ICv2 has learned that American manga publishers are planning to issue over 1,000 English language manga volumes in 2004. The pace of manga publishing has picked up as we enter the spring and summer season and should reach a crescendo by the fall.
Tokyopop VP_Sales Steve Kleckner confirmed that the company plans on releasing around 450 volumes in 2004, leaving no doubt that it will remain the American publisher releasing the greatest number of manga titles this year, though Viz appears to be closing the gap -- Viz VP-Marketing Liza Coppola told ICv2 that Viz will release around 350 manga volumes this year. Add in ADV's projected total of 115 for this year (see 'ADV Ramps Up Manga Publishing'), and we are within striking distance of 1000.
Although the other major Ameican manga publishers including Dark Horse, Digital Manga, Central Park Media, Broccoli Books, Del Rey, Cocoro, Ironcat and ibooks typically concentrate their efforts on fewer titles, their collective output should be more than enough to put the total number of releases for 2004 well past the 1,000 mark. With DC Comics (see 'DC To Launch Manga Imprint') and perhaps Marvel poised to enter the manga fray, the situation could really heat up over the next year.