With Anime Expo in the rear view mirror, we're barreling toward the big event of the comics year: San Diego Comic Con, which begins Thursday. Unlike AX, which has an obvious focus, Comic-Con is about everything: Superheroes, indy graphic novels, kids' comics, TV, movies, collectible figurines, you name it. And manga.
Despite the wide range of events at this show, manga publishers bring their A game every year, and we can expect to hear some significant announcements as well as some interesting panels. Here's a guide to help manga lovers filter out the noise; if you're going to the con, it will help you plan, and if you're not, it's a good heads-up on when to pay attention to the news.
Last week's news that Toei and Kodansha will be making a new Sailor Moon anime will be tough to beat. But not impossible. Watch in particular for Viz's Shonen Jump Alpha panel on Saturday, which will feature several editors from the Japanese Shonen Jump. The Japanese magazine is teasing a big announcement for the same day, which may or may not be a coincidence.
Viz Media Panel
This line-wide panel will cover include updates on current releases and, hopefully, some new announcements.
Thursday July 12, 2012 3:00pm - 4:00pm @ Room 7AB
Kodansha Comics staffers Kumi Shimizu and Dallas Middaugh will talk about the 2012 lineup, including Sailor Moon and Battle Angel Alita.
Thursday July 12, 2012 5:30pm - 6:30pm @ Room 4
JManga: The Future of Digital Manga
One year after its launch, JManga has already changed quite a bit—and changed the digital manga scene as a whole. Watch for some interesting discussion of the future of digital comics in this one.
Friday July 13, 2012 11:00am - 12:00pm @ Room 25ABC
The Yen Press staff will offer a sneak peek at upcoming releases and answer questions from fans.
Friday July 13, 2012 6:30pm - 7:30pm @ Room 8
Shonen Jump Alpha Panel
Viz broke new ground with its digital magazine that features new chapters of manga two weeks after their Japanese release. Alongside the SJ editors, this panel will feature Yoshihisa Heishi (editor-in-chief of Weekly Shonen Jump, founding editor of Yu-Gi-Oh!), Koji Yoshida (editor of Death Note), and Kengo Monji (editor of Bakuman) who, it's promised, will have "a heated Q&A showdown with the SJ Alpha editors!"
Saturday July 14, 2012 12:00pm - 1:00pm @ Room 7AB
San Diego will also feature a few panels about different aspects of the manga industry.
Lost in Translation
Manga translators and editors William Flanagan (Madoka Magica Manga), Jonathan Tarbox (Fist of the Northstar), Shaenon Garrity (Hunter X Hunter), Stephen Paul (One Piece), and Nathan Collins (Metal Gear Solid: Guns of Patriots) talk about the ins and outs of their trade.
Thursday July 12, 2012 6:30pm - 8:00pm @ Room 26AB
Making a Living in Manga
Can you make a living creating graphic novels? Deb Aoki moderates a panel of comics creators and industry pros, including Adam Warren (Empowered), Becky Cloonan (Demo, Conan the Barbarian), Fred Gallagher (Megatokyo), Audra Furuichi (Nemu-Nemu), Christopher Butcher (blogger, Comics212.net; director, Toronto Comic Arts Festival), JuYoun Lee (senior editor, Yen Press), and Erik Ko (editor-in-chief, UDON Entertainment) to discuss the current state of the American graphic novel/manga scene.
Friday July 13, 2012 7:30pm - 8:30pm @ Room 8
CBLDF: The Fight to Defend Manga
Two years ago, an American citizen was detained at the Canadian border and charged with importation of child pornography because of a manga image on his computer. Ryan Matheson was treated like the worst sort of criminal, but he stood up for his rights and ultimately prevailed—all charges have been dropped, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is raising funds to pay his legal costs. Matheson will discuss what happened to him, and the panel will also feature a discussion of the broader problem of manga importation and how you can protect your rights.
Saturday July 14, 2012 1:00pm - 2:00pm @ Room 11AB
'Brush Up' Your Manga Skills with New Prismacolor Markers
Saturday July 14, 2012 2:00pm - 3:00pm @ Room 11AB
Best and Worst Manga of 2012
Go to any book or comics shop and you'll find a ton of comics from Japan in English. But what's worth reading and what's not? An all-star cast of comics critics, retailers, experts, and editors assemble to rant and rave about the year's best manga. Find out what Brigid Alverson (Mangablog, MTV Geek, Publishers Weekly), Christopher Butcher (blogger at Comics212.net, comics and manga retailer, The Beguiling), Carlo Santos (Anime News Network manga reviewer, Right Turn Only), Shaenon Garrity (Narbonic, freelance manga editor), and Deb Aoki (manga editor, About.com) have to say about the best new and continuing titles for kids, teens, and grown-ups. See panelists get super-excited about the best upcoming releases, and see them groan about the year's most despicable wastes of their reading time.
Saturday July 14, 2012 6:00pm - 7:00pm @ Room 23ABC
Anime and Movies
Neon Alley: The Newest Destination for Anime
Viz unveiled Neon Alley, a 24-hour anime channel, just before Anime Expo, and this panel will feature Brian Ige, VIZ Media's VP of animation, talking about what series to expect to see.
Friday July 13, 2012 1:00pm - 2:00pm @ Room 32AB
Join Dark Horse Comics and VIZ Media host an interview with Eiko Tanaka, founder and CEO of Studio 4°C (Tekkonkinkreet, Animatrix, Batman) about bringing Berserk from manga to movie.
Friday July 13, 2012 5:30pm - 6:30pm @ Room 32AB
Showcasing the Best in Korean Animation
New Korean animation from NSAC, Goindol, KOMACON, and e-Dehi introduce, as well as an exclusive world premiere of a new productions.
Friday July 13, 2012 7:30pm - 8:30pm @ Room 32AB
You went to the interview, now see the movie: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I-The Egg of the King will be introduced by Eiko Tanaka, founder and CEO of Studio 4°C (Tekkonkinkreet, Animatrix, Batman). Also featuring a sneak preview of Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II-The Doldrey War.
Friday July 13, 2012 8:30pm - 10:30pm @ Room 32AB
Where are they?
Most manga publishers will have booths on the exhibit floor, so even if they aren't doing a panel, watch out for the opportunity to chat with editors and get an early look at upcoming books.
Seven Seas will offer 40% off manga at their booth, number 2707 (across from Dark Horse)
Vertical Tweeted some of their plans; they will share booth 1716 with Kodansha Comics and have advance copies of Sakuran and vol. 4 of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan.
Viz will have Shonen Jump Alpha posters and, for new subscribers, special Yu-Gi-Oh cards, at Booth 2813