Exploring Manga: Publishers Picks For Must-Read Titles – New York Comic Con 2023

ANN’s coverage of New York Comic Con 2023 sponsored by Ize Press!

At New York Comic Con 2023, New York City librarian and Manga in Libraries author Jillian Rudes brought together some of the most prominent manga publishers in the industry to give their best manga recommendations. Anime News Network had the opportunity to hear from Ben Applegate (director of publishing services at Penguin Random House), John D’Esposito (publishing sales manager at Viz Media), and Mark de Vera (sales and marketing director at Yen Press) to sum up their best manga recommendations from their companies in just one minute for each category.

Here are their picks based on category:

Slice of Life

Applegate: Sketchy by Hirochi Maki
de Vera: Bocchi the Rock! by Aki Hamazi
D’Esposito: Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda


Applegate: Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki
de Vera: Kiss the Scars of the Girls by Aya Haruhana
D’Esposito: GIVEN by Natsuki Kizu


Applegate: Medalist by TSURUMAIKADA
de Vera: Run on Your New Legs by Wataru Midori
D’Esposito: Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate


Applegate: Witch Hat Atelier Kitchen by Hiromi Sato and Kamome Shirahama
de Vera: Delicious in Dungeon by Ryōko Kui
D’Esposito: One Piece: Shokugeki no Sanji by Yūto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki, Yuki Morisaki, & Eiichiro Oda


For The Spooky Season

Applegate: Gachiakuta by Kei Urana & Hideyoshi Ando
de Vera: The Illustrated Guide to Monster Girls by Suzu Akeko
D’Esposito: #DRCL midnight children by Shin’ichi Sakamoto


Applegate: The Moon on a Rainy Night by Kuzushiro
de Vera: Fifteen Minutes Before We Really Date by Perico
D’Esposito: Neighborhood Story by Ai Yazawa (Creator of NANA)

The Fighting Spirit (a character with determination that will fight anyone)

Applegate: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Manga by Koma Warita (author), ZAG (creator), Toei Animation, and Riku Tsuchida (illustrator)
de Vera: Shy by Bukimi Miki
D’Esposito: SPY x FAMILY by Tatsuya Endō


Applegate: I Got Reincarnated in a (BL) World of Big (Man) Boobs by Tsukiji Nao
de Vera: The Other World’s Books Depend on the Bean Counter by Yatsuki Wakatsu (author) and Kazuki Irodori (artist)
D’Esposito: Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

The panel was also used to promote the different ways you can consume this content through the distributors’ specific websites and apps. Finally, the panel concluded with a representative of Scholastic appearing on stage to announce the company’s reimagined version of Osamu Tezuka‘s Unico manga, Unico: Awakening. The six-volume release will include redrawn art with similar story beats. Scholastic will release the first volume in 2024.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. Yen Press, BookWalker Global, and J-Novel Club are subsidiaries of KWE.

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