On Saturday May 7 (TOMORROW!!!) comic book shops around the country will be distributing FREE COMICS to everyone who walks through their doors! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

Among the many other super-cool things going on tomorrow, you can pick up your FREE copy of the first chapter of James Patterson’s WITCH & WIZARD manga with art by Svetlana Chmakova of Nightschool fame! Meet Whit and Wisty, teenage siblings who are roused one morning by a squadron of armed police with an arrest warrant. The charges? Whit and Wisty are accused of being a witch and a wizard! The charges seem absurd…until the agitated Wisty inexplicably bursts into flame… As their powers develop, so does their will to fight against the iron-fisted government of The New Order!

We know that “FREE” is everyone’s favorite four-letter “F” word, so make sure you stop by your local comic book shop and check out what’s new in the world of comics!

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I wonder if I can find it in Sweden…they’ll probably make you pay for it…they do it with the Sonic the hedgehog free comics. Not very free huh?

Bryan Bradford

Is there going to be any reply back from the editors soon? My manager keeps pressuring me to take a position at work that would leave me with no full time to do anything? I feel so left in the dark 🙁 I’m just waiting for an email that says “try harder next time”, so I can finally give up on my dreams and die on the inside.


I’m with Bryan. Five months since the deadline of this talent search…That’s almost half a year. Considering the original claims made last year regarding the aims of the search, the pretty ambiguous wording of the email sent out…it’s not surprising that people felt the need to put things on hold after being contacted. Leaving people hanging since march with no further contact or information whatsoever…is not really a joke.
Whatever the reason for it, I think the way it’s being conducted is very wrong.


To Bryan: I’m not an editor nor do I work with Yen Press, but I just wanted to pass a few words of encouragement your way. Even if rejection happens, that’s okay — it’s something nearly every comic artist must grow accustomed to in the span of their career. The people who get published are the ones who are most persistent. It’s stuff like this that puts our dreams to the test — shows how much we really want it, in the end!

If we draw and write because we love to do it, we won’t let anything get in the way of our pursuits, even if we have to slow down the pace a little. So just keep doing what you love, keep honing your skills, and stay open to future opportunities.


Oh, you’ll never be Hokage with that attitude.

Rasengan, Bryan Bradford. You gonna give up, or find another way?


To those of you asking about the talent search…
I am truly sorry that it is taking so long for our staff to get back to you. However, I would recommend that none of you put anything on hold while waiting for a response. As JuYoun stated in last month’s editor’s letter, those contacted following the talent search are artists who show potential, artists we’d like to keep on file to see how they develop as storytellers and artists. However, we feel that none of the entries received are ready to be published. We set up the new talent search to give amateur artists an opportunity to put their work before an editor for consideration as new talent. And we were truly amazed at some of the work you guys created. But it would be wrong for us to tell someone they are ready to work professionally if they are not. That will only end with a frustrated artist with inflated expectations. Those of you who were contacted, we want to give you some feedback to help you polish your work. The rest, you have a longer way to go, but go back to the fundamentals and wow us next time! Put your comic up on your website, show your work to other editors, take other jobs. And when next year’s talent search rolls around, we’ll work out the kinks and make sure everyone has the opportunity to put their best work before us. Our hope above all is to find and showcase budding new talent, so we hope you will continue to hone your craft and show us something that will absolutely blow our minds!!!


Hello, Yen Press :>
I’m a big fan of Higurashi series so I want to ask one question about that manga: what about all the arcs? Like thoese arcs in Higurashi Kai anime, for example massacre arc.
Are you going to licence them? Please~~ I want to see Hanyuu in manga version xD


@abby Appreciate the response…It’s nice to finally know where we stand. But it should have been made clearer much much earlier. That’s not what was described in the original brief for this talent search, the impression was given that people who were contacted would be given the chance to work with editors and maybe lead to getting a contract…hence people waiting on standby. Not everyone who entered was able to see/read that editor’s letter…and so we’ve been in the dark until now. Me for one. This information you’ve just given is all new to me.

Surely you can see how, especially since what we’re waiting for is essentially feedback on how to hone our skills, a lot of time has been wasted.


