Q: Are you also considering offering more multi-media content?
Joel Enos: We're talking about all kinds of integration with VIZ Anime, and our websites like bleach.viz.com, naruto.viz.com and ultimo.viz.com. I'd love to have more videos featured on ShonenJump.com.
Q: Well, for example, the Shonen Jump website in Japan has some interactive content like games, wallpapers, online forums for readers to talk with each other and with the editors. Will you be able to offer more of these kinds of things to readers via ShonenJump.com?
Joel Enos: We're looking into that. We're talking with the Shonen Jump team in Japan toward doing that sort of thing. This revamp of our website is really just step one.
I wanted to put out there that we did spend almost two years putting together this revamp of the magazine and the website, but that doesn't mean that we're finished. We're launching this new version, and then we'll keep changing to keep things new and fresh. I have a lot of things on my editorial calendar that will keep the momentum going throughout the year and beyond.
Q: Are there any new features that you're particularly proud of, or would like to share with readers?
Joel Enos: Oh, we worked on so much of this, we're proud of all of it! (laughs) I'd say that we've made the information presented in Shonen Jump just a little more clear. When the magazine first started out eight years ago, TV was the main way that people were exposed to anime. Nowadays, a lot more people watch anime online. How people buy comics has also changed a lot.
What we're trying to do is cater to how and where readers get our magazine. It's become very complicated to get your hands on our magazine. A lot of branches of chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders have closed. Bookstores are carrying less and less manga, due to the overhead costs.
The retail environment has gotten to a point where you can read about some cool Bleach action figures, or a boxed set of the anime and you don't know where you can actually buy them. So we're making an effort to tell readers here's where you can buy what we're talking about.
Besides that, we have some cool features coming up. I can't say too much, but I can mention that each issue will have a focus, or theme. Manga will always come first, but we're trying a lot of new things with our articles. You'll see this in our February 2011 issue and beyond. We're doing a media guide of every single Shonen Jump title – where you can watch it, read it, buy it.
We're also revamping how our video game and card game tips pages look like, to make it a little easier for new readers to get into it, while trying to keep our core fans happy. The card page redesign is really nice. We’re trying to make it look like you're really playing the game, and showing you more clearly what the capabilities of each card. We're trying to find that mix between appealing to the hardcore fan and the newbie. That's part of why we're looking into which features would work better online than in print, and vice versa.
You'll also notice that the story recap / character background pages that precede each manga will change a bit. We're making it a little more clear for new readers so they can jump right into the story. We're also working closely with VIZ Anime, to showcase the storylines and episodes of the anime too. We'll be doing more than just telling you that a show is available on VIZanime.com; we'll be telling you about the story and the characters and why you'll want to watch it.
And we have a new logo too!
But with all of these changes, we didn't drastically alter the magazine. It's still Shonen Jump. I don't think anyone should worry that this issue will show up in their mailbox and they won't know what it is. I know some fans were concerned. They said, 'Why are you changing?' We're not really changing, we're updating!