A panel held on Friday at the San Diego Comic-Con discussed some details of the upcoming JManga.com portal. In attendance were representatives from Kodansha, Shueisha, Kadokawa