Manga publishing in the U.S. took a giant step forward as Viz and Japanese manga juggernaut Shueisha entered into an agreement to publish a U.S. edition of the leading Japanese comic anthology, Shonen Jump (see 'Viz & Shueisha To Launch Mass Market Boy's Magazine in the U.S.'). After receiving the press release announcing the launch, ICv2 fired off a series of questions to Viz. The replies from Viz Marketing Manager Renee Solberg shed new light on what could be an important step in bringing U.S. manga publishing more in line with the Japanese model in which a story is first published in installments in a low priced anthology and then collected in a 'graphic novel' format.
1.Will this be an issue-for-issue U.S. edition, or will U.S. editions have material selected from different Japanese issues? We will be selecting the material most appropriate for the American market. Bear in mind that Shonen Jump has been running since 1968 in Japan. At 500 pages a week, that gives us 884,000 pages of material to draw from!
2.How will material for the US edition be selected? Our lead titles are Dragon Ball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh, selected for their already-existing popularity in the US. The remainder of the titles will be a combination of those on the verge of breaking out in this country, and those we feel will especially appeal to the target demographic.
3.How long behind when the material is published in Japan will it be released in the US? I guess that depends on the title. There's no hard and fast rule here. Dragon Ball Z, for example, was finished (both manga and anime) several years ago, yet we are still releasing 'new' material here in the U.S.
4.Does the deal include any rights to collected editions of the material first published in the anthology? Yes, we plan to release graphic novels for every title in the magazine.
5.What will the page count, frequency, and cover price be? About 250 pages, monthly, and cover price is not yet set.