Axel-In-Charge: Unmasking the "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Despite its name, Digital Manga Inc. has always had a robust line of print manga, skewing heavily toward yaoi and boys-love titles, so the company’s announcement late last year that it would be placing a number of print manga on hiatus sent shivers up fans’ spines; that sort of announcement is often a prelude to more dire news.
Not this time, though. Not only is Digital resuming print publication, it has moved some of its titles up and is making them available earlier than originally planned. Yoko Tanigaki, Digital’s vice president, sales and distribution, confirmed the publisher is resuming print publication, and none of its print manga series have been canceled. And there’s more: Three titles that were slated for publication later this year are either available now or will be available next week via Digital’s retail site, Akadot.com (note: link may be NSFW). Vol. 8 of Ai no Kusabi, scheduled for an October release, is available now, and Vol. 7 of Ze, originally set for September, will be there next week. And there’s more: Vol. 8 of The Tyrant Falls in Love will also be available next week, well ahead of its July release date, and it will come with a special postcard for Akadot buyers only. In an e-mail, Tanigaki said:
Later this month, Dark Horse will publish Deva Zan, the first novel by artist Yoshitaka Amane, who is best known as the illustrator of the Vampire Hunter D novels and the designer for Final Fantasy. Anime News Network has a preview of the novel, which Amane wrote and illustrated.
I interviewed Amane this year at New York Comic Con, and here’s what he had to say about the writing process for Deva Zan:
I’m not sure, but I think this is a first: Digital Manga Publishing is publishing manga on the Nook, Barnes & Noble’s proprietary e-reader. (Like all smart e-readers, the Nook is available not just on the device itself but also as an iPad, iPhone and web application.) There are only a handful of graphic novels available for the Nook, mostly indie material; the best known is probably Mike Jasper and Niki Smith’s In Maps and Legends, which started out as a Zuda comic.
Digital, which has been in the vanguard of, well, digital manga publishing, with their eManga website and Digital Manga Guild, will launch with Vampire Hunter D, in both color and black-and white-versions, divided into two parts for $3.99 each. It’s also available on Kindle for $7.95, and the cheapest way to read it is on the iPhone/iPod Touch, where each of the six chapters in volume 1 is priced at 99 cents. You get what you pay for, though—I read the first volume on the small screen, and it doesn’t adapt well. This is a book that needs a little breathing room.