First Book in Newly Formed Partnership, Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins, Will Launch in December 2008
NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2008 – Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, in collaboration with Cartoon Network Enterprises, today announced a new manga publishing partnership that will launch with original manga based on two of Cartoon Network’s most successful series: Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Ben 10 Alien Force. This announcement marks the first partnership between Cartoon Network and the Random House Publishing Group’s manga imprint.
Christina Miller, vice president, Cartoon Network Enterprises says, “Cartoon Network is the home to many of the leading brands, and manga and film-comics are natural extensions of our rich and immersive content. As one of the category’s best publishers, Del Rey Manga will bring these stories to life, starting with the incredibly successful Bakugan later this year.”
The first book published under the new partnership will be released in December 2008. Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins, incorporates full-color stills from the animated show in a manga-style graphic novel format. A second volume will follow in March 2009. As one of the hottest boys properties currently in the market, Bakugan, has been a hit in the US since it first aired on Cartoon Network in February of this year. A character-rich animated series aimed at boys 6-11, Bakugan follows the adventures of Dan and his fellow Battle Brawlers as they use strategy and skill to unleash their Bakugan power and save Vestroia and Earth from destruction.
Ben 10 Alien Force: Ben 10 Returns, the first title for the hit Cartoon Network franchise, will be published in April 2009 and follows the same format, drawing art directly from the cartoon itself. The top-rated Ben 10 Alien Force show chronicles the adventures of everyone’s favorite hero, Ben Tennyson. Armed with the Omnitrix, which gives him the ability to transform into different alien superheroes, Ben , his cousin Gwen and former foe-now-friend Kevin Levin are on a mission to defeat the evil DNALIENS and save the Earth.
Original black-and-white, manga-style graphic novels based on Bakugan and Ben 10 Alien Force will release in Summer 2009 and Fall 2009, respectively.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Cartoon Network. Fan favorites Bakugan and Ben 10 Alien Force are beautifully crafted animated series that lend themselves well to this unique artistic form of manga,” says Mutsumi Miyazaki, director of licensing and acquisitions for Del Rey Manga. “Our partnership with Cartoon Network will provide a new and exciting opportunity for Del Rey Manga as we further expand our publishing program.”
ABOUT CARTOON NETWORK ENTERPRISES:
Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE), the global branding and merchandising arm of Cartoon Network, is charged with building consumer product franchises for Cartoon Network, its brands and characters from the channel’s growing library of award-winning original programming. CNE also works to secure and support long-term licensee partnerships across all key merchandising categories. The division currently offers consumer product programs for an array animation franchises including Ben 10, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Chowder, The Secret Saturdays, The Powerpuff Girls, [adult swim] and more, as well as serves as licensing agent for Nelvana Enterprises and Spin Master’s Bakugan brand.
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com), currently seen in more than 91 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service offering the best in original, acquired and classic animated entertainment for kids and families. Overnight from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. (ET, PT), Cartoon Network shares its channel space with Adult Swim, a late-night destination showcasing original and acquired animation for young adults 18-34.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
ABOUT DEL REY MANGA:
Del Rey Books (http://www.delreybooks.com) was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading international media companies. In 2004 it expanded by launching Del Rey Manga (www.delreymanga.com), which has grown to be a major force in the U.S. graphic-novel field. Bestselling titles include Tsubasa, Negima, xxxHolic, and The Wallflower.