In some rather surprising news for manga readers down under, Viz Media have announced that they will no longer be distributing manga in Australia and by extension New Zealand through Madman Entertainment, the top anime and manga distributor in Australia for more than a decade now. This news comes hot off the heel of Madman announcing a 60% off manga clearance sale through their online store which looks to be spelling the end of manga from Madman, for now.
Viz Media made the shock announcement via. press release stating that Simon & Schuster Australia will be handling manga distribution in Australia and New Zealand moving forward.
Simon & Schuster has been the exclusive distribution partner of Viz Media for the United States and Canadian markets since 2004, the United Kingdom since 2007, and India starting in 2014. The new agreement will see the Australian arm of the business provide a full range of retail and wholesale distribution services for Viz Media’s substantial library of manga titles. Simon & Schuster Australia will also manage the distribution of all Viz Media’s imprints including Shonen Jump, Shonen Jump Advanced, Shojo Beat, Shonen Sunday, Perfect Square, VIZSignature, Studio Ghibli Library and Haikasoru.
For those that don’t know, Simon & Schuster are a book publisher that have handled releases such as both of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s autobiographies ‘Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander‘ and ‘unPHILtered‘. They have also released Khloe Kardashian’s book on body image ‘Strong Looks Better Naked’ and are slated to release the upcoming Young Adult novel ‘Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend‘.
We reached out to Madman Entertainment Publicity Manager Ben Pollock for comment on the situation and received a reply stating, “We can’t really comment or provide any further information as to what’s already available.”
The future of VIZ Media manga distribution in Australia is of course now in the hands of Simon & Schuster, however they have yet to confirm and release plans for any manga or graphic novel titles. Dan Ruffino, Managing Director of Simon & Schuster Australia did however comment on the distribution rights acquisition:
“I am delighted to join my colleagues in New York, London and New Delhi in bringing Viz Media to our customers in Australia and New Zealand. We know there is a keen market here and look forward to working closely with Viz Media to grow sales and awareness.”
Please stay tuned for more on this developing story as we await a release schedule and plan from Simon & Schuster Australia. Let us know what you think of this news in the comments section below.