Viz Media and Sanrio Announce Publishing Deal to Develop Original Hello Kitty Graphic Novels

Viz Media - Sanrio - Hello Kitty - SDCC - HeaderPop Culture Icon Hello Kitty® And Her Friends Will Debut In Two VIZ Kids Offerings

Viz Media, LLC (Viz Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga, graphic novels and anime in North America, has announced a new publishing deal with Sanrio, Inc., the global lifestyle brand and parent company of pop icon Hello Kitty®, to develop a series of original graphic novels, and a special single-volume comic featuring a limited-edition Hello Kitty design.

The single-volume Hello Kitty® comic is scheduled to debut at the 2013 Comic-Con Show in San Diego with a Comic-Con exclusive cover by Eisner-nominated artist Jacob Chabot. The comic will feature art by Victoria Maderna, Ian McGinty and Chabot. The main graphic novel series is scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2013 with Here We Go!, a collection of comic stories about Hello Kitty’s travels. Both offerings will be rated ‘A’ for All Ages, and will be published under the company’s VIZ Kids imprint. Viz Media previously teamed with Sanrio and video game company CAPCOM to develop a pair of fun STREET FIGHTER® X Sanrio books that were released in November 2012.

HELLO KITTY®: HERE WE GO! • MSRP: $7.99 US / $9.99 CAN • Available Fall 2013
Hello Kitty has places to be and friends to meet! Join her (or Hello Kitty) as she explores an underground realm, chases an unsavory cake thief around the world, climbs the Himalayas, travels back in time, and discovers that sometimes, the best place to get away from it all is between the pages of a good book.

HELLO KITTY® FASHION MUSIC WONDERLAND • MSRP: $6.99 US / $7.99 CAN • Available Summer 2013
It’s Hello Kitty as you’ve never seen her, in stories filled with fashion, music and adventure!

Hello Kitty - Jacob Chabot - Viz Media - Sanrio - SDCC - Comic-ConSanrio® is the global company behind classic iconic characters Hello Kitty®, Little Twin Stars®, My Melody®, and many more. Sanrio® was founded in the 1960′s in Japan by Shintaro Tsuji, whose simple dream of bringing smiles to people’s faces grew into the brand’s “small gift, big smile” philosophy. This philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of products bearing the likeness of endearing characters that have helped to skyrocket the brand into a $5 billion- a-year business. Sanrio® recently acquired the classic Mr. Men Little Miss™ brand which also has graphic novels published by Viz Media.

“Sanrio and Hello Kitty are synonymous with the very essence of pop culture, and we’re very excited to have Hello Kitty as part of the VIZ Kids family of titles,” says Beth Kawasaki, Viz Media Senior Editorial Director. “The new wordless comic and graphic novel series will appeal to Hello Kitty fans of all ages. Viz Media is having a blast creating the fun new original series and we can’t wait for everyone to see the books.”

For more information on VIZ Kids graphic novels and manga, please visit VIZKids.com.

About Sanrio
Sanrio, best known for global icon Hello Kitty and home to many endearing characters including Chococat, My Melody, and Keroppi, is a worldwide lifestyle brand founded on the “small gift, big smile®” philosophy — that a small gift can bring happiness and friendship to people of all ages. For over 50 years, this philosophy has served as the inspiration for the broad spectrum of unique Sanrio products and experiences. Today, more than 50,000 Sanrio-branded items are available in over 70 countries and upwards of 12,000 U.S. locations including department, specialty, national chain stores and over 100 Sanrio boutiques. For more information, please visit www.sanrio.com and www.facebook.com/hellokitty.

About Viz Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Viz Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha, Inc., Shogakukan, Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., Viz Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, Viz Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. Viz Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.

via Viz Media Press Release

Shonen Jump Trivia Contest Offers Winner Two Tickets to SDCC 2012

VIZ Media is holding a Shonen Jump Alpha Trivia Contest to win two passes to San Diego Comic-Con 2012. The contest is only open to legal residents of the United States and the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 13 or older and located in the U.S. or Canada at the time of entry. The Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59 pm PDT on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Also note that transportation to and from San Diego, accommodations, meals and other incidentals are NOT included.

To enter the Shonen Jump Alpha Trivia Contest, make sure to follow the directions and provide the requested information on the entry form. Only individuals who answer all three trivia questions correctly will receive and entry into the sweepstakes. You are also limited to one entry per person, per household, and/or e-mail address. Multiple entries will be disqualified.

Grand Prize

Two tickets to San Diego Comic Con!

2nd Prize

An annual Shonen Jump Alpha Membership!

Iconic Franchise Voltron® to Hold Its First-Ever Comic-Con Panel

Voltron®, the franchise that began when the 1980s robot-themed television action series Voltron: Defender of the Universe® launched, will make its first-ever panel presentation at Comic-Con International at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 21, in the Indigo Ballroom at the Bayfront Hilton hotel.

