San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will highlight several notable upcoming manga (graphic novel) releases at the 2008 BookExpo America (BEA) show, taking place May 30-June 1, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. BEA is the preeminent yearly trade event for publishers and booksellers in North America. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 1647.
VIZ Media will further participate in three roundtable discussions on a variety of important topics central to the burgeoning manga industry in North America. Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market takes place Saturday, May 31, 9:30am-10:30am in Room 406B and will feature VIZ Media’s Vice President of Sales & Product Marketing Gonzalo Ferreyra. The discussion will review various changes the domestic manga industry has undergone, as well as the risks and rewards of distributing manga in the bookstore arena and what comes next for publishers.
On Saturday, May 31, 2008, 1:00pm-2:00pm in Room 406A panelists will examine new challenges facing publishers, new changes in content and taste, and how publishers like VIZ Media are attracting new demographics in a panel entitled Manga’s New Generational Trade-up: The Publishers Quest for New Readers and will feature Leyla Aker, Manga Editor, VIZ Media.
Leyla Aker will also be a panelist on the The Graphic Novel Buzz that will be taking place on Saturday, May 31, 2008, 4:00pm in Room 404B.
Some of the titles VIZ Media will be showcasing at BEA 2008 Include:
From the VIZKIDS imprint:
POKÉMON: THE RISE OF THE DARKRAI • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $7.99 • Available June 3, 2008
POKÉMON is more than just a game or a TV show: it’s an international cultural phenomenon that has won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide! In POKÉMON: THE RISE OF DARKRAI, the newest addition to the VIZKIDS imprint, our young hero Ash may think he’s seen everything when it comes to Pokémon, but is he ready to face the mysterious Darkrai in his latest awesome adventure? While touring Alamos Town—home of the Space-Time Tower—with the beautiful Alice, Ash and his friends discover that the town’s special garden has been decimated! Baron Alberto, a dashing but arrogant fellow, immediately blames the destruction on Darkrai. As if it just overheard the accusation, Darkrai appears and confronts our heroes! Who is Darkrai? Is it a friend… or an enemy in disguise? And as a battle between Legendary Pokémon Dialga and Palkia rages directly above Alamos Town, and threatens to tear a hole in the space-time continuum, will Ash and his friends survive this showdown and learn Darkrai’s true nature? Find out in this companion volume to the new feature film, also to be distributed by VIZ Media.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE OCARINA OF TIME • Rated “A” for All Ages • MSRP: $7.99 • Available October 7, 2008
Based on the best-selling adventure video games from Nintendo, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga are being made available for the first time in North America. The Legend of Zelda series details the adventures of Link as his destiny is revealed starting with the Ocarina of Time. Beloved by millions of fans around the world, readers will enjoy the additional details and in-depth explanation of game elements that are available nowhere else but in the manga.
From the VIZ Signature imprint:
CAT EYED BOY • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $24.99 • Available June 10, 2008
The latest horror masterpiece from Kazuo Umezu, the creator of DRIFTING CLASSROOM (also published by VIZ Media), Cat-Eyed Boy is a half-human, half-monster child who mostly resembles a human, and therefore cannot live in the demon world. He lives hidden in the shadows of the human world, hated by demons and humans alike, but wherever he goes, awful events occur. Humans interact with demons, but surprisingly it’s the humans that act more evil than the monsters. Cat-Eyed Boy acts like a Trickster, saving the innocent and helping the wicked receive the punishment that fate metes out. CAT EYED BOY features gripping tales of revenge and retribution for the evil acts that people commit. The series is broken into 11 individual stories, many full of extremely grotesque and disturbing images. Kazuo Umezu started drawing professionally in the 1950s and is considered the most influential horror manga artists. Umezu’s weird style, incredible ideas and sometimes terrifying imagery have made him a fixture of Japanese pop culture, and his work has been adapted into movies, anime and collectibles.
REAL • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $12.99 • Available July 15, 2008
REAL is a gritty drama from Takehiko Inoue and offers a unique twist on the sports manga genre as it focuses on wheelchair basketball. A motorcycle accident, bone cancer, and a speeding truck crashing into a boy on a stolen bicycle all present tragic, life-changing events that turn the worlds of three young men upside down in this gripping new series. Three very different personalities have only one thing in common – their passion for basketball.
SOLANIN • Rated “T+” for Older Teens • MSRP: $17.99 • Available October 21, 2008
College graduates struggle to cope with the real world and music offers refuge in this modern manga with an American attitude. Meiko Inoue is a recent college grad working as an office lady in a job she hates. Her boyfriend Naruo is permanently crashing at her apartment because his job as a freelance illustrator doesn’t pay enough for rent. And her parents in the country keep sending her boxes of veggies that just rot in her fridge. Straddling the line between her years as a student and the rest of her life, Meiko struggles with the feeling that she’s just not cut out to be a part of the real world. SOLANIN was created by Inio Asano and was originally published as a two-volume series but will be released by VIZ Media as a single omnibus edition and will have six color pages.
FROM THE SHONEN JUMP IMPRINT:
SHONEN JUMP FIFTH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION • Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $24.99 • Available August 5, 2008
SHONEN JUMP is the most popular manga anthology in the English-speaking world and celebrates its fifth anniversary with this special edition. Each month, SHONEN JUMP publishes more than 300 pages of the world’s most popular manga—Japanese comics that range from the ninja action of NARUTO to the soul-reaping epic that is BLEACH to the ocean-faring adventures of ONE PIECE. Collected in this special edition is all the manga from the very first issue of SHONEN JUMP, published in December 2002—plus the first chapter of NARUTO, now one of the most successful manga series, which originally appeared in the second issue of the magazine. Also included are feature stories from the first five years of SHONEN JUMP, including Japanese lessons, manga sudoku and rare interviews with great manga creators such as Masashi Kishimoto (NARUTO), Akira Toriyama (DRAGON BALL Z), Tite Kubo (BLEACH) and Eiichiro Oda (ONE PIECE)—over a dozen in all. Plus a valuable YU-GI-OH! trading card, and essays by SHONEN JUMP’s American and Japanese editors.
SLAM DUNK • Rated “T” for Teens • MSRP: $7.99 • Available August 11, 2008
SLAM DUNK is the highly anticipated 31-volume basketball drama from Takehiko Inoue that was a smash hit in Japan. Sakuragi Hanamichi’s got no game with girls – none at all! It doesn’t help that he’s known for throwing down at a moment’s notice and always coming out on top. A hopeless bruiser, he’s been rejected by 50 girls in a row! All that changes when he meets the girl of his dreams, Haruko, and she’s actually not afraid of him! When she introduces him to the game of basketball, his life is changed forever. SLAM DUNK sold over 100 million copies worldwide and catapulted Inoue into the top ranks of Japanese manga artists. An ardent fan of the sport, he also worked on character design for the PLAYSTATION basketball game ONE ON ONE. Takehiko Inoue is also the creator of the VAGABOND manga series, also published by VIZ Media in the US.
From the SHONEN JUMP ADVANCED imprint:
NORA: THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM • Rated “T+” for Older Teens •MSRP: $7.99 • Available October 7, 2008
Nora is an unruly demon that has defied his Dark Liege one too many times. For the sake of his “education,” Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Makkari. Kazuma is about to learn the ways of the underworld – and Nora will learn more from the “real world” than he ever thought possible! NORA: THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM is Kazunari Kakei’s first manga series and debuted in Japan in the April 2004 issue of Monthly Shonen Jump and also spawned a sequel, SUREBREC: NORA THE 2nd, which premiered in Monthly Shonen Jump’s March 2007 issue.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks, and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.