Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC -- the largest publisher of science fiction in the world -- has formed a new manga imprint with Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC. Seven Seas, founded in 2004, publishes manga, manga-inspired novels, illustrated juvenile fiction, and more, and is one of the only publishers that produces original manga content in the US.
The new Tor/Seven Seas imprint will showcase the efforts of both companies working together to jointly acquire and co-publish some of Japan's best-selling and most exciting manga series, light novels, and other fiction. Beginning with books scheduled for publication in early 2008, Tor will also be distributing new Seven Seas titles every month, under the Seven Seas imprint.
Through its relationship with Seven Seas, Tor makes an exciting entrance into the world of manga publishing; manga, the Japanese version of comic books, is a publishing phenomenon that, in 2006, represented a $4.4 billion market in Japan and a $175-200 million market in the US. The distribution and publication of select Seven Seas titles will also give Tor an opportunity to become a flagship publisher of "light novels," a type of book new to American manga and genre-fiction fans. The light novel launch will feature Ballad of a Shinigami, Pita-Ten, and Strawberry Panic, and will debut in March 2008.
In August 2008, Tor and Seven Seas will publish their first collaborative venture under the Tor/Seven Seas imprint, the manga Afro Samurai, written and illustrated by Takashi Okazaki. Afro Samurai-created in Japan but releasing here in the US for the first time-was the basis for the popular Spike TV anime series that premiered in 2007 and featured the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and Kelly Hu. The publication of Afro Samurai will kick off a multi-platform promotional campaign, including an Afro Samurai video game by Namco and the launch of Spike TV's second Afro Samurai season, both slated for fall 2008.