Viz Media Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Comics A.M. | Viz Media expands Walmart deal, makes Best Buy debut

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 1

Publishing | Viz Media has struck separate agreements that will expand the number of manga titles it sells at Walmart and bring its books to Best Buy for the first time. Under the Walmart deal, bestsellers Tokyo Ghoul, Pokeman, One Punch Man and the new Naruto one-shots will be available in more than 2,000 of the retailer’s locations across the United States. Under the Best Buy agreement, two Naruto titles and Assassination Classroom will be packaged with their respective anime and featured in floor displays at 687 locations. [Publishers Weekly]

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Masashi Kishimoto to draw ‘Boruto’ one-shot, oversee new series

boruto1

If you thought that after 15 years Masashi Kishimoto was truly done with the world of Naruto, think again.

It was announced over the weekend that Kishimoto will write and draw a Boruto one-shot manga, featuring the son of Naruto, and supervise a new Boruto series written by Ukyō Kodachi (Boruto: Naruto the Movie) and drawn by Naruto assistant Mikio Ikemoto.

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Viz Media issues response to digital-piracy arrests

one piece-v69

Manga publisher Viz Media has issued a statement reaffirming its stance on digital piracy following the arrests in Japan of four men accused of illegally uploading a chapter of One Piece to a scanlation website.

Police in Japan say a delivery company employee stole a copy of Weekly Shonen Jump while it was en route from the printer to the retailer and sold the magazine to three other men, who then uploaded the comic to an English-language pirate site. Here’s Viz’s statement:

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Comics A.M. | ‘Tintin’ original art fetches $1.2 million at auction

From "The Blue Lotus," by Herge

From “The Blue Lotus,” by Herge

Auctions | A rare drawing of Tintin by Hergé from the 1936 book The Blue Lotus was sold at auction Monday in Hong Kong for $1.2 million. The black-and-white illustration, which depicts Tintin and Snowy being pulled in a rickshaw through the streets of Shanghai, is the only original piece from the book that remains in private hands. [BBC News]

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Comics A.M. | Viz Media launches ‘Naruto’ app

Naruto

Naruto

Digital comics | With Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto appearing this week at New York Comic Con, Viz Media is launching a dedicated Naruto app that will offer a chapter of the series every day for free (each chapter will be free for seven days). The app will sync with the VizManga digital comics platform, and users who buy one or more volumes of Naruto on either digital service this month will also get a bundle that includes the original pilot chapter Kishimoto created for the series, plus editors’ notes, chapter reviews and fan art. Viz is also offering discounts individual volumes throughout the month of October, with the first five volumes selling for $1.99 each. [Crunchyroll]

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How to get an autograph from ‘Naruto’s’ Masashi Kishimoto at NYCC

kishimoto-signing-social

If you’re among the thousands of Naruto fans hoping to get Masashi Kishimoto’s autograph during his appearances in October at New York Comic Con and New York Super Week, Viz Media has announced what you’ll have to do.

In his first-ever appearance in the United States, Kishimoto will participate in two convention panels, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 10, and two signing sessions, on Oct. 9 and Oct. 10.

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Viz to release ‘Death Note’ artist’s high-end art book

blanc et noir2

Viz Media will publish Blanc et Noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations, the high-end art book by acclaimed artist of Death Note and Hikaru no Go.

Originally released by Japanese publisher Shueisha, the oversize book collects Obata’s work from 2001-2006, including illustrations from Death Note and Hikaru no Go. Within the silver-stamped slipcase are 132 pages of full-color art, foldout posters and artist commentary, including a “how to draw” section. There are also three double-sided laminated posters.

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Viz Media to release ‘Naruto’ spinoff in print

naruto-seven hokage

Viz Media will publish Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto spinoff Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring as a single volume early next spring.

Set shortly after the conclusion of the original manga, the miniseries centers on Sasuke’s daughter Sarada, and serves as a prelude to Boruto: Naruto the Movie. The story was serialized earlier this year simultaneously in Japan and in North America — although the latter only in digital form.

