VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that its SHONEN JUMP magazine will welcome prolific manga (graphic novel) creator Tite Kubo for a series of rare in-person appearances beginning on Friday, July 25 at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Mr. Kubo is the creator of the wildly successful manga series BLEACH and ZOMBIE POWDER. and this is the first time the artist will appear at a North American convention. Both series are published domestically by VIZ Media and BLEACH is currently serialized in SHONEN JUMP Magazine. Comic-Con International is renowned as the nation’s largest comic book and science fiction event and takes place July 24-27 at the Convention Center in San Diego, CA. VIZ Media will be located in Booth 4113.
Mr. Kubo is scheduled to appear throughout Comic-Con and to provide insight regarding his past, current and future projects on SHONEN JUMP magazine’s panel discussion and to further greet fans at VIZ Media’s booth and sign autographs twice on Saturday, July 26. Details will be issued shortly as times are still to be determined, but fans are also encouraged to regularly check http://www.shonenjump.com for updates.
Tite Kubo made his debut in 1999 with ZOMBIEPOWDER., a four-volume series serialized in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump until 2000. His second series, BLEACH, firmly established Mr. Kubo as major manga talent. Beginning its serialization in 2001, BLEACH remains a mainstay in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump and has spawned more than 300 chapters to-date. BLEACH was further named a winner of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 2005. Published domestically by VIZ Media, BLEACH manga volumes have sold over 1.2 million copies to-date in the United States and the series is serialized monthly in SHONEN JUMP magazine. The title was further developed into a popular animated series that is distributed domestically by VIZ Media and seen weekly by millions on Cartoon Network.
Mr. Kubo begins his appearances on Friday evening at 8 p.m., when he is scheduled to make opening remarks at VIZ Media’s theatrical screening of the first BLEACH feature film, BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY, scheduled to take place in a theatre in downtown San Diego. Seating is limited and convention attendees are encouraged to stop by the VIZ Media booth prior to the event to secure tickets, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
BLEACH, rated T for Teens, follows the adventures of Ichigo, a fifteen-year-old student with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow-a malevolent lost soul-Ichigo encounters Rukia, a Soul Reaper, and inadvertently absorbs her powers. Now, he’s dedicating his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace. The pair encounters plenty of action as they investigate an intriguing range of spiritual mysteries and frequently run into all manner of malevolent and usually violent spirits and demons that are reluctant to return to their own world peacefully.
‘VIZ Media and SHONEN JUMP magazine are privileged and extremely excited to welcome Tite Kubo to the 2008 Comic-Con International,’ says Marc Weidenbaum, Editor-in-Chief of Shonen Jump Magazine and Vice President, Original Publishing, at VIZ. ‘His BLEACH and ZOMBIEPOWDER. manga series have set new benchmarks in the field. BLEACH holds the attention of millions of fans internationally, and we look forward to offering those fans this very rare opportunity to interact with him personally. This is an incredibly rare situation when the manga creator of a weekly-serialized title is taking time apart from his busy work to visit with his fans outside Japan. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate SHONEN JUMP’s 5th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of Weekly Shonen Jump, the Japanese magazine in which BLEACH is originally serialized. The enormous audience of manga fans at Comic-Con this year will truly have a hero around whom to rally.’
Ten lucky winners of a contest held by VIZ Media’s parent company Shueisha, Inc., are also being flown from Japan to attend the Comic-Con Festivities as ambassadors from Shueisha and will participate in welcoming Mr. Kubo. Fans are encouraged to support BLEACH Day (Saturday) in their best BLEACH gear and will even have the opportunity to win great prizes if spotted in official BLEACH attire.