Official Press Release
LOS ANGELES, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — 07/15/2005 — The Jim Henson Company has partnered with TOKYOPOP Inc., the #1 publisher of manga in the U.S., in an exclusive manga publishing deal to bring three of its fantasy titles to fans. Most notable among them is “MirrorMask,” the feature film from Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman due for release on September 30th of this year. TOKYOPOP’s “MirrorMask” prequel manga will be plotted by Gaiman, the award-winning writer of the highly successful “Sandman” comics as well as the novels “Good Omens” and “Coraline.” Also included in the deal will be all-new original graphic novel series for the immensely popular properties “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth.”
The “MirrorMask” prequel will tell the story of the princess’ escape from the Dark Palace and how she came to acquire the MirrorMask.
TOKYOPOP also plans to release a sequel manga to “Labyrinth,” which first hit the big screen in 1986, remained a fan favorite over the years and also served as an inspiration for “MirrorMask.” Its manga version will follow 13-year-old Toby as he journeys back to the Labyrinth to assume his role as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom. Manga writer Jake Forbes will pen this series.
The final title will be a prequel to 1982’s “The Dark Crystal,” the classic tale of good versus evil that broke ground as the first fully animatronic feature. Henson also recently announced that it is in preproduction on a sequel theatrical film of this cult classic.
Gaiman said, “As soon as I heard that Henson wanted to do manga versions of ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘The Dark Crystal,’ I immediately wanted to include ‘MirrorMask’ as well. Having the leader of manga handle all three titles seems like the perfect way to present them to readers around the world.”
“TOKYOPOP has consistently had innovative publishing and entertainment programs,” said Michael Polis, Senior Vice President of Marketing for The Jim Henson Company. “Knowing the devoted followers these different titles have had over the years, we are thrilled to more fully explore these much-loved worlds with all-new manga series.”
“‘The Dark Crystal’ and ‘Labyrinth’ movies are so loved and iconic, and I have no doubt that ‘MirrorMask’ will achieve the same status — so it’s a joy for me and for TOKYOPOP to be able to work with The Jim Henson Company and Neil Gaiman on these great titles,” said TOKYOPOP editor Rob Valois.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company, currently celebrating 50 years as an established leader in family entertainment, is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world-famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Company), Henson is the recipient of nearly 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent projects include the Saturn Award-winning “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” and the features “Five Children and It” and “MirrorMask.” The company also produced the television feature “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz” for Buena Vista Television. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York, the company is currently in post production on the preschool series “Frances,” due for release in 2006. The Jim Henson Company’s website is located at: www.henson.com
As the largest English-language publisher of manga in the world, TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading youth-oriented entertainment brand. TOKYOPOP’s innovative product extensions include its pioneering Cine-Manga® book format, which features colorful flavors of pop culture’s hottest films, television shows and music videos. The company has expanded its property reach beyond publishing — TOKYOPOP’s television series have been broadcast in the United States on Cartoon Network, Showtime and G4Media, and are released on DVD, with consumer products available at all major retail outlets. The company’s global reach has recently expanded to Europe, with new offices in the UK and Germany, in addition to its Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With nearly 28 million books in print, TOKYOPOP’s award-winning catalogue of licensed and original properties features more than 200,000 pages of manga compiled over nearly 1,000 manga volumes. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com for additional information.