VIZ Media Executive Editor Fawn Lau announced at Emerald City Comic Con last weekend that the company will launch a new line of original graphic novels by "manga-inspired" creators, with the first volumes planned for 2020.   The company has been localizing Japanese material for Western readers for decades, has begun creating new content more recently, and now will plunge into the growing original graphic novel market with this line of originals.

At one time, there was a sharp divide between U.S. companies primarily focused on localizing Japanese content and those also publishing manga-style works by creators from other countries (see the VIZ-Tokyopop differences of the aughts).  With VIZ now crossing that line, the company is indicating that it is embracing rather than distancing itself from new works by non-Japanese creators influenced by manga.

The company is beginning portfolio reviews at events, and will begin accepting online submissions later this year, according to the announcement.