Comic-Con@Home – Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable – Notes!

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (PDT) | Thursday 23 July 2020 (6:00pm – 7:00pm):

Panel Description: While COVID-19 negatively impacted most book and comics publishers, one of the few bright spots in book sales in Spring 2020 was … manga!? What are the factors contributing to manga’s resiliency, and what are its prospects for the future? Get a taste of what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s next from the perspective of top publishing pros, including Ben Applegate (director – publisher services, Penguin Random House), Kevin Hamric (vice president – marketing sales, VIZ Media), Mark de Vera (sales and marketing director, Yen Press), Masaaki Shimizu (general manager and publisher, book publishing division, Square Enix), Ed Chavez (publisher, Denpa Books), Tomo Tran (marketing director, Kodansha USA / Vertical), Erik Ko (chief of operations, Udon Entertainment), Dallas Middaugh (executive editor and co-founder, Mangamo), and Matt Alt (translator and author, Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Conquered the World). Moderated by Deb Aoki (Publishers Weekly, Anime News Network). (LINK:


Releases and Other Available Titles:

Yen Press:

  • Toilet-bound Hanako-kun – Print and digital available now
  • I Don’t Know How to Give Birth –  Print and digital available August 2020
  • Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World – Print and digital available now

Square Enix Books

  • Soul Eater Perfect Edition  – Available July 2020 (so now!)
  • Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina  – Available 28 July 2020
  • Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers The Art of Reflection–Histories Forsake  – Available 28 July 2020
  • Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?!  – Print available now
  • A Man and His Cat – Print and digital available now

VIZ Media

  • Fangirl (the manga adaptation of Rainbow Rowell’s book)  – Print and digital October 2020
  • Remina  – Print and digital available December 2020
  • The Drifting Classroom – Print and digital available now
  • Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President
  • given – Print and digital available now, a SUBLIME title
  • Haikyu!! – Print and digital available now
  • Persona 5 – Print and digital available now

Kodansha Comics/Penguin Random House

  • Heaven’s Design Team – Print available September 2020, digital available now, anime to debut July 2021
  • Wave: Listen to Me – Print and digital available now
  • 10 Dance – Print and digital available now

DENPA books

  • Heavenly Delusion – Print available now
  • The Girl With The Sanpaku Eyes – Available 28 July 2020
  • An Invitation From a Crab – Print available now
  • Super Dimensional Love Gun – Print available now
  • Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – – Print available now

UDON Entertainment:

  • Otherworldly Izakaya NOBU – Print Available now
  • Anne of Green Gables (Manga Classics adaptation) – Available September 2020

Kodansha Comics/VERTICAL.

  • Weathering With You – Print available September 2020
  • With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun –  Print available September 2020


  • Japan Sinks 2020 – Available now as is its anime adaptation!
  • Loving Yamada at Lv999 – Available now
  • I Wanna Be Your Girl – Available now


  • Doraemon – digital available now
  • Dorohedoro – Print and digital available now
  • Pure Invention: How Japan’s Pop Culture Conquered the World – publication done with Penguin Random House

What’s hot now? Manga Publishing Trends in North America

Everything! Manga has become popular across mainstream and so genre interests have greatly widened over the last few works. Of course, genres like horror, action, and such have remained some of the best-sellers but every genre has seen interest in today’s world. Indy works included!

Things to note about the industry: 

One issue some publishers have with licensing for print is you may connect with a series that will only have a set number of volumes. It’s hard to invest when you aren’t sure how long the series will last, which is why companies like Mangamo prefer digital. Using digital platforms, the cost of print becomes non-existent and can allow companies to expand their pub-list without necessarily breaking the bank. While print is unlikely to disappear, there will probably be a huge push for digital moving forward across all of publishing.

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