Yesterday, ICv2 published a list of the Top Ten Most Powerful people in Manga, gleaned from interviews with other industry figures. Here’s the power list:
1. Kurt Hassler, Graphic Novel Buyer, Borders Group
2. Hidemi Fukuhara, Chief Executive Officer, Viz Media
3. Stuart Levy, Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer Tokyopop
4. Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Manga, Del Rey
5. Jim Killen, Graphic Novel Buyer, Barnes & Noble
6. Mike Richardson, CEO & Publisher, Dark Horse
7. Mike Kiley, Publisher, Tokyopop
8. Yumi Hoashi, EIC & VP of Magazine Division, Viz Media
9. Hikaru Sasahara, CEO, Digital Manga Publishing
10. Masashi Kishimoto, Creator of Naruto
No surprises there, although there has been much discussion in the manga blogoverse. Mangacast has lists from David Welsh and David Taylor among others which dwell more on various personnel from manga publishers.
Hassler’s spot at the top in particular could have been predicted. As a manga-ka himself (Tokyopop’s SOKORA REFUGEES, written under the name “Segamu”) he knows the manga business very well, and has a very hard line about what he will and won’t order for Borders. Spend time in a casual setting with any publisher and we guarantee the phrase “Kurt Hassler won’t carry it!” will be heard.