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More disappearing manga at Del Rey

Mushishi: One of the many reasons why fans love Del Rey

What’s happening to Del Rey manga?

Just a few weeks ago, in response to fan concerns about some volumes being canceled or postponed, we asked associate publisher Dallas Middaugh what was going on, and he was very reassuring:

Let me assure you that Random House plans to be in the manga business for years to come, and our program overall remains strong and steady.

Perhaps Random House does, but the Del Rey imprint seems to be foundering. At the manga site Kuriousity, blogger Andre notes there are no new Del Rey titles in October Previews, and no new Del Rey titles on Amazon after November, except for a handful that have been pushed back to 2013.

I e-mailed Middaugh for a response, and he replied, “Thanks for asking, but we have no comment at this time.” Andre got a similar answer from Del Rey’s PR person, April Flores.

Meanwhile, Del Rey’s website (which was one of the better-designed publisher sites) has been folded into Random House’s, which is a horrible mishmash in terms of design and product presentation. As a result, catalog descriptions for Del Rey manga, whether by design or by accident, are now almost impossible to find — they don’t show up when you search the site, only when you search in the Random House box.

What does it all mean? Commenters at Kuriousity speculate that Del Rey will stick to global manga, and Japanese licenses will go to Kodansha USA, which is distributed by Del Rey’s parent company Random House. Del Rey has a panel scheduled at New York Comic Con, but it seems to be about prose properties. So for now, all we can do is wait and see.



Son of a…!

I’m following a number of Del Rey manga titles currently–perhaps more than from any other publisher. Hopefully, this won’t mean cancellations of existing Kodansha titles at Del Rey, but rather a reorganization of their release schedule…

As I said in my post on the subject, it seems a bit premature to jump to these kinds of conclusions based on a month of missing solicits during the slow time of the comic year. Your advice, to wait and see, is the best. It wouldn’t be surprising if changes did happen, but too much of this sounds like the boy who cried wolf.

I did mention that “It could be that DelRey simply had no titles to offer for that month, and are taking time off from publication to work out a different release schedule.” At this point, it’s mostly a wait-and-see thing combined with educated guess work, with a possibility of an update coming about at NYAF/NYCC, where Kodansha USA’s panel is apparently focused on comics, while Del Rey’s is on prose.

Though Brigid pointing out the wording used regarding “Random House” is interesting, as Kodansha is distributed by Random House. I’m going to remain optimistic that whatever the outcome, we’ll be getting some sort of manga from someone at Random House.

Johanna, I was inspired by your comment to look back at my postings and see what Del Rey was doing this time last year and the year before. In both cases, they were announcing new titles at NYAF. So I checked the NYAF listings, and sure enough, Random House Del Rey has a booth—and it’s at NYAF, not NYCC. So maybe they do have more in the offing.

A lot of publishers issue press releases just before the big shows. It’s entirely possible that some sort of reconfiguration is going on, or maybe Del Rey is just gearing up for some big announcements, and knowing how people troll the Amazon listings to break the news before it’s official, they are keeping everything under wraps.

Andre, have you looked to see if any other company’s listings have disappeared?

These some additional Dey Rey titles found searching Amazon
Negima! 29 – ISBN 9780345525055 – From March 22, 2011 to March 26, 2013
Negima!? Neo – ISBN 9780345525031 – same dates
Fairy Tale 13 – ISBN 9780345521132 – From Feb 22, 2011 to Feb 26th, 2013
Sayanora, Zetsubou-Sensei – ISBN unknown – From March 22, 2011 to ? (listing has no date)
Moyasimon 3 – From April 2011 to April 2013

The only other listings from other companies that have disappeared are some of the Viz titles that have fallen off of the schedule and been noted elsewhere (but not confirmed by Viz). Ikigami, BODY, etc. Note also that while they may not be accessible though Amazon’s search, but they are by going through Google and its cache. They are also missing from Random House’s site, as well as some of the other booksellers.

I’m not industry, but after seeing a lot of shoes drop the past couple of years, and with only Tokyopop was really the only one to pick themselves up again after entering the a certain pattern, I think things like this do lead to speculation, even if it is premature. I certainly *hope* the best for Del Rey, because they’ve done so well, and hope that we have some good news soon.

Brigid— VIZ and Tokyopop’s scheduled titles are still appearing as they normally do, with VIZ’s schedule going up towards May 2011 with titles like Ai Ore

I know that up until a little while ago, those DR titles were showing up as 2011 releases. I’m wondering if there might be some sort of reconfiguration going on that might cause them to put a hiatus on their production schedule……I do hope it’s a case that they’ll relist the titles once a date has been decided upon.

I’m guessing we’ll probably have some kind of word of what’s going on at NYAF- It’s a month away, and both Del Rey and Kodansha will be there, along with a clutch of manga bloggers. The “no comment” we both got from DR sources leads me to suspect news of some sort will happen there- otherwise they would of just addressed the issue right away.
I did ask if it was just a case of them having no titles solicited that month as part of my e-mail, and the only response was what was quoted at Kuri-ousity.


Andre, yes, you did, and thank you for putting out balanced speculation — I wanted to raise the point here as well to avoid misunderstanding from someone who didn’t click through.

Brigid, great point that we’ll find out more in a couple of weeks at that show. I look forward to seeing coverage and hope someone gets a more detailed response from Del Rey there.

Yeah, I think this isn’t as dire a situation as the slowdown and closure of Aurora and Go Comi, or the abrupt closure of CMX. Del Rey’s sales are seemingly stable with several best sellers, and they had found a solution to the less popular books schedules with the omnibuses, and as an imprint of a larger publisher, would seem to be in safe position. Though CMX was in a similar spot w/DC Comics as a parent company, and still closed, in retrospect that was mostly an early sign of DC’s current restructuring that is seeing Wildstorm [whose offices housed CMX] shutter as well.

Hopefully, those covering NYAF will be sure to check with all parties involved.

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