Microsoft.
It is sad, by the way, that nearly everyone in this panel is press (though we all have actually read a variety of Vertical books!). Sad!
Right-o then, first books that had already been announced: Black Jack volume 11, City Refugees, and a tentative new book from Aranzi Aranzo, a duo from Osaka who make really cool craft books. Not sure yet, so it's tentatively titled "New Cute Stuff." Actually, I kinda like the name...simple, but descriptive!
A new book, and Vertical's first ever fiction book (I assume that means prose fiction) that was English to begin with: Flowers of Edo, by Michael Kennedy. It's due out on May 25th 2010, and it's about a guy who takes part in the invasion of Japan in World War II, with some amounts of romance, action, and maybe a steamy sex scene as well.
A new license: Peepo Choo, by Felipe Smith! Smith was an OEL artist once upon a time, and he now lives in Japan and draws Peepo Choo for Kodansha's Morning 2 mangabon. The otaku-themed action/comedy/weird thing has now been picked up!
They're also trying to get Felipe to come to the US for Comic Con next year <3 (That's San Diego Comic Con).
Next on the new list: Twin Spica, the cute shoujo slice-of-life story about a young girl with a tough life who winds up going to space school-- not the wacky comedy you might expect, but something a bit more sedate, I believe. You may remember the '03-ish anime. Due date TBA. It might be omnibus'd, they're not quite sure, but expect it August-ish.
A new license I'm not familiar with: Nobuaki Tadano's Needle, based on a very hard science fiction novel, I gather. A girl seems to get a voice from her head-- or rather headphones --that is in fact an alien that has possessed her. A deep sci-fi action piece. No release date yet.
Another new license: Chi's Sweet Home, to no one's surprise (but many's delight!). They got this license literally this morning, and in fact when a leak came out they thought they might not be able to publish it (remember how I've mentioned that this happens? Be careful when you're digging deep for this stuff-- they're not just keeping their licenses from you because they're big meanie-heads!).
Chi will be released in full color on June 1st 2010, so its price tag will be a bit higher ($13.95) and they will also flip it so it reads left to right. The reasons should be obvious; it's going to be marketed as an all-ages book, sound effects will be translated and redone in watercolor and everything (apparently the mangaka, Kanata Konami, is really excited). There'll be masks and bookmarks, and they'll actually be using the original Japanese printer, so it'll be very similar to the original Japanese version. Interesting, that's very unusual! Volume 2 on August 3rd 2010. They also hope to get some of the merch out here.
I'm totally buying Chi for my niece (and her parents)!
And that's it for slides, so we're moving into the Q&A.
Update on Peepo Choo: Felipe Smith will provide his own translations. Or rather, his original scripts, which were translated into Japanese for the original work. How awesome is that?
The cookbooks are doing very well for the company right now, steady and strong. They're not as big as Aranzi Aronzo or their puzzle books (Sudoku and whatnot), but they've been doing very well, especially Bento Love and Donburi Mania. There's a good chance that the summer list will include new craft and/or cookbooks, but they can't say just yet. Oh, not a new craft and/or cookbook-- a potential hybrid cook/craftbook. Interesting!
As for more licenses for Morning 2, it'd be great-- and Ed has worked at Morning 2, which gets them some added access --but no guarantees there.
Are there Vertical books that he thinks more of us should be reading? "Yeeeeeahhhh..." (I think that translates to "all of them"), but Summer of the Ubume is actually getting a reprint.
Black Jack will be 17 volumes of manga, but they may have a few other projects up their sleeve if the sales continue to do well. And yes, they'll continue to publish some "retro" titles (~2 that they're considering for the end of 2010 that could be described as such, and maybe one in spring too...maaaybe...kinda maybe....etc). The two for late 2010 are from the "fabulous 49ers," also known as the Year 24 group, a group of shoujo mangaka including Moto Hagio and others..
Have they had any distribution problems working through distributor Random House and/or Diamond? Nope, nothing, the Diamond books have shipped, although when volume 5 (presumably of Black Jack) came out, Diamond's were two weeks late....but that's been about it. Apparently the asker had problems getting something.
Would they like to publish Ribon no Kishi (also known as Princess Knight)? Yes, it's something they've considered. They're going through Black Jack, they finished Dororo, and they COULD slot in a one-shot like Princess Knight, but haven't found a time. "It's VERY likely, we're just not sure when," says Ed Chavez. They definitely have it if they want it, but right now they "just want to focus on Black Jack." But it sounds like they might have another Tezuka title for summer or fall next year, an omnibus, but not Ribon no Kishi.
And it looks like that about wraps it up!