The North American comics publishing biz is still reeling from last week's one-two punch of the apparent demise of Go! Comi and the big layoffs at VIZ Media. Now in keeping with the "bad news comes in threes" truism comes the third bit of bad news for the U.S. manga world. This morning, I received word that as of July 1, 2010, the DC/Wildstorm manga imprint CMX Manga will cease publication.
Here's the official statement from DC /Wildstorm co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee:
"Over the course of the last six years, CMX has brought a diverse list of titles to America and we value the books and creators that we helped introduce to a new audience. Given the challenges that manga is facing in the American marketplace, we have decided that CMX will cease publishing new titles as of July 1, 2010."
"The shuttering of the CMX line does not affect the best-selling series Megatokyo which will continue publication, now as a DC Comics title with story and art by Megatokyo's award-winning creator Fred Gallagher.
"We'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts and dedication of the CMX staff and to thank our fans who have supported CMX."
Still undetermined is the fate of any unfinished CMX Manga series (such as the critically acclaimed shojo manga classic Swan by Kyoko Ariyoshi and popular but controversial Tenjho Tenge by Oh! Great. Further details are still being worked out, but more news may be forthcoming in days to come.
UPDATE: Received a list of the last batch of scheduled CMX Manga releases through the end of June 2010.
On sale: June 23, 2010:
- Musashi #9 Vol. 17 by Takahashi Miyuki and Takahashi
- Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson Vol. 1 by Ichiro Sakaki and ocelot, Tomo Hirokawa
- Two Flowers for the Dragon Vol. 6 by Nari Kusukawa
- Venus Capriccio Vol. 4 by Mai Nishikata
- Megatokyo Vol. 6 by Fred Gallagher (possibly pushed out to July 2010)
On sale: June 30, 2010
Other titles previously announced and solicited CMX titles for July - September 2010 release, including much buzzed-about titles like 51 Ways to Save Her, Nyankoi, Phantom Guesthouse and Shisso Holiday will not be published. At this time, series that are incomplete will remain that way until DC says otherwise (or unless some other publisher picks them up at a later time.)
What remains unclear is fate of the current CMX Manga staffers, but given that this topic is a sensitive one, this will likely take a while to sort out as well.
However, if you have questions for the CMX Manga / DC Comics crew, post them below, and I'll do my best to get them answered for you, if at all possible.
In the meantime, my thoughts are with CMX Staffers Jim Chadwick, Asako Suzuki, Chynna Cluggston and Larry Berry, who have been fighting the good fight for great manga for the past six years. Thanks for all that you've done, and hoping that all shakes out well for each of you.
UPDATE: Posted a roundup of commentary about the end of CMX Manga, and added a few comments of my own on the situation.
Image credits: (c) FredArt Studios, DC Comics