CCI, Day 1: CMX: Mega Manga Panel

The CMX: Mega Manga panel at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego was moderated by Vice President of CMX and Wildstorm, Hank Kanalz. Asako Suzuki (CMX director), Jim Chadwick (CMX editor), Larry Berry (CMX art director), Sara Farber (CMX editorial coordinator), Fred Gallagher (creator of "Megatokyo"), and Shel Drzka (CMX translator) were in attendance.

The presentation began with a slideshow of cover art for upcoming and current CMX projects. Projects for 2007 and beyond included:

  • "Go Go Heaven" by Keiko Yamada
  • "The Time Guardian" by Daimuro Kishi & Tamao Ichinose
  • "Canon" by Chika Shiomi
  • "Apothecarius Argentum" by Tomomi Yamashita
  • "Key to the Kingdom"
  • "Orfina"
  • "Variante"
  • "Dorothea"

Much of the audience was comprised of fans of Gallagher's "Megatokyo," a license recently acquired by CMX in the wake of a controversial split from its old publisher.

One fan asked where "Megatokyo" fits into CMX's plans.

"I don't think they know what to do with me yet," Gallagher replied, but said he is happy at CMX. The same fan asked half-jokingly if there was any chance of seeing a live-action teen drama of "Megatokyo" on the CW. Gallagher thought "that could be the worst thing ever." He asked the audience to think how easy it would be to tell those stories badly.

The controversy surrounding CMX's American edition of the manga "Tenjho Tenge" was largely glossed over, and in fact when the title came up, the name was literally whispered. CMX took a lot of flak for editing out much of the sexual content for the American version, despite the company's mantra of delivering so called "pure" manga to its American readers.

All of the panelists invited fan suggestions and criticism, both at Comic-Con and on the CMX message board. Moderator Kanalz credited the latter as the most effective way of communicating with the fans at their most "avid and rabid." One of the things they're working on is changing the trade dress to set them apart from the regular monthly issues. Suzuki also explained that their current agenda is to err on the side of many new and different titles rather than committing to a few long-running series. This, in an attempt to bring manga into the mainstream in American like it is in Japan.

Suzuki also announced a raffle to give away three pieces of original art from their title "Emma." Entry forms are available at the CMX booth on the convention floor, and fans are invited to leave comments on the back of the forms, which will be delivered to "Emma" creator Kaoru Mori.

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