Comic Book Resources has a lengthy, yet highly informative interview with UDON's managing editor Matt Moylan, who talks a bit about the upcoming Mega Man Megamix manga, and shares a handful of new sample pages. Below, a couple select portions from the interview:
"This is English readers' first chance to see the manga adventures of the classic Mega Man," Moylan said of the significance of "Megamix's" arrival on our shores. "Having lasted for 20 years, the original Blue Bomber is a video game icon, and fans have been asking to read these stories for years. With the all-new Mega Man 10 game coming in 2010, there's no better time than now for some Mega Man manga."
"As to why this manga has not been previously translated, Moylan said that there are several factors to consider, some held in general for all licensed manga and some unique to the Mega Man property. "With the all the intricacies of dealing with a foreign culture, licensing manga has always been a challenge to any publisher. You really have to be familiar with how the Japanese manga business operates, and also know how to be respectful to the Japanese creators and business people if you want to have a chance of licensing a manga series for translation," Moylan said.
"In addition to the licensing concerns, Moylan said that there are also editorial decisions inherent in translating "Mega Man Megamix." "The main challenge in localizing video game manga is following the English names that have already been established in the North American-released games," the editor told CBR. "Back in the 1980s when 'Street Fighter' and 'Mega Man' first started, the game developers changed a lot of character names, either for legal reasons or to try to appeal more to American kids. For example, in Japan many of the Mega Man characters' names are based around a music theme. ‘Mega Man' is known as ‘Rockman,' ‘Proto Man' is known as ‘Blues' etc, so we may have to make a decision on how to proceed if a musical joke is made that needs the original character names to make sense. Another example is Mega Man's creator ‘Dr. Light', who in Japan is called ‘Dr. Right', and most of his robotic creations feature a big letter ‘R' on their chest(R for Right). In this case we decided to preserve the original artwork, and add a note explaining the Japanese to English name change."
"And if these first two Mega Man series do well, there are several other Mega Man manga titles we have our eye on. At the top of our list would be 'Mega Man Gigamix,' Hitoshi Ariga's long-awaited follow up to 'Megamix.' This series has just begun in Japan, and fans are already singing 'Gigamix's' praises."
The full interview and more sample pages available at CBR.
Thanks for the tip, Matt!