Dark Horse editor Tim Ervin hosted his usual catch-all panel about the company's various manga titles Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego. "I don't really have anything planned for this," Ervin said cheerfully. "I just yabber on for about 15 minutes, then I take questions, then I bribe you all to like Dark Horse manga by giving away free stuff."
Ervin apologized in advance for having few specific announcements. "We really do have a lot of cool stuff in the pipeline, but contracts haven't been signed, I just can't talk about a lot of it."
However, Ervin did have a few specific things to talk about. He was very pleased about the success of "Hellsing," saying the book deserved to do very well despite its taboo and often bloody subject matter. "It's one of my favorite titles right now,"
Ervin also said that Dark Horse plans to eventually reprint the entire run of "Oh! My Goddess" and "Gunsmith Cats," digest-style. "My philosophy is to try to leave it as intact as possible," Ervin said. "We want to do them Japanese style, digest-sized, right to left. After asking audiences at conventions and panels like this over and over, what we hear is that this is the format people want. This audience is not the same audience as for American comics. They want it as authentic as possible. My goal is to take a Japanese manga digest into our production department and say, 'make it look like this.' I want to stop asking retouch artists to cut and paste, flip-flop some panels, and so on. You get stuff like a samurai holding his sword in the wrong hand, stuff like that -- people get really offended by that.
"And I don't want people to be offended," Erwin said, smiling. "I want everybody to be happy. So like single-barrel malt whiskey, we're taking our time and getting it right."