Choice cuts

July 23, 2008

I meant to mention it yesterday, but ICv2 has a thorough, three-part interview with Jason Hoffs, Amblin-Dreamworks-Sony veteran who’s taken the helm of Viz Productions, the manga publisher’s new film arm. There are some really good bits.

From part one:

“Where I think manga is truly extraordinary (and I’m a fan, but a newcomer to your world–I’m not quite an otaku) is the level of characterization, which I think is exceptional. It typically exceeds the level of characterization, and in a way, sophistication, of many American graphic novels. I suspect one of the reasons for that is that these properties are initially serialized in magazines like Shonen Jump and in order for them to continue their readership they need to have these heightened, addictive characterizations.”

From part two:

“What I’m also finding at the studio level is that the executives that are 35 and under, or maybe more 32 and under, are very familiar with manga. The really young executives that are just coming up, and some of the agents too, they’re growing up with manga to some degree with a level of comfort and familiarity that almost equals their experience with American comics and graphic novels. At the chairman and head of production level, those people still need to be educated somewhat. If someone’s in their mid-50s, they’re unlikely to be an otaku.”

From part three:

“There are thousands of different manga titles that our corporate parents have published. I’m sure this is one of the largest pools of largely untapped–at least in the U.S.–international properties that exists in the world.”