This year's C2E2 conference, held at Chicago’s McCormack Place, April 19-23, had a greater manga presence than ever before. Tokyopop continued its North American revival and along with Viz Media and Kodansha Comics held panels and announced plans for new titles and deluxe reprints of classic manga.
The biggest announcement came from Kodansha Comics which will publish a new edition of Yukito Kishiro's classic cyberpunk manga Battle Angel Alita. The new edition will launch in time for the holidays and well ahead of the live-action movie based on the series, Alita: Battle Angel, which will premiere in July 2018.
While Kodansha has been publishing the sequel, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, the original series (which was first published by Viz) has been out of print for some time. Battle Angel Alita will be published as two-in-one hardcover volumes with a larger trim size than standard manga; because the original series was nine volumes long, the fifth omnibus volume will include new bonus content.
Kodansha also announced a new hardcover, full-color edition of Attack on Titan: No Regrets, a spinoff of its global bestseller Attack on Titan series that will focus on two fan-favorite characters, Captain Levi and Erwin Smith. The manga, which has already been published in two black and white volumes, tells the story of how Levi went from a criminal to a soldier and how the two met. The complete story will be contained in a single 400-page volume.
Viz Media had a number of new manga announcements including Splatoon (based on the video game); Shiver, by horror master Junji Ito; and an omnibus edition of wildly popular Death Note series that will bind up all 12 volumes of the original series into a single monster paperback. Viz also announced picture-book adaptations of Hayao Miyazake's Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke, a Tokyo Ghoul artbook, a Hello Kitty coloring book, and The Art of My Little Pony: The Movie.
Tokyopop shut down its U.S. operations in 2011, but the publisher, which continued publishing in Europe, has been slowly returning to the North American manga marketplace. At the Tokyopop panel, CEO Stu Levy announced he will publish Grimm's Manga, a manga-style collection of Grimm's fairy tales that was drawn by a Japanese artist living in Germany. The stories were published as two volumes by Tokyopop Germany and will be compiled into a single collector's edition volume for publication in English. The book is due out in November 2017.
Tokyopop is also publishing manga based on the Disney movie and animated series Descendants. Tokyopop commissioned the art for Descendants, as well as its recently released Beauty and the Beast manga, from artists in Japan. Levy said the plan was to release the first Descendants story as three volumes, with the first volume launching in June, and then as a single paperback volume, with more stories to come
And the star of the C2E2 Tokyopop booth was YouTube manga sensation Sophie Chan, an Iraqi-Canadian artist whose Ocean of Secrets was discovered on Pop Comics, the Tokyopop self-publishing portal.