An ICv2 Release.  ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga will be held at the Javits Center in New York City on December 6th in association with the New York Anime Festival, which begins the next day.  These are the panelists currently booked for the event.  More are being added regularly, and this page will be updated when they are.  For more information on the Conference, see 'The ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga.'


1:00 p.m.

ICv2 White Paper -- Anime and Manga 

ICv2 will take you inside the latest North American trends in anime and manga, with a look ahead to 2008.  


Presented by Milton Griepp, President, ICv2

Milton Griepp is the founder and President of ICv2, since 2001 the undisputed industry authority on the manga and anime business.  He is a 30-year veteran of the pop culture business, and has managed companies that have sold over $1 billion in retail value of pop culture products as CEO of Capital City Distribution and Next Planet Over.



1:45 p.m. 

Marketing to the Otaku Generation

The otaku generation makes its entertainment and purchasing decisions in ways that traditional marketing often miss.  Panelists discuss the key roles of the Internet, the ways that brands are built in specialty retailers, and how break-out hits reach across distribution channels and product categories to become true mass brands.   


Co-Moderator--Milton Griepp--President, ICv2


Co-Moderator--Cliff Annicelli--Editor, Playthings Magazine

Cliff Annicelli has watched, written about and worried over the successes and failures of the ever-changing, always unpredictable U.S.

toy business for the better part of 14 years. Since 2005, he has served as Editor of Playthings Magazine, the 104-year-old 'bible' of the toy business, and its growing family of ancillary electronic products that cover everything from children's toys, games and puzzles to the latest collectibles firing up the imaginations of fans still proudly young at heart.


Liza Coppola--Sr. Vice President, VIZ Media

Liza Coppola joined VIZ in 2002 and now has responsibility for all marketing for the company.  Prior to VIZ, Coppola spent six years in managerial roles at the Walt Disney Company, overseeing marketing for Disney animation properties.  As VP Marketing at GS Entertainment Group, she managed marketing for various media properties.  She is a 20 year veteran of the publishing and entertainment industry, with stints at UC Press, Random House, and HarperCollins.


Gen Fukunaga--President and CEO, FUNimation

Since May 2005 Gen Fukunaga has been President and CEO of FUNimation Entertainment, one of the nation's leading brand management and independent home entertainment companies. Prior to FUNimation, he held positions with Tandem Computers, Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) and IBM. Fukunaga received his bachelor's and master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Columbia University.


Rich Johnson--Co-Publishing Director, Yen Press


Rich Johnson recently served as VP of Book Trade Sales for DC Comics where he lead the charge in establishing graphic novels in the bookstore market. Johnson has also been a driving force in institutionalizing graphic novels in the library market, partnering with the American Library Association and initiating talks to create a Dewey Decimal number for graphic novels.


Al Kahn -- Chairman and CEO, 4Kids Entertainment


Al Kahn joined Leisure Concepts, Inc. (predecessor to 4Kids Entertainment's licensing division) in 1988 and is the architect of its expansion into a vertically integrated group of companies collectively known as 4Kids Entertainment. He is a leading figure in the licensing industry, responsible for many of its biggest hits, including Cabbage Patch Kids, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! In June 2005, Kahn was inducted into the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) Murray Altchuler Licensing Hall of Fame.


Christopher Macdonald -- Editor in Chief, Anime News Network


Editor; Publisher, Protoculture Addicts

A network engineer by trade, Christopher Macdonald joined Anime News Network in 2001 when the small Website was just a hobby for its maintainers. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest and most respected anime Websites in the world, and in 2004 it acquired the anime magazine, Protoculture Addicts.  Macdonald oversees day-to-day management of the Website and magazine and directs the editorial focus of both.


Lawrence Neves--Editorial Director, Pokemon USA


Lawrence Neves is a seasoned editorial veteran, with 10 years as editor at GamePro magazine and more than five years with Pokemon. Besides duties as the editorial director for the Pokemon Website, he is author of several videogame-related books, a producer for the Pokemon animated TV series and movies, and also lists songwriting credits for the Pokemon 10th Anniversary theme song on his resume.  He is the creator and editor-in-chief of the Pokemon Fan magazine.


3:00 p.m. 

Girls--The Other Half of the Otaku Generation

Japanese pop culture is one of the fastest-growing categories of entertainment for teen and tween girls.  High profile panelists discuss the ways that anime and manga properties are building loyal female consumers for books, programming and home video, and licensed products.  


Moderator--Larissa Faw, Editor, Youth Markets Alert


Larissa Faw is the editor of Youth Markets Alert, a bi-monthly business journal that tracks trends among kids and teens. Her background includes contributing to local newspapers in North Carolina and Oregon, and stints involving television and film production for a variety of projects including Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill.




Lillian Diaz-Przybyl --Senior Editor for Original Global Manga Development, Tokyopop


Thanks to watching Sailor Moon on television when she was in high school, it was a dream of Lillian Diaz-Przybyl's to become a manga editor. She was hired by Tokyopop in 2004 and is currently heavily involved with acquisitions and licensing for global manga development. Diaz-Przybyl has a degree in Japanese and English literature from Williams College.



