This weekend brings the first major manga and anime con of the season, Anime Expo, at the Lost Angeles Convention Center. Charles has already covered the first big anime story, Viz Media's announcement of their Neon Alley anime streaming service, but here's a look at the manga highlights.
eigoMANGA in 2012: It looks like this, Viz, and Tokyopop are the only publisher panels. eigoMANGA publishes Original English Language manga. Here's the blurb from their website: "Colleagues from eigoMANGA will announce and showcase releases of the company's mass-market publications, games, and animation titles since 2012." (Saturday at 10 a.m., Room 502AB)
E-Manga: Magical Dreamers: Now you can not just read your manga, you can listen to it. Audio manga has been done before, but this sounds like a fairly sophisticated take, with both text and voice elements that can toggle between English and Japanese. There's more information at the Magical Dreamers site, and while it's not in the panel description I read, Deb Aoki says one of the speakers will be the voice actor Ryo Horikawa, who plays Vegeta on Dragon Ball. (Saturday, 11:00 a.m., Room 515A)
How to Draw Manga Characters Workshop with Ushio Kawada from Samurai Manga Workshop: Kawada is an associate professor in the Character Creative Arts Department of the Osaka University of Arts, and the interpreter for this panel will be Peepo Choo creator Felipe Smith. The panel will be an authentic "how to draw manga" lecture the way the Japanese students learn at the university in Japan, and attendance will be limited to 50 people on a first-come, first-served basis. (Saturday at 11 a.m. Room 501, and again on Sunday at 9 a.m. still in Room 501)
Tokyopop: Past, Present, and Future: Whaaat? Tokyopop stopped publishing manga last year and then started up again, in a limited way, with print-on-demand editions of Hetalia and Bizenghast. What now? CEO Stu Levy and editor Daniella Orihuela-Gruber will be on hand; Daniella says, "I’ll be helping Stu Levy explain what happened to TOKYOPOP in 2011, what we’re doing now and what the future holds." This one should be interesting! (Saturday, 7 p.m., Room 501)
Viz Media: In addition to their Neon Alley announcement, Viz promises "Sneak peeks at other upcoming anime and manga series, as well as news on newly licensed properties." It's not clear if that means new licenses will be announced, but stay tuned. (Sunday at 1:30PM. Room 515A)
"Winds from the East: Cross-currents of manga/anime and Hollywood and the future of non-Japanese manga/anime production": If you're still around on Monday, this sounds like it could be interesting. (Monday at 10 a.m., Room 501)
AX will also feature a number of panels for aspiring creators:
Hobby to Pro Workshop with Camilla d'Errico, Saturday at 10 a.m., Room 515A
Copic Workshop, Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Room 501
How to Draw Manga & Portfolio Review with eigoMANGA, Sunday at 11 a.m., Room 501
ComiPo! Manga Creation Software, Sunday at 7 p.m., Room 411
And some panels focusing on the scholarly side of manga:
The Cutting Edge of Anime/Manga Studies, Friday at 11 a.m., Room 501
Why Do We Try So Hard? The Goal of Anime & Manga Studies (Roundtable Discussion), Friday at 12:30 p.m., Room 501
Adventures in Teaching: "The History of Manga," Friday at 7:30 p.m., Room 501
Supporting & Expanding Anime & Manga Studies, Sunday at 7 p.m., Room 501
Deb Aoki has a good roundup of all the AX panels at About.com.
Vertical will be at Booth 240.
Netcomics, which publishes print and digital manhwa (Korean Comics) will be at Booth 301
eigoManga will be at Booth 1149.
Digital Manga is going to be at booth 1330 with their retail partner, Akadot, and they are promising new license announcements every day.
Manga University, the folks who do those how-to-draw-manga books as well as a host of other interesting titles like The Manga Cookbook and Kana de Manga, will be at Booth 1336.
Viz will be at Booth 1401.