§ Viz evp of Publishing Alvin Lu has left the company after 13 years, ICV2 reports.
Asked for comment, a VIZ spokesperson said, “It was really sad to see him go–he’s been such a part of our history & growth over the 13 years he’s been with the company. We’re grateful for all he’s done to help us get to where we are now, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!”
Lu’s role will be filled by VP-Editorial Leyla Aker and Director of Sales & Marketing, Publishing Kevin Hamric, according to the spokesperson.
No further details; Lu was a well known presence at the best known manga company in the US so this is quite a shake-up.
§ DMI, one of the last surviving manga companies, suspended its print program for six months last year, going to a digital only model. And now they’ve shut down Digital Manga Direct, their distribution arm. PW has the details:
Plans to close Digital Manga Direct, launched by DMI in 2009 to sell its print titles direct to retailers without using a distributor, seem likely connected to the suspension of its print program through the first six months of the year as well as the loss of Japanese publisher Libre, one of its major licensees for yaoi manga, which has now switched to a partnership with Viz Media. The suspension of print for six months was said to be done to allow the company to focus on building the digital program at emanga.com.
DMI is still printing some books by Tezuka that were funded via Kickstarter, but it does seem to be part of the general lessening of the once giant manga wave.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.