Now that VIZ Media and Shueisha have announced the coming arrival of Shonen Jump Alpha, the new digital-only, English-language weekly edition of Shonen Jump Magazine, there's lots of buzz on the Internet about this venture, and also a lot of questions.
One of the main questions out there is from international fans: Why is Shonen Jump Alpha only available to readers in North America (United States and Canada)? Another frequently asked question is: When will this be available for Android or the Kindle Fire? Less frequently asked, but no less important: How about libraries? Will they get access to this new Shonen Jump magazine?
Well, after I spoke with Alvin Lu from VIZ Media and Sasaki Hisashi from Shueisha, I also got a few minutes with Brian Piech, VIZ Media's Vice President of Digital Publishing, and asked him a few of these questions. I also found out some interesting things about VIZ Media's plans to publish 'mature' / 18+-rated manga titles digitally in the coming months.
Check out Part 2 of my Shonen Jump Alpha interviews from New York Comic-Con 2011, which includes my Q&A with Brian Piech, and a few comments from Shonen Jump Manga editor Joel Enos (he edits Naruto and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, two of the titles included in Shonen Jump Alpha) and a message to fans from Shonen Jump Magazine Associate Editor Urian Brown.
Now that you've heard from the folks at VIZ Media and Shueisha, what do you think? Will you be subscribing to Shonen Jump Alpha, or at least checking it out? Why, or why not? Add your comments below!
Also, check out comics retailer and manga fan Christopher Butcher's commentary on Shonen Jump Alpha, and why he thinks closing the print edition of Shonen Jump Magazine might be a very big mistake.
Image credits: © SHUEISHA, Inc. / NARUTO © Masashi Kishimoto / SHUEISHA Inc.