Viz Media used its panel at Emerald City Comic Con to announce the launch of Viz Originals, a new imprint that will publish original graphic novels by artists inspired by manga and anime. VIZ Originals will expand VIZ Media’s renowned catalogue of popular titles by collaborating with manga-inspired creators to develop original stories that ignite the imagination. The imprint will be led by Executive Editor Fawn Lau, and the first titles will debut in 2020.
“VIZ Originals will be an incubator for innovative ideas and storytelling,” says Leyla Aker, Executive Vice President & Publisher. “There’s a demonstrated appetite for manga and manga-inspired content. With VIZ Originals, we have an opportunity to leverage over 30 years of experience in the industry to bring original, creator-owned content from top creative talents to fans worldwide.”
“We’re thrilled to support and contribute to the comics community through the VIZ Originals imprint,” adds Fawn Lau, Executive Editor, VIZ Originals. “There are so many extraordinary creators telling exciting stories in the style they love. We’re proud to be able to nurture this new generation of manga-inspired creators.”
Fawn Lau is Executive Editor for VIZ Originals, collaborating with new creators to publish their works. Her career in the anime and manga industry began in 2001 as a letterer and graphic designer for various manga publishers and independent creators, followed by roles as Senior Designer at VIZ Media and Creative Director at Kodansha Advanced Media. Motivated by her lifelong affection for the comic art community and her professional experience in manga publishing, Fawn has returned to VIZ to lead the new Originals imprint and is looking forward to supporting independent artists and helping them to execute their vision.
The new titles — which are expected to be largely creator-owned works, plus gaming tie-ins and adaptations of prose stories — will be published in left-to-right English language format, as opposed to the original right-to-left Japanese format used for licensed translated manga and will feature a premium cover treatment with a larger trim size.
“Viz Media executive v-p and publisher Leyla Aker told PW that the imprint will launch with “a handful of titles” but the house does not yet have an exact number to announce. ‘Viz Originals will be an incubator for innovative ideas and storytelling. It’s a long-term initiative and we want to do it right, not fast,’ Aker said. The first titles are planned for release in 2020 in both the traditional manga trim size and a larger-size graphic novel size.
Aker said the new imprint is aimed at a generation of young North American artists inspired by the manga style, but often discouraged from pursuing a career as a manga artist. ‘We want to create a creative space for these creators and get their work published,’ she said. Whether fantasy or sci-fi, horror or slice of life, the imprint will showcase dynamic paneling, skillful black and white artwork and compelling, diverse, storylines for young adult and adult fans.
For more information on the VIZ Originals imprint, please visit viz.com/originals.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular SHONEN JUMP brand and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan's largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shogakukan Inc., Shueisha Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.