Quick background: back in summer 2008, VIZ announced that it would be establishing a line of original manga, helmed by Shonen Jump editor and then VP of Original Publishing Marc Weidenbaum. Then back in February it was announced that Weidenbaum was leaving VIZ Media for undisclosed reasons, and the status of the original line was left hanging. Most people were left with the inevitable feeling that the original manga line wouldn't happen in the foreseeable future.
But MangaBlog points us to the Opinion Prone blog, which notes that VIZ attended Editor's Day, a small event at the Savannah College of Art and Design (not exactly down the street from VIZ's San Francisco office). Kiriska notes that VIZ had cancelled, but apparently un-cancelled.
Eric Searleman, a senior editor who had worked with Weidenbaum on the planned original line, attended for VIZ. Kiriska goes on to talk about the panel and also to ponder whether VIZ will aim only at “manga style” works or a more broad spectrum, and which is really the better choice.
I do have to disagree slightly on one point: Kiriska defends American manga style artists from accusations that they're merely ripping off, and yes, for the most part I agree, especially nowadays. On the other hand, I went through that phase of the fandom where anything with the word “manga” attached was supposed to be gold and a lot of artists who don't normally work in the manga style-- were possibly not even familiar with or interested in the style in some cases --were doing so. THAT, in my opinion, was ripping off.
But we're now at a point where manga has been around in the US long and significantly enough that many of these artists have naturally grown up into the style or worked with it more extensively, so accusations of manga'sploitation have mostly died down.
What do you think?