TOKYOPOP INC. Announces 10 Newest Rising Stars Of Manga Winners As Former Finalist Signs Book Deal -

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TOKYOPOP INC. Announces 10 Newest Rising Stars Of Manga Winners As Former Finalist Signs Book Deal

    October 06, 2004

Michael Vega's Dark Moon Diary to Become 5th Graphic Novel Series Generated by National Contest

LOS ANGELES (October 4, 2004)--As TOKYOPOP Inc. proudly announces the winners of its fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition, one thing has become strikingly clear: the company has put its manga where its mouth is. TOKYOPOP has signed former finalist Michael Vega to a book deal based on a new project called Dark Moon Diary. This deal marks the fifth series to be published as a result of the wildly successful national talent search. Since its launch in 2002, the Rising Stars program has attracted budding creators from every state in the U.S.--their entries representing the tiniest farm towns, the largest metropolises and everything in between. The result is a phenomenal pool of gifted artists and writers poised to play a pivotal role in manga's future.

With Vega already hard at work on his series with author Che Gilson and inker/toner/letterer Diana X. Sprinkle--slated to debut in late 2005--the publisher is eager to share with the world its newest lineup of winners, all of whom will have the opportunity to score their own future TOKYOPOP book deals. Presenting the winners of TOKYOPOP's fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition:

Andy Helms (Age 25), a graphic designer from Alexandria, Virginia, is the Grand Prize winner for his entry, "Bombos Versus Everything." In addition to the $2,500 cash prize, Andy will receive a commemorative trophy and an exclusive opportunity to pitch his full-length manga series to TOKYOPOP's creative executives.

"I can't really express how fantastic it felt when I received the news, but I can say that this is probably the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, which was probably pretty apparent to all the neighbors in my apartment complex," said Helms. "Thank you again, TOKYOPOP!"

College student Dave Iseri (Age 21) from San Luis Obispo, California, is the Second Place winner, and will receive $1,500 and a trophy for his work, "Down."

Amy Kim Ganter (Age 24), an animator/illustrator from Brooklyn, New York, has taken the Third Place prize, with $1,000 and a trophy for her work, "The Hopeless Romantic and the Hapless Girl."

The following Runner-Up entries have each earned $500 and an honorary plaque:

· "Beyond the Bird" by Jimmy R. Vann (Age 22) from Long Beach, California · "Outlaw" by Aaron Vargas (Age 28) from Merced, California · "The Řstberg Study" by Amy Reeder Hadley (Age 24) from Westminster, Colorado · "Work Bites" by Jess Stoncius (Age 22) from Carbondale, Illinois · "Le Masque" by Karen Remsen (Age 17) from Oswego, Illinois · "Hellbender" by Maximo V. Lorenzo (Age 22) from Randolph, New Jersey

· "Shotgun" by Gregory Giovanni Johnson (Age 26) of Sumter, South Carolina

TOKYOPOP congratulates all of the winners of its fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition. Visit to learn more about these talented creators, and stay tuned for details about the fifth competition, slated to kick off on January 1.


TOKYOPOP® is an innovative youth-oriented entertainment company that creates, licenses and publishes hundreds of book, DVD and music properties. With millions of books in print, including the hit series Fruits Basket, Princess Ai, DNAngel, Tokyo Tribes, Love Hina and Chobits, TOKYOPOP also discovers and promotes new artists and writers, creating original manga such as Warcraft, ShutterBox and @Large. Pioneers of the Cine-Manga® book format, TOKYOPOP's best-selling releases feature Finding Nemo, Shrek 2, Lizzie McGuire, SpongeBob SquarePants, Greatest Stars of the NBA and Linkin Park's Breaking the Habit. Its television properties include Rave Master, Initial D, GTO and Reign: The Conqueror, with consumer products programs tied into Rave Master, Initial D., Stray Sheep and Princess Ai. Visit for additional information.


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