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Dark Horse mangas up

14/06/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Dark Horse Comics to publish Harlequin novels in manga format.

Harlequin has announced a content licensing agreement with Dark Horse, which will see the comics publisher release Harlequin books in manga format in the United States, Canada, U.K. and Australia.

Under the agreement, Dark Horse will publish manga adaptations of six Harlequin titles under the Harlequin Ginger Blossom banner. Harlequin Ginger Blossom will be divided into two color-coded lines - a "pink" line, which is aimed at younger readers, and a "violet" line, intended for more sophisticated readers. The agreement is a six-book deal - three books for each line - with a title from each line arriving approximately every three months.

"We are delighted to be working with a company of Dark Horse's creativity on this new venture," stated Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of Harlequin. " Harlequin romances are timeless, and this partnership allows us to bring our compelling editorial to a younger readership in a format that they find relevant."

Since 1998, under a licensing arrangement with Harlequin, Ohzora Publishing Company, a creator of manga titles for women, has published manga versions of over 250 Harlequin titles in Japan.

Dark Horse will publish the first two North American Harlequin manga titles -- Harlequin Ginger Blossom: A Girl in a Million written by Betty Neels with art by Kako Itoh, and Harlequin Ginger Blossom: Response written by Penny Jordan with art by Takako Hashimoto - in December 2005.

" Harlequin's strength is creating stories that women of all ages find engaging," said Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President, New Business Development and Strategy. " Dark Horse recognizes that there is vast potential for the growth of manga in North America. At the same time, there is currently no manga for young women that captures the richness of the Harlequin experience. We believe this partnership leverages both these opportunities."

"We're thrilled to be partnered with Harlequin - a publisher long renowned for bringing enriching reading experiences to millions of people," commented Anita Nelson, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Dark Horse. "Harlequin Ginger Blossom is a romantic step above much of the cookie-cutter manga hitting the shelves today. As a pioneer in introducing manga to North America, Dark Horse is committed to bringing truly unique editorial such as this to a new audience."

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