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Anime Expo - NewType USA Panel Report
By Erin Kincaid
July 03, 2006
Gary Steinman (Editor-in-Chief) / Chris Johnston (Senior Editor)
The Newtype USA panel went smoothly and included some interesting discussion (at least to me). Points of interest:
Newtype USA has about 100,000 readers and is holding steady at that level.
Newtype USA tries to keep about a 50/50 ratio of original content to translated content from back issues of Newtype Japan.
There is no "schedule ? for bringing Newtype Japan articles to the USA. They try to choose past articles for translation that are relevant to what is being released in the USA at the time, but they also like to select a few "sneak peek ? type articles for shows they are sure will be interesting to North American readers.
About 75%-80% of the "spreads ? at the beginning of the magazine are direct translations of Japanese spreads, but a few are original.
Some fans wanted to know "why it costs so much ? and "why the price was raised ? recently. The response was that the price is set as low as they can set it and still remain in business. Costs discussed include license fees, staffing, cost of publication, etc.
Newtype USA does work closely with Kadokawa and Newtype Japan, as well as the licensors that want to see coverage of their material published at the best time, but the magazine is independent and does not take "mandates ? from any other company.
A female fan requested more male centerfolds in the magazine, which got a loud positive response from the other women in the room, and an equally loud negative response from the men. One male fan suggested a poll to settle the debate, in response to which he was warned the results might not be what he expected. It was pointed out by the panel that though the male to female readership ratio at the start of Newtype USA's run was about 70/30, it has been around 50/50 for quite some time. Moreover, the female readers tend to be much more vocal about what they would like to see by writing to the magazine. For this very reason, Newtype USA has been trying to include more content of interest to women, and wants to do double-sided centerfolds (one male, one female) whenever possible. Unfortunately, they are sometimes limited by the artwork made available to them.
When the audience was asked if there was any interest in having Newtype USA cover American comic books, the response was almost universally negative. The suggestion of coverage of worldwide animation (for example, from Europe) had a more positive response. "As long as it's good, ? seemed to be the caveat for that one.
English dub actor profiles will probably not return to the pages of Newtype USA, but coverage of English VAs is incorporated into regular features as much as possible.
Monica Rial will be writing articles for Newtype USA.
When asked why Newtype USA reviews and articles always tend to be positive in tone, the response was that the magazine did not see itself as being in the position of "telling readers what to like. ? By focusing on the interesting and notable features of a series, much like TV Guide, Newtype USA can allow people to form their own opinions about whether or not they would or would not be interested in it. Moreover, because much of the material is translated from Newtype Japan, keeping a consistent voice throughout the magazine is a concern. Since Newtype Japan material tends to be positive, that means the original Newtype USA content needs to be fairly positive as well to keep the tone consistent. Otherwise there would be a disconnect between the two parts of the magazine.