Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Harlequin Bringing Its Manga Line Back In-House

One of my earliest posts to this blog on September 27, 2005 was about manga, the graphic novels inspired by Japanese-style comic books.

I also reported when Harlequin began its distribution arrangement with Dark Horse Comics to produce two lines of manga in this country. Harlequin already had experience publishing manga in Japan; they have about 250 novels available in the graphic format in that country.

Now Harlequin has made another announcement: they are taking back their manga line. According to today's Publisher's Weekly (PW), "This fall, Harlequin will relaunch the line under a new imprint called Pink Ginger Blossom. The imprint will debut with four titles in September."

Reportedly, the typical Harlequin readers were not gravitating to the American manga. Harlequin began doing its own research to find a "target audience." After establishing focus groups of teenage girls 12-15 and 16-18, Harlequin discovered a new audience between the two groups. They are describing this audience as the "young potentials." Harlequin plans to market Pink Ginger Blossoms to these young women through bookstores and discount stores like Target as well as through their own website (www.eharlequin.com).

Harlequin is not breaking its connection with Dark Horse entirely. "Dark Horse will continue to translate and package the books."

This announcement reminded me that it was time for me to delve deeper into the world of manga. I'm taking tomorrow off to go to Fort Worth. The "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" show is doing tryouts all day at the Bass Performance Hall. I'm going to see if I can join the tryouts. It will probably be a mass mob scene. I'm bringing along a lot of reading material to pass the time. Included are a number of articles on manga. Hopefully, I'll be able to produce a post from my forced waiting time.

Wish me luck.

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