News 1: Tokyopop named four of their new licenses for Fall/Winter 2008. Two are shounen and the other two are shoujo. For more licenses we’ll have to wait till the end of April/start of May, when Carlsen will announce their new acquisitions and Tokyopop the rest.

Shounen
Love Trouble by Saki Hasemi & Kentaro Yabuki (8 Volumes & Ongoing)
Claymore by Norihiro Yagi (14 Volumes & Ongoing)

Shoujo
Hell Girl by Miyuki Etoo (7 Volumes & Ongoing)
Nagatachou Strawberry by Mayu Sakai (5 Volumes & Complete)

News 2: Comixene in cooperation with Comics Info and comic.de recently published the result of their “Comic of the Year Award 2007”. A jury consisting of experts, critics and journalists decided on the Top 5, as shown below:

1. Jiro Taniguchi: Harukana Machi-E(Carlsen)
2. Paul Hornschemeier: Komm zurück, Mutter (Carlsen)
3. Alfred & Oliver Ka: Warum ich Pater Pierre getötet habe (Carlsen)
3. Pierre Christin & André Juillard: Lenas Reise (Carlsen)
3. Jiro Taniguchi: Quest for the Missing Girl (Schreiber & Leser)
4. Jiro Taniguchi: Summit of the Gods (Schreiber & Leser)
5. Régis Loisel & Tripp: Das Nest 1 (Carlsen)
(I only translated the Jiro Taniguchi book names)

News 3: Heyne Manga has raised their manga prices for several series, including Air Gear, Mamotte! Lollipop (6.50€ ($10.28) to 6.95€ ($10.99)), and Kagetora and Samurai Deeper Kyo (6.00€ ($9.49) to 6.50€ ($10.28)). Specific reasons for the price increase were not disclosed, but I guess it has to do with higher electricity fees, oil prices and maybe the strong euro. Currently price increases for other manga are not planned; future “cost adaptations” aren’t ruled out (Exchange rate used: 1.00 € = 1.5815).

With the recent price rise and the weak dollar, it is now cheaper for Germans to purchase the American versions of Air Gear, Mammotte! Lollipop and Kagetora. It’s only 4 cents for those three, but just a few months ago American versions were freaking expensive compared to German ones; now the situation has reversed. For Samurai Deeper Kyo a bigger difference between the German Samurai Deeper Kyo and the English pendant exists, 29 cents.

(Note that Germans don’t have to pay for shipping costs if they buy American books via amazon)

News 4: Heyne didn’t only increase their prices, but paused the publication for Gacha Gacha, Yagyu Ninpo Cho and Life indefinitely. There are alsorumours that even Samurai Deeper Kyo will probably get a longer time-out. Again no specific reasons were stated, but bad sales figure def. were pivotal to come to this decision.