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NYCC09: Vertical to partner with unnamed Japanese publisher

Earlier tonight, I sat in on the panel for manga/Japanese book publisher Vertical, Inc. (MW, Black Jack, To Terra...), hosted by Vertical's Executive Editor Ioannis Mentzas. He was pretty much just going over the company's latest releases, so there were no new titles announced, but there was also a juicy bit of industry news:

Vertical is in the process of solidifying "a new investment, and an alliance with a Japanese publisher." According to Ioannis, who did his best to beat around the proverbial bush, the new deal is all about "acquiring rights" - Vertical will remain an "independent company" rather than a subsidiary of their partner. In these tough economic times, Vertical is having trouble with their previous investors (almost all banks), so a new investment from a Japanese publisher will give them a renewed source of cash that will help them stay afloat. More important to the average reader is the impact that this will have on Vertical's ability to publish manga. An agreement with a publisher means guaranteed titles, without all of the haggling (and hence added costs) of getting a title from a greedy Japanese manga company.

Who is the mystery publisher? All of the big three (Kodansha, Shueisha, and Shogakukan) are already taken, and even Yen Press has scooped up a valuable asset in Square Enix. Could Vertical be securing more retro manga? Or will they instead be trying out new titles? I can't see Vertical moving that far into the mainstream, so I'll take a bet that they're going for a publisher that will net them some seinen and josei stuff. Check out the full list of possible publishers (via Wikipedia) after the break, and let us know who you think it's gonna be.

  • Akita Publishing Co., Ltd.
  • Chuokoron Shinsha
  • Enterbrain
  • Fujimi Shobo
  • Fusosha
  • Futabasha
  • Gentosha
  • Hakusensha
  • Hayakawa Publishing
  • Kadokawa Shoten
  • Kobunsha
  • Mag Garden
  • MediaWorks
  • Shinchosha
  • Shinshokan
  • Shodensha
  • Shonen Gahosha
  • Tokuma Shoten
  • Wani Books
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