It seems that there were about 8,000 comics and anime cons this weekend and they all had news. At Sakura Con in Seattle, Yen Press announced a new imprint called Yen On which will publish about 24 “light novels” a year, including A Certain Magical Index (left). Light novels are shortish genre novels aimed at what we’d called the YA demographic. Yen also announced some new manga licenses—including one by the co-author of most of Urasawa’s masterpeices—and here, I’m just going to quote the PR, because I’m lame.
King of Eden
Takashi Nagasaki, critically acclaimed co-author of Monster, 20th Century Boys, Master Keaton, Billy Bat, and Pluto, pens a sweeping new masterpiece of the grotesque with artist SangCheol Lee. Released in cooperation with Haksan Publishing, chapters will be serialized digitally with global availability beginning May 1, 2014.
PandoraHearts ~odds and ends~
The dark whimsy of Jun Mochizuki’s New York Times best-selling world comes to vivid life in this art book featuring over 120 color and black-and-white illustrations from the imagination of the author. This lavish edition will be available in November 2014.
Gou-Dere Sora Nagihara
Two-dimensional love bursts into reality when Sora Nagihara leaps off the manga page and into Shouta Yamakawa’s life in this hilarious fantasy romp from Suu Minazuki. The first volume will debut in November 2014.
Love at Fourteen
Fall in love with Kanata and Kazuki, two unusually mature teens, in this bittersweet manga from the creative talent of Fuka Mizutani. The first volume will be available in November 2014.
The Angel of Elhamburg
Aki returns to the Yen Press list with the tale of a precarious friendship between a king and his knight that begins to crumble under the weight of jealousy and contempt as a beautiful angel looks on. The Angel of Elhamburg will release in Spring 2015.
Published digitally in two volumes by Yen Press in 2013, Yukito Ayatsuji’s spine-chilling horror novels make their way to bookstore shelves in a hardcover omnibus edition under the Yen On brand in October 2014.
A Certain Magical Index
One of Japan’s most beloved light novel series (and one of our most requested), A Certain Magical Index will help launch the Yen On venture. Kazuma Kamachi’s epic tale of clashing Magicians and Espers, accompanied by Kiyotaka Haimura’s lush illustrations, will debut in Winter 2014.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
One of the light novel category’s latest breakthrough successes, Fujino Omori’s hilarious fantasy about a hapless adventurer and a failed goddess, with illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda, will round out the Yen On initial launch list in Winter 2014.
Regarding the Yen On light novel program, VP and Publishing Director Kurt Hassler said, “We’ve been nurturing and publishing light novels successfully for years and are energized by the prospect of expanding our efforts through the Yen On initiative and putting these books into the hands of faithful supporters who have been clamoring for them. We look forward to adding even more titles to our already impressive line-up!”
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.