San Francisco, CA – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies , has announced exciting expanded coverage for its innovative shojo magazine, SHOJO BEAT, beginning with the January 2007 issue which hits retail shelves today. Building on the growing popularity of comics aimed at female readers, SHOJO BEAT has emerged as the preeminent monthly shojo manga anthology in North America.
In the January 2007 issue, SHOJO BEAT will launch a fresh page design that includes vivid new color pallets and fonts and the debut of a new mascot, Beat Girl , who will be featured on the cover. Beat Girl will be the illustrated spokesperson for the magazine, and each month a different artist will offer a rendition of her for that issue. VIZ Media will kick off an ongoing contest throughout 2007 for readers to draw their own Beat Girl with the winner to be announced at year's end and have their winning drawing featured in a future issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine.
A new Girl Hero column will also begin spotlighting real women doing a variety of selfless and charitable works for other people and help inspire readers. The January Girl Hero feature will focus on a 16-year-old manga and anime fan named Kiara La-Shray Saucer, from Albany, California, who helps underprivileged women in her community by collecting business suits for women getting ready for job interviews to help them 'dress for success' in the workplace. A first-ever SHOJO BEAT fashion shoot will also be included for January, with six pages of fun and stylish wardrobe ideas for the new year. More fashion shoots will follow in future issues.
Also in January, look for expanded sections like Fashion & Beauty , which includes DIY projects and a "High Style, Low Budget" feature, and Culture & Trends , a roundup of stories about the latest in art, music and movies both in Japan in the US. The SB & You section consolidates popular features like Drawing With Yuu (a manga lesson by renowned manga artist Yuu Watase), reader letters, interactive contests and submitted fan art. These are all in addition to the popular shojo manga titles serialized each month.
The issue is rounded out with a contest to win a special pink Nintendo DS Lite and the inclusion of a unique 2007 SHOJO BEAT calendar that showcases art from the magazine's serialized manga series including VAMPIRE KNIGHT, ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, NANA and the magazine's newest shojo manga title, BACKSTAGE PRINCE.
"The shojo phenomenon continues to spread among readers of all ages throughout North America and VIZ Media is pleased to be at the forefront with SHOJO BEAT Magazine and a vast library of acclaimed shojo manga titles," says new SHOJO BEAT Editor-In-Chief Marc Weidenbaum. "The debut of our Beat Girl spokesperson and several new columns including Girl Hero will further develop the publication's personality. We are committed to reflecting what our readers want to see in the magazine and keeping the ever-unique SHOJO BEAT one of the most fun and compelling publications around."