The panel will feature entertainment and a presentation of both all-new and iconic Voltron content including original graphic novelscomic booksvideo games, Nicktoons’ highly-successful Voltron Force™ television series, and toys and merchandise in addition to other collectiblesexclusive sneak previewsnever-before-seen material and surprisesfor attendees.

Carrie Keagan, current host of VH1’Big Morning Buzz Live, lead anchor on No Good TV and known for her appearances on G4’s Attack of the Show, will moderate the hour-long event, which includes artists, producers and designers from the entire Voltron universe:

  • From THQ, Adam Affrunti, producer;
  • From World Events Productions, Jeremy Corray, Voltron Force supervising producer, and Todd Garfield, Voltron Force story editor;
  • From Nicktoons, Keith Dawkins, senior vice president and general manager of Nicktoons;
  • From Mattel, Steed Sun, entertainment brands design director, Michael Montalvo, entertainment brands design manager, and Brandon Sopinsky, entertainment brands designer;
  • From Dynamite Entertainment, Joe Rybrandt, editor, and Brandon Thomas, Voltron comic book writer;
  • From VIZ Media, Traci Todd, senior editor, and Jacob Chabot, cartoonist and illustrator for VIZ Media graphic novels

The panel’s scope highlights the transcendent nature of Voltron’s inter-galactic appeal,” says Peter Armstrong, executive producer of THQ’s forthcoming video game. “This is an epic year for Voltron fans and the Comic-Con panel is going to be a memorable event for them. It’s the perfect time for us to present the first-ever Voltron panel since this legendary robot action franchise is back right now in a very big way. We can’t wait to talk about what’s next for Voltron, and to showcase some of the best and most exclusive Voltron content for the first time.”

Following the Voltron panel presentation, an autograph session with some of the major talent and participating executives will take place in a nearby area. A giant Voltron figure will also be on-site for photo opportunities with fans and attendees.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe first blazed on to TV screens in 1984, and quickly became a top-rated animated series. It’s the tale of a galaxy plagued by chaos and evil, and the five robotic lions – piloted by a team of brave space explorers – that combine to form the mighty robot hero, Voltron®. The hit series inspired a best-selling toy line and made Voltron a pop-culture icon.

An all-new 2D/CGI animated series, Voltron Force, recently debuted in the U.S. on Nicktoons, where it enjoyed the highest-rated premiere in the network’s history. The series is scheduled to air on broadcast networks around the world in 2011.

Contributing to the Comic-Con events celebrating the return of Voltron are the following:

THQ
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. THQ and its logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc. More information about THQ and its products can be found at www.thq.com.
World Events Productions
St. Louis-based World Events Productions, Ltd. (WEP) has produced and distributed children’s animation for over 25 years. WEP is the IP holder for shows including: Voltron, Defender the of the UniverseVoltron: The Third DimensionDenver the Last DinosaurSaber Rider and the Star Sheriffsand Vytor the Starfire Champion, among others. WEP is a Koplar Communications company. WEP is represented by United Talent Agency. For more information visit www.wep.com and www.voltron.com.
Nicktoons
Nicktoons is the fastest growing kids’ network and offers programming such as NFL’s Rush Zone: Guardians of the CoreDragon Ball Z KaiFantastic Four: The World’s Greatest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored AdventuresWolverine and The X-Men and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, as well as a roster of hits that have defined kids’ and animation lovers’ TV, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Invader Zim, Danny Phantom, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius. Nicktoons currently reaches almost 58 million homes via cable, digital cable and satellite, and can be seen on Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network and Time Warner Cable. Nicktoons and all related titles and logos are property of Viacom, Inc. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.
Mattel
Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco R/C®, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2011, Mattel was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the fourth year in a row, and was also ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 31,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are “Creating the Future of Play.” For more information on Mattel’s collector offerings, visit www.facebook.com/mattycollector.
Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite Entertainment was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, Green Hornet, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Project Superpowers, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and more! Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including PROJECT SUPERPOWERS – which debuted at #4 in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005 Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%). The company has also been nominated for several industry awards, including the prestigious Eisner Award. For art and more information, please visit: www.dynamite.net. To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com.
VIZ Media
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including the popular monthly manga anthology SHONEN JUMP magazine, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and website at www.VIZ.com.
Classic Media
Classic Media, one of the world’s largest independent entertainment companies, is a leader in reinventing the classics of yesterday and creating the entertainment classics of tomorrow. The Company owns and manages a globally-recognized portfolio of well-known family and pop-culture entertainment brands, including Casper the Friendly Ghost®Where’s Waldo?®,The Lone Ranger®, Lassie®, Postman Pat®, and new global brands Tinga Tinga Tales® and Guess with Jess®. Big Idea, a member of the Classic Media family, is the leading faith-based studio and producer of children’s programming, including the best-selling animated series, VeggieTales®. More than 3,600 hours of Classic Media programming is distributed in more than 170 territories worldwide and showcased in multiple formats, including TV, film, home video, consumer products, publishing, digital, and music. Visit us athttp://classicmedia.tv.
via Press Release