Yen Press just sent me a box of manhwa – a clear indicator that the spirit of ICE K-Union (or at lease the spirit of Korean comics) lives on! Yen took over ICE K-Union licenses back when ICE folded and Yen was in it’s infancy. (Or somewhere around then. Gotta check my notes.)
If you’re not familiar with ICE K-union or you think I’m speaking in some sort of “secret blogspeak” ICE K-Union was the American arm of Korean publisher Sigonsa, that brought in a number of Korean comics (manhwa) for the the U.S. market. Manhwa….hasn’t quite caught on and peaked the way the Japanese stuff has, but I’m not sure that that has anything to do with the actual material itself. After something like two or three years, ICE fell through and dissolved. Their books just weren’t making it here and the company had made some decisions that weren’t netting enough revenue.
But Yen Press has brought back all the ICE properties that were discontinued! The final volume of Bring It On!, volume five of Chocolat, volume four of Heavenly Executioner ChiWoo and a special 11th Cat book. Plus more!
I do wonder if fans have moved on by now. It’s been over a year and the books have been missing from the shelves for longer than that. Additionally, is volume 5 of Chocolat enough to get volumes 1-4 back on retailer’s shelves? Just using Chocolat as an example, but retailers are becoming much more discriminating as consumers are doing the same. Naruto sells = Naruto on shelves. The rest of it? Well, we’ll have see…