Elizabeth Kawasaki -- Editorial Director, VIZ Media


Elizabeth Kawasaki has worked for VIZ Media since 2003. Currently, she is an editorial director. Prior to joining VIZ, she worked in various print, online and broadcast entertainment media.






Kurt Hassler--Co-Publisher, Yen Press


Kurt Hassler has been in the bookselling industry for 16 years, six of which as the Graphic Novel buyer for Borders Group. Hassler helped facilitate the expansion of the manga market in the States at Borders, is a bestselling manga author, and in 2006, ICv2 named him the Most Powerful Person In American Manga Publishing.



Dallas Middaugh--Associate Publisher, Del Rey Manga
Dallas Middaugh is the associate publisher for Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Random House. He joined the company in 2003 and helped to orchestrate the launch of the Del Rey Manga line. Middaugh has been in the entertainment publishing industry for twelve years, having worked for Viz Media and Prima Games.


Jill Snider--Senior Brand Manager, FUNimation


Jill Snider started her career in television with the FOX News Channel in Dallas, Texas.  She went on to manage broadcast relations for HIT Entertainment for brands such as Barney, Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina.  Jill has been at FUNimation since 2004 as a senior brand manager and also manages broadcast sales placing programs with networks such as Cartoon Network, STARZ and IFC.


Nola Thacker--Librarian, Westhampton Free Library

Nola Thacker has been a children's book editor, written over fifty middle-grade and young adult novels and is resident otaku librarian at Westhampton Free Library in New York.  When not online blogging, downloading or doing content review for the library's graphic novel and anime collections, she relies on the wisdom generously supplied  by the library's Club Manga to keep her informed.


4:00 p.m.

Technology and the Otaku -- The New Media Frontier

The delivery of anime and manga to the tech-savvy otaku generation is in the early stages of a massive shift to digital delivery via on-demand programming, computers, and cellphones.  How will the markets for consumer products and digital delivery interact in that future environment?  Panelists from companies on the cutting edge discuss.


Moderator--Milton Griepp, President, ICv2


Peter Heumiller--VP of Content Development, Comcast

Peter Heumiller is VP of Content Development for Comcast's Select on Demand non-linear programming incubator. In this role he oversees the development of programming and new virtual non-linear channels for Comcast. He has focused on developing programming for all emerging multiple platforms and pursuing content sponsorships with leading publishers, advertisers and agencies. Heumiller helped to develop Anime Selects and Karaoke On Demand.


Daniel Marks­­--Sr. VP of Strategy and Business Development, Viz Media


Daniel Marks has more than 15 years leadership experience in multi-national Japanese and American corporations and has been with Viz Media for seven of those years managing international business and is now overseeing business development and strategy. Daniel received an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in History from Johns Hopkins University.  He is fluent in Japanese.



John Nee--Senior VP of Business Development, DC Comics

John Nee is Senior VP of Business Development and oversees the Wildstorm and CMX imprints at DC Comics. In 2004, he spearheaded the launch of CMX, DC's manga imprint, and in 2007 was instrumental in securing DC's investment in Flex Comix, a newly established company for manga production and digital/print distribution in Japan. In addition to expanding DC's core business, Nee provides leadership in international publishing, videogame production and new media initiatives.


Jeremy Ross--Director of New Product Development, Tokyopop


Jeremy Ross is responsible for developing a wide variety of digital and analog manga products at Tokyopop. Jeremy regularly speaks at schools with sequential art and illustration programs and created and taught a week-long seminar about how to make manga at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and he has bachelor's degree in 'The Creative Process' from Brown University and an MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York.




Click here for the New York Anime Festival Website


Click here to be taken directly to the registration page.


VIZ Media, LLC. Playthings Magazine, and Publishers Weekly are sponsors of the ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga.


{IMAGE_17} VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, 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 Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.


{IMAGE_18} Playthings Magazine

Founded in 1903, Playthings Magazine will celebrate 105 years of covering the children's toy industry in 2008.  We have a rich and vivid tradition of editorial coverage. and our e-newsletter, Playthings EXTRA offer an additional reach.  Through our Website and e-newsletter we cover breaking news, announcements and events relating to the toy industry.


{IMAGE_19}Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is the leading publication serving all segments involved in the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats.  It is the prime source of comprehensive news and provides unique industry data including an annotated bestseller list, hot deals and retail news.  A 134-year old magazine -- with over 100,000 dedicated readers -- PW is recognized as the leading publication for international and U.S. book publishing needs. PW's Website, is packed with great information from the hottest industry news to book reviews to the popular e-newsletters and much more.


New York Anime Festival and New York Comic Con are managed by Reed Exhibitions (RX), the world's largest organizer of business-to-business events, a division of Reed Elsevier plc.  Each year Reed events assemble over 90,000 suppliers and over 5 million buyers from around the world.  BookExpo America is one of many Reed Elsevier properties within the Reed Global Book Publishing Network, whose trade events include the Asia International Book Fair, London International Book Fair, Salon du Livre:  Paris Book Fair, Tokyo International Book Fair and BookExpo Canada, and whose Reed Business Information (RBI) properties include Publishers Weekly, Variety Magazine, Playthings, Video Business, Library Journal, and School Library Journal.