@Hanyuu We will be licensing the rest of the Higurashi answer arcs for sure (Massacre, Festival). Dates for these will come as soon as we finalize them with the original publisher. The side stories and such, well, you’ll just have to wait and see!


@aigis I’m sorry that some of you have been waiting for some time, and we hope you’ll be patient with us. This was our first talent search, and we weren’t even sure what types of submissions we were going to get, which is why it may have been unclear in the beginning. Our goal continues to be to find talented artists who are ready to be published, but our talent search rather quickly gave way to a “contest” mentality with the “winner” being published that we never intended.
Please keep in mind that our vehicle for promoting new artists will be Yen Plus magazine, and that’s why we post information on the talent search there first.
Let’s hope that next year is better for all!


Hi I just read Maximum Ride Volume 4, and I have to say, I was a little dissapointed.
Not by the story itself, the art and storytelling were excellent! It’s just, a huge chunk of the book wasn’t dedicated towards the Maximum Ride story.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying Witch and Wizard as well, but they took up way too much of the book for it to just be a ‘preview’.
I hope I’m not insulting anyone, I just think that when a book has a title, it should be focused the most on that title. Maximum Ride ended in Volume 4 too suddenly, and too quickly.
That’s how I feel about it, anyways.


@abby I understand what you’re saying. And I appreciate it. I want to thank you for your patience and for enlightening us about all of this…It’s not really about winning or losing. I know that. Even a published artist isn’t a “winner”…there’s still a long hard road of work and learning and being published is just the start of that.

I don’t think I can or will ever stop learning, practicing, improving…There probably is a limit to how polished someone can get without resources, professional experience and guidance, but we can all only do our best and keep doing our best with what we have.

I think it was just the emails sent out that confused us.
“We think you have potential,” “The wait is finally over”
“We’ll contact you soon.” It was all pretty positive sounding and someone who entered a talent search who received that…would probably get the impression that they had been chosen for “something.”


Waiting for the book covers for the coming months schedules.

Also waiting for a “We licensed DRRR!!/Durarara!! announcement” c’mon! ( Might have to wait for a long time though. )


@abby but I just wanna add that I’m not bitching, (well it’s not my intention just to bitch ^^;) and I hope nobody takes it as so. What you’re saying makes a lot of sense, and I wanna thank you again for clarifying things for us.


Ooh how I wish I was in the states -weeps- Also that cover is pretty badass xD.


So the people who got picked were almost as disappointed as the people who didn’t get picked. Now that’s funny.

But personally I’m satisfied. Not only did we have this chance, but since they’re planning to make it annual, then, ideally, we’ll have this chance every year. And even if they flake on us about that you still cannot say that interest in global manga talent is not growing. I think that in itself is a plus.

To be honest I wasn’t really expecting to get picked, and if I did, I only thought you were going to get a short story in the magazine, anyway. Even if my skills WERE good enough to get picked, I knew they weren’t good enough to give any of my longer stories the true quality they deserve. Besides I’ve never had any experience publishing comics before and jumping into something huge when I don’t even know the basic process is not what I’d call chronological. I just like to start small. Teaching people like me how the process works and preparing them for this kind of publishing is what this Talent Search was all about, right?

This was Yen’s first time as well as my first time, and I’m pretty sure this was a first for a lot of others who entered. I think Yen Press and everyone who entered deserves a pat on the back (even if it wasn’t your first time doing something like this). We’re all in this together, so let’s learn together.


@Nessa Think of the Witch & Wizard preview as more of an add-on than a subtraction… Even if we hadn’t included the preview at the end, Max 4 would have ended in the same place. Don’t worry! December will come sooner than you think…! (trying to be positive ^_^ )


@Sorrano Almost as disappointed…or probably just as disappointed because technically, there’s no difference. XD

And the annual thing also bugs me, because here’s the thing;
If I hadn’t come on here and pushed for some answers/information, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been contacted again. Even now, I still haven’t been.
First time hosting a talent search or not, that’s not a good way to treat people and that’s what really got to me.

Tell me how I’m supposed to feel motivated to repeat this process with my manga or even a new one again next year?

Sure, it’s my own issue whether I want to enter again or not but honestly, how can they not see that this will probably push good people away?



