When manga publisher Yen Press announced that they'd be discontinuing the print edition of their monthly manga/manhwa magazine Yen Plus earlier this year, many fans were dismayed, but kept their hopes alive based on Publishing Director Kurt Hassler's assurances that Yen Plus would continue as an online manga magazine.
Flash forward a few months to Yen Press' panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2010, when Hassler and Senior Editor JuYoun Lee announced that the August 2010 issue of Yen Plus was live at yenplus.com, and that fans could check out this first issue for free for a month. After September, readers would need to pay $2.99 / month to view the current and prior month's issue of this manga/manhwa anthology.
While many fans were thrilled to see the debut of this online manga magazine, they were also a little taken aback to see that the initial line-up of titles did not include favorites like Black Butler or Soul Eater in the mix. While Hassler and Lee promised that Japanese manga titles would be added soon, I wanted to know more. So here's my Yen Plus Q&A with JuYoun Lee, as she responds to my questions, and several reader questions I got via Twitter about Yen Plus.
In our chat, Lee and I discussed how and why Yen Plus is available to readers all over the world (not just North America), the pricing, and future plans for additional titles that will soon be added to the pages of this new online magazine. We also dove a little deeper into the challenges that publishers face as they enter the brave new world of digital distribution.
So take a look at the Q&A and add your comments below. Have you read Yen Plus online yet? If so, what do you think? Did Lee's responses to a few frequently asked questions convince you to give it a try, or did you have any other questions on your mind? Share your thoughts below!
UPDATE: At Robot 6, Brigid Alverson interviews Yen Press' Publishing Director Kurt Hassler and presses for more details about the future of Japanese manga content in the online edition of Yen Plus.
Image credits: Maximum Ride © SueJack, Inc., Illustrations © Hachette Book Group, © Deb Aoki