Viz has named former DreamWorks executive Jason Hoffs to head up Viz Productions, which is aimed at turning some of the manga giant's properties into films. No word yet on which manga are under consideration, but this could lead to a cross-media marketing juggernaut.
Attention aspiring voice actors: Anime dubbers Bang Zoom Entertainment will offer a voice acting workshop during San Diego Comic-Con. Given that Comic-Con has become, as Entertainment Weekly noted, "Sundance for geeks," this means voice acting is becoming a very, very big thing.
Sony, which had previously announced it would offer the American debut of Studio BONES' anime X'amd on its Playstation 3 download service, is now revealing that Americans are getting the series two months before Japan is. This shows that America is definitely not considered a secondary market for anime product anymore, and talent to regionalize a production quickly and efficiently (translators, voice actors, etc.) will be more in demand than ever.
And finally in anime/manga, this week has brought us a cautionary tale that all artists should pay attention to: the sad saga of Youka Nitta. The artist had confessed to tracing fashion photography to create panels in her popular yaoi manga such as Embracing Love. Shortly thereafter, she canceled her schedule Yaoicon appearance, then announced she is quitting manga, while her publisher pulled her back catalogue from its site. Was her punishment too harsh? Yamila Abraham of Yaoi Press doesn't think so, and the Italian Diesel fashion label, which published one of the ads Nitta traced, regarded her work as tribute, not plagiarism. But one thing is for sure: All this is going to cast a cloud of suspicion over artists, both pro and fan, for quite some time, so they should be extra careful how close they hew to "models" and "influences." And it's a sobering reminder that even an international best seller isn't immune to this kind of thing: this is definitely a case of "the bigger they come, the harder they fall."
Nintendo has announced that the Wii is now America's top-selling console, with 10.9 million sold. The company attributed its success to "breaking down the psychological barriers between gamers and non-gamers," meaning that the company will probably be on the lookout for more broad-appeal titles like "Cooking Mama Cook-Off" and "Endless Ocean" in the future.
Koch Media has announced the new As Seen on TV brand, which will develop video games based on game shows like "Deal or No Deal." Such games may seem dull at first glance, but remember that they have appeal to that "non-gamer" audience that Nintendo has staked its fortune on.
Radiohead has released the technology used to create its "House of Cards" video as an open source program, allowing people to reedit it at will, and fans are already beginning to play around with it. If nothing else, it makes good practice for aspiring animators and video makers!
The Yahoo-Microsoft battle continues: Major shareholder Legg Mason said he will support the incumbent Yahoo board rather than the replacement board nominated by Carl Icahn. This is considered a major blow to the Icahn/Microsoft cause. Like we said before, untold numbers of jobs are at stake with this, so stay tuned.
It's always encouraging to see signs of success in the book publishing business, and Trafalgar Square, a distributor of U.K. publishers' works in the U.S., has added nine new publishing houses to its roster, covering specialties ranging from travel to dogs and horses. While this doesn't create work for writers and editors, as the books arrive in the U.S. "pre-made," it does increase need for publicists, distributors etc.