Well usually, I’m the devil’s advocate around here, so I try to be the nice guy once in a while, especially to YP, because I feel I’ve been so mean in the past. That’s why I pretty much let them off the hook, because I’m almost always giving them the business (and first times are never perfect). And since I’ve been watching Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi (a shounen ai, just warning you) lately, I kinda see where they’re coming from. I didn’t mean to offend you (it must be in my blood XD).

Whether or not you wouldn’t have been contacted again if you didn’t push is something we may never know. But persistence is part of any job search or when you’re trying to catch the attention of a professional. In fact, persistence is one of the qualities of a good leader (it said so in the Black Collegian). Trust me, when you become a totally mega awesome famous artist in the future, you won’t have to worry about persistence as much. You think Beyonce has trouble getting noticed these days? I think not. (Bad example, I know).

Now I was never contacted in the first place, so I can’t tell you how to feel motivated to do it again. What I CAN tell you is that what usually motivates me (personally) is the fact that there are publishers out there who are accepting submissions just like YP. I feel like
I just need time to hone my skills, and to submit to as many opportunities as I can. Cast your net wide, they say. That’s why I mentioned the whole global manga thing.

And a good change of scenery doesn’t hurt, even if it’s just for a day (I don’t get out much <– LOL, I'm already on the right track).

I do know what it's like to feel betrayed by YP, though. In the tenth grade, a friend gave me the print version of the magazine, and I heard about the upcoming talent search. I read nearly every monthly magazine since then. After I finished high school, they put the magazine and the guidelines online where I couldn't get to them. Me and a bunch of other commentators here pushed for them to be posted outside of the magazine (which they eventually did). I found them somewhere else, eventually, but I still felt used. I was a dedicated fan, but I felt like that wasn't a good way to treat people. Sound familiar?

I really love manga and I want to be the best at it someday, so no matter how mad I was, I still busted my butt to enter. I I told myself that that was the way a real manga artist lived and if I wanna do it for real, I'll have to get used to that. I'm just stubborn that way (which kinda isn't good because I tend to ignore reality and shoot for highly idealized goals and eventually, I burn myself out). I'm not going to go into the whole "rejection is part of the process" speech, because technically, you weren't rejected. But if you were good enough to get contacted at all, then that must mean you really do have potential. YP showed you that much.

Enter other submissions to other companies and see what they say. There's no reason to stop now. Someday, you'll be doing your OWN talent search.



Thanks for that response, it was cool.
And you didn’t offend me, not one bit. ^^ Maybe it didn’t sound like it but I was agreeing with you. I said the “no contact” thing because I still haven’t been contacted. Neither have any of the others. At the least we were promised feedback, but…oh well. ^^;

I think your work ethic is a great one, stubborn or not. Aim for the top. Ignore reality all the way. Reality is for losers. 😉
I used to be really hard on myself, still am a lot of the time, just looking back at my work or looking at other people’s work and comparing it to mine, saying “I need to get better.” It’s good to improve yourself, but the reasons you’re trying to improve are really important. I didn’t really understand that when I was younger.

One of my early rejection letters actually says:
“To put it bluntly, if you’re not Japanese, you have no hope of a future doing manga.” That should give you some indication of how long I’ve been drawing. XD You’re right that things have come a long way since then. It’s the direction it’s going in that I think about a lot now. A lot of english-language publishers (not aiming this one at YP) and also the market in general, are so restrictive about what classifies as “manga”…and in turn young new artists wanting to become mangaka follow suit and learn and work within those narrow borders. For me, that’s quite an issue in itself because manga is not a genre in Japan. But it sort of is everywhere else.

Lately and right now, I’m arriving at this frame of mind; Moulding yourself or your art to stand up against competition, cater to a particular market, fit a specific company’s requirements…even if you succeed it’s not a way to measure how good you are. It sure as hell won’t make you happy in the long run either. Be completely true to yourself. Do what you love, do what you want, and do it damn well. If it’s not honest and it’s not “you”, then as art, it’s pretty meaningless.

And if it’s honest and “you”, and people don’t like it, then they weren’t the people you were meant to work with.

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