DIGITAL COMICS: ComiXology Announces Manga Digital Distribution Agreement with VIZ Media Europe Group
ComiXology, the leading cloud-based digital comics platform with over 40,000 comics and graphic novels available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web at comixology.com, today announced a manga digital distribution agreement with VIZ Media Europe and its French subsidiary, Kazé. Kazé’s extensive library of French language manga content will be available for readers to purchase in key French speaking European countries across comiXology’s mobile apps and website.
Additional manga content from VIZ Media Europe, a subsidiary of the leading Japanese based manga publishers Shūeisha and Shōgakukan, and its network of European licensors, will also become available on the comiXology platform as the partnership grows.
“Through our partnership with Kazé and its parent company VIZ Media Europe, we are honored to expand the reach and enjoyment of these French language manga titles to European readers on comiXology,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “It has always been our mission to bring comics – in all forms, including manga – to everyone everywhere, and this agreement with such a great partner is a significant move towards that goal.”
“We are really excited to join comiXology’s platform,” said Hyoe Narita, VIZ Media Europe’s CEO. “Our joint philosophies around expanding the market for manga content worldwide, while honoring the integrity of the content on digital platforms is quite complementary. As a publisher, we want to be able to share our passion for manga with everyone, everywhere and give the opportunity to help readers discover, read and enjoy our titles digitally. ComiXology is one perfect partner to help us achieve this mission globally.”
This digital distribution agreement between comiXology and Kazé will see French language manga content from many top Japanese publishers including Shūeisha, Shōgakukan, Hakusensha, Kadokawa Shoten, Gentosha, Akita Shōten, Square Enix and Ichijinsha become available for purchase across comiXology’s multi-platform mobile apps and websites including on Apple iOS, Google Android, Amazon Kindle Fire and the Web with a dedicated right-to-left full-page manga reading experience.
To celebrate, the following titles are available across French-speaking European countries today, including France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Monaco:
Vampire Hunter D, by Saiko Takaki and Hideyuki Kikuchi
Gate 7, by CLAMP
K-On!, by Kakifly
La Traversée du Temps, by Ranmaru Kotoku & Yasutaka Tsutsui
Le Fleuve Shinano, by Kazuo Kamimura & Hideo Okazaki
Summer Wars, by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Tensai Family Company, by Ninomiya Tomoko
Drug & Drop, by CLAMP
Les Mystérieuses Cités d’Or, by Thomas Bouveret
Flander’s Company, by Tod
Other popular titles including Blue Exorcist, Ikigami, Toriko, Beelzebub, Black Lagoon and Dengeki Daisy, will become available through the comiXology platform this fall.
ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become one of iTunes top 10 grossing iPad apps in both 2011 and 2012. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from the top 75 publishers, and including independent creators as well, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. A privately held company, comiXology is based in New York City. For more information visit www.comixology.com.
About VIZ Media Europe
Headquartered in Paris, France, VIZ Media Europe (VME) specializes in managing the development, marketing and distribution throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa of Japanese animated entertainment and graphic novels (manga). Owned by three of Japanʼs largest creators, publishers and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. Ltd., VME handles the comprehensive distribution, licensing and promotion of some of the most popular Japanese manga and animation properties for consumers of all ages. VME administers an integrated product line including graphic novels, consumer products, DVD and music. Current VME animated properties include: BEELZEBUB, BLACK LAGOON, BLUE EXORCIST, BLEACH, BLUE DRAGON, DEATH NOTE, HAMTARO, JEWELPET (France only), KILARI, KUROKO’S BASKET, MAGI, A PENGUIN’S TROUBLES, TENKAI KNIGHTS, TIGER & BUNNY, and ZOIDS GENESIS
About Kazé Manga
Founded in 2003, Asuka specialized at first in classical titles such as Black Jack from the father of manga Osamu Tezuka. Asuka then started publishing Shojo’s manga. Bought in 2007 by Kazé, the French market leader in Japanese animation, the two labels developed a common strategy by publishing manga and DVD properties (Gunslinger Girl, Crossing Time). Both labels were purchased in 2009 by three of Japanʼs largest creators, publishers and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. Ltd., and merged with their French subsidiary VIZ Media Europe. In 2010, Asuka became the name of the Boy’s Love’s label, while Kazé Manga brand was created for all shojo, shonen and seinen titles in the catalog. With a catalog of over 150 titles, Kazé Manga is the sixth French manga publisher. Among the most emblematic titles in its catalog, readers can find Toriko, Beelzebub, Blue Exorcist, Beyblade, Ikigami, Dengeki Daisy, Happy Marriage, Hokuto no Ken, Chopperman and Rock Lee.
For more information, visit www.kaze-manga.fr