July 11, 2007
by: James Jursudakul
Exclusive details on the second-edition of High School Girls, sales, Yasushi Suzuki, and more!
AMN Anime recently had the opportunity with Yuki Chung and Ailen Lujo of DGN Production Inc. / DrMaster Publications Inc. during Anime Expo 2007 on July 1. The interview goes into the company's sales, their plans for the second-edition of High School Girls, how they met Yasushi Suzuki, and lots more. AMN Anime would like to thank both Yuki and Ailen for taking the time out of their schedule for this exclusive interview.
AMN Anime: So to start off, can you please introduce yourselves?
Yuki Chung: I’m Yuki Chung, the VP of DrMaster Publications, but we will soon change the name of our company to DGN Production.
Ailen Lujo: My name is Ailen Lujo. I’m a supervising editor and also the marketing helper for the company.
AMN Anime: So where did the company’s name, DrMaster, derive from?
Ailen Lujo: It comes from a Chinese name; it makes more sense in Chinese.
Yuki Chung: Originally, we formed DGN Production to start our business. When a Chinese investor was interested in our manga line, they wanted to use DrMaster to unify with their other publishing business.
Ailen Lujo: It basically means something along the lines of having your doctor’s and master’s degree.
Yuki Chung: Yeah. In Chinese it means something sort of like being “really educated.”
AMN Anime: So you guys are planning to drop the “DrMaster” company name?
Ailen Lujo: Eventually. . .
Yuki Chung: Eventually we are going to regroup our company under DGN Production. We all like this name better since it means “Digital Graphic Novel.” So we will need to deal with all the licensing through DGN Production instead of DrMaster.
AMN Anime: Are there any titles that may pose a licensing problem due to the transition?
Ailen Lujo: The older titles, such as High School Girls, for one.
Yuki Chung: Basically all the Japanese manga title we have. But all the Hong Kong titles are (and will be) published under DGN Production. On some of our current Hong Kong titles such as The King of Fighters 2003 you’ll see the DGN Productions label on the spine, but on the back you’ll see both logos on it. We want to slowly phase it out.
AMN Anime: ComicsOne was a publishing company that were putting out some earlier volumes of the titles you have now. Did the both of you used to be a part of ComicsOne?
Yuki Chung: Some of the staff used to work for Comics One. We all thought that the comic industry had great potential and we all liked comics, we decided to start our own business with we had learned.
AMN Anime: So then DrMaster did mange to pick up some of ComicsOne’s licenses and continued publishing some of their series. Do you have plans to re-release some of the older volumes of say High School Girls or other licenses?
Yuki Chung: We are actually planning to redo the covers of High School Girls.
AMN Anime: Will it also get the color page treatment that you guys give to your current series?
Yuki Chung: Yes! We’re also planning to reedit it before we do the reprint. So right now we’ve just started working on the production (of the second-edition of High School Girls).
Update 8/20/2007: DGN Production Inc. has just informed us that they are unable to provide color page inserts for the second-edition re-releases for volumes 1 and 3 afterall. No mention of the other volumes, but they also may not include color pages.
High School Girls © 2002 Towa Ohshima / Futabasha Publishers Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
Towa Ohshima's High School Girls will be getting a 2nd-edition release from DrMaster Publications with color page inserts, a retouch on the translation, and a new cover.
Ailen Lujo: We really have stepped up production and editorial standards, I’m sure you’ve noticed. I mean the color inserts and spot lamination on the covers, for instance.
AMN Anime: Definitely! What brought about this step up in production?
Ailen Lujo: Well, it can be attributed to Yuki here. When I started working in the year 2005 they’ve already started adding in the color pages and really started paying attention to the little details. I think that when ComicsOne switched over to DrMaster there were so many things going on and a lot of things got lost in the shuffle, but we have systems now that work. Editorially we’ve just paid more attention. We screen our editors more carefully and now I do all the English-adaptations – so by the time it gets to the second and the third pass it’s already adapted and the punctuation is correct. We also have other really talented editors who work after me so I hope that the books read better. . .I think they do (laughs).
AMN Anime: Yes, I certainly have noticed the increase in quality! On the topic of High School Girls, when can we expect the second-edition release for Volume 1?
Yuki Chung: We planned to reprint High School Girls once we realized that they had to redo the cover. We are working on the production right now and the first volume reprint will be released pretty soon.
AMN Anime: So are you looking into repackaging any other titles?
Yuki Chung: High School Girls is the only title for now. I haven’t checked the inventory before I came here so I wasn’t prepared in looking into it. For sure right we will get High School Girls reprinted (into a second-edition), but we’re not looking into repacking any other older ComicsOne titles at this time.
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