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Comics A.M. | Jailed Iranian artist’s lawyer arrested for shaking her hand

Atena Faraghdani

Atena Faraghdani

Legal | Mohammed Moghini, the attorney for jailed Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani, has been arrested for shaking his client’s hand. (According to this Pakistani source, the official charge is “fornication.”) Held at Rajai Shahr Prison, his bail has been set at about $7,000. This presents a potential problem for Farghadani, who was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison for drawing a cartoon “insulting” the country’s Parliament and leader, as she has only a limited time to appeal that sentence, and now her attorney is behind bars. [The Daily Cartoonist]

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Comics A.M. | Viz to bring popular ‘One-Punch Man’ to print

One-Punch Man

One-Punch Man

Manga | Viz Media announced Friday it will publish a print edition of One-Punch Man, which managed to garner an Eisner nomination in its digital-only format. Zainab Akhtar provides some background on the book and reproduces a review by David Brothers. [Comics and Cola]

Conventions | Scott Eric Kaufman follows Devin Pike, one of the organizers of Dallas Comic Con, throughout the three-day event and gets a good look at what goes on behind the scenes: “As I witnessed these lines [of fans] snakes down corridors and spill into causeways, they began to seem like a physical manifestation of the passion fans have invested in these individuals and the iconic characters they’ve played, and it’s up to people like Devin to ensure that that passion is rewarded with an experience that is, if not equal to it, at least a reflection of it.” [Salon]

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Comics A.M. | Spiegelman calls removal of ‘Maus’ in Russia ‘a real shame’

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman

Creators | Responding to the removal of Maus from Moscow bookstores as the Russian government cracks down on Nazi symbols, Art Spiegelman said, “It’s a real shame because this is a book about memory. We don’t want cultures to erase memory.” Retailers fear the swastika on the graphic novel’s cover may be enough to run afoul of a new law prohibiting “Nazi propaganda” as the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany. “I don’t think Maus was the intended target for this, obviously,” the cartoonist told The Guardian. “But I think [the law] had an intentional effect of squelching freedom of expression in Russia. The whole goal seems to make anybody in the expression business skittish.” [The Guardian]

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‘Naruto’ spinoff to run in Viz Media’s ‘Shonen Jump’

Naruto announcementViz Media has confirmed that Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto spinoff miniseries Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring will debut April 27 in the North American edition of Shonen Jump.

That means English-language readers will get the story the same day as those in Japan, although in a different format, as Viz’s Shonen Jump is digital-only.

One of the top-selling manga in the United States for many years, the original series ended in November. However, Kishimoto said he had more Naruto stories to tell before moving on to a different series.

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Japanese city honors Ultraman with four statues

Photos courtesy Sukagawa city government

Photos courtesy Sukagawa city government

The city of Sukagawa, Japan, is honoring hometown hero Ultraman with not one but four statues.

The star of a 1960s television series as well as multiple manga and anime series, Ultraman is the brainchild of Sukagawa native Eiji Tsuburaya, and the city has erected four statues — of Ultraman, Ultra Seven, Gomora and Eleking — on the street where he once lived.

The installation marks the second anniversary of Sukagawa’s sister-city relationship with the Land of Light, Ultraman’s homeland in the series, and city officials are hoping that the statues will put the city on the map for tourists, especially Ultraman fans.

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Comics A.M. | Viz sees 20% rise in shoujo manga in direct market

Kiss of the Rose Princess, Vol. 3

Kiss of the Rose Princess, Vol. 3

Manga | ICv2 kicks off a week of manga coverage with a two-part interview with Kevin Hamric, Viz Media’s senior director of sales and marketing. Sales are up, with particularly strong growth in the direct market, where their older and darker series, like the Signature line, tend to do better. Interestingly, sales of shoujo (girls’) manga are up 20 percent in the direct market as well. In bookstores, as measured by BookScan, they are the number one graphic novel publisher of 2014, and they had five of the top ten best-sellers. Given all that, Hamric is genial about ceding the top spot to a Kodansha title: “Attack on Titan is #1, but whatever works and brings people into the stores and into the category is good for everybody.” In Part 2, he reveals what he expects to be the biggest book of 2015, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. [ICv2]

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Viz Media to publish ‘Ultraman’ manga

ultraman-cropped

Viz Media has announced the August launch of Ultraman, the manga series by Linebarrels of Iron creators Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi.

Debuting in November 2011 in Shogakukan’s Monthly Hero’s magazine, the series is inspired by the 1966 Japanese superhero television show. Set decades later, the manga centers on Shinjiro Hayata, a seemingly ordinary teenager who learns that his father Shin Hayata was the first Ultraman and  passed on the “Ultraman Factor” to him.

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