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Viz Launches New Imprint for Original, English-Language Graphic Novels

Viz Originals

During its panel at Emerald City Comic Con 2019, North American manga publisher Viz Media announced plans to launch a new imprint called Viz Originals, which will publish original graphic novels from artists who take their inspiration from manga and anime

Manga veteran Fawn Lau has been appointed as executive editor of the imprint, which is slated to launch its first graphic novels in 2020. Lau also announced that Viz Originals is soliciting pitches for new works, saying, "We want to hear from artists. We've got some things in the works now but we're not ready to announce."

Moreover, Viz Media executive VP and publisher Leyla Aker explained that "a handful of titles" will be launched under the Viz Originals banner. However, they do not yet have an official number to announce.

"Viz Originals will be an incubator for innovative ideas and storytelling," Aker said. "It's a long-term initiative and we want to do it right, not fast."

Viz Media is currently one of the largest publishers of licensed manga titles in North America, known for publishing such popular series as My Hero Academia, Pokemon, One Piece, Naruto and Tokyo Ghoul.

“We’ve done some original licensed material but Viz Originals will expand the program,” said Lau, who explained that the imprint would feature "mostly creator-owned" works, as well as "adaptations of prose works and gaming tie-ins."

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On Viz' website, the publisher also announced that it would be taking submissions through the end of the year. In addition to doing portfolio reviews at conventions, Viz will also launch an online submissions portal "by the end of the year."

"We want to create a creative space for these creators to get their work published," Aker added, explaining that the imprint is aimed at young North American artists who are inspired by the manga style, but find themselves getting discouraged from pursuing a career as an artist in the medium.

Titles published under the Viz Originals banner will be printed in left-to-right English language format, as opposed to the traditional left-to-right Japanese manga format. Th imprint will feature both multi-volume series and standalone graphic novels. Additionally, readers can expect books to come in both traditional manga trim size, as well as a larger-size graphic novel format

(via Publishers Weekly)

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