San Francisco-based manga publisher VIZ Media chose YaoiCon 2011 as their venue to unveil SuBLime, their partnership with Animate, Japan's largest anime and manga retailer, and Libre Publishing, Japan's largest boys' love manga publisher.
In addition to covering the SuBLime panel at YaoiCon, I also got a chance to speak with Leyla Aker, VIZ Media Vice-President of Publishing and Jennifer LeBlanc, manga editor for SuBLime and asked them a few more questions about the hows, the whys and the what's nexts for this new boys love manga publishing venture. Check out my interview with Aker and LeBlanc and find out how the stars aligned for VIZ to join forces with Japanese heavyweights Animate and Libre, why they're making a digital publishing 'leap of faith' with manga readers, and what's on the table for this new BL publisher.
The arrival of SuBLime is just the latest addition to a year full of exciting news about digital manga publishing. Sure, SuBLime will be offering several new and rescued titles from many fan-favorite manga-ka like Youka Nitta, Naono Bohra and Tarako Kotobuki, but here's what's really different and daring about this venture: SuBLime will be offering all of their titles to fans worldwide (not just North America), and will be offering several titles as download-to-own PDF files that can be read on digital e-reader devices such as the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook, and table computers like the Apple iPad. The latter development is particularly noteworthy, because it's a format that many fans have requested, but many publishers have avoided due to piracy concerns.
Now that SuBLime has given fans what they've been asking for, what do you think? Will you be giving SuBLime's digital download-to-own releases a try? Why or why not? Add your comments below!
Image credits: © Deb Aoki, © SuBLime / VIZ Media / Animate Ltd. / LIBRE PUBLISHING