By Michele Brittany, West Coast Correspondent
Dark Horse Manga Publicity Coordinator Steve Sunu introduced editors Brendan Wright and Philip Simon and Director of Asian Licensing Michael Gombos to discuss upcoming manga series in the Dark Horse Manga panel held Thursday evening.
The panel started the hour with introducing the audience to Hiroaki Samura's Blade the Immortal, a series that ended. Some of the volumes are out of print, which hampers new readers from enjoying the series. For the folks in the audience, exciting news was revealed: Simon made the announcement that the series is going to be offered in omnibus format. There hasn't been a public release, so the street date was not known yet.
Wright shared his excitement regarding Planetes, the space-oriented series that he is editing. Originally published by Tokyopop, this series will be released in two huge volumes. The first volume will drop this December and the second volume is scheduled to drop in April 2016. Wright pointed out that the omnibus will be printed from the original art, so the manga will be of superior quality.
Gombos said he loved a good challenge, especially when he is told it cannot be done. It took five years to secure the license, but I am a Hero, a Japanese Walking Dead-esque zombie series will be in your local comic book stores beginning April 2016. Simon is set to edit this character driven story.
Other upcoming publications include Giganto Maxia, Danganronpa: The Aniliation and RG Vega, releasing February 2016, May 2016 and August 2016 respectively. There are also several releases planned in the near future: Oreimo: Kuroneko Volume 2 (July 15), Gantz Volume 36 (July 22), Oh My Goddess! Omnibus 1 (July 29), The Art of Satoshi Kon (August 5), The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (August 19), New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 6 (September 2), Astro Boy Omnibus Volume 1 (September 23), and Oh My Goddess! Volume 48 (September 30).
The panelists stressed that the "omnibus program" as they affectionately call it, will get more manga out to the fans in the best possible visual quality at a reasonable price, typically $19.99 for an omnibus volume.
Event photos were taken by Michele Brittany.
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and semi-professional photographer and editor of James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (McFarland & Company) as well as the forthcoming book Essays on Space Horror in Films, 1950s – 2000s. Read her reviews and analysis on the spy/espionage and space horror genres via her blogs at Spyfi & Superspies and Space Horror Films. Follow Michele on Twitter: @mcbrittany2014.