Comic-Con International in San Diego has begun, and one of the first panels of the con was put on by Del Rey Manga. As part of the movement responsible for getting kids and females to read comics again, the crowd was composed of a diverse group of fans.
Speaking on the panel were Dallas Middaugh (associate publisher for Del Rey Manga), Betsy Mitchell (editor-in-chief), and Mutsumi Miyazaki (director of licensing and acquisitions). They began with a slideshow of all their forthcoming books, and from the sounds of the fans present, there's quite a bit to be excited about.
First up is a book called "Shugo Charo!," written by Peach-Pit. The crowd reacted positively to this announcement, as Peach-Pit has also written two popular books, "DearS" and "Rozen Maiden." This book is about a fifth grade girl who makes a wish one night that she could be more than she is. She wakes up to discover three strange eggs in her bed. The eggs then hatch, and three small girls emerge who grant the fifth-grader powers. Middaugh laughed, and added that "to science fiction fans, those three eggs would mean something entirely different."
Next up is "Manotte! Lollipop" by Michiyo Kikuta. A girl finds something that looks like a piece of candy, eats it, and discovers that it was actually the goal of a test for a school full of wizards. "I love manga!" Middaugh chuckled. An anime series based on the book will be appearing soon.
A book called "Mushishi" elicited "oohs" and "ahs" from the audience. Written by Yuki Urushibara, it won the Manga of the Year Award in 2006. Del Rey is going to special efforts with it and will be printing it on high-quality paper with French flaps. There is also a popular anime series in Japan based on the book. It arrives in stores in February 2007. The look and description suggested a manga "Hellblazer."
Del Rey announced their first cooking manga: "Kitchen Princess" by Miyuki Kobayashi and Natsumi Ando. This book was awarded the Kodansha Shojo Manga of the Year award in 2006, and a recipe is promised in every issue. Middaugh also assured the audience they'd test every recipe before putting it in the book.
In addition to their first cooking manga, the company is publishing their first sports manga book. Called "Suzuka," it's written by Kouji Seo, and is the company's second "mature" title. Middaugh called it a "fun series in the style of 'Love Hina.'"
A big announcement followed this in that Del Rey would be publishing the popular "Parasyte" by Hitoshi Iwaaki. This is the first time the book would be printed right-to-left in America, and New Line is developing a film based on the book directed by Takashi Shimizu, director of "The Grudge." This will also be printed on the higher quality paper than "Mushishi" will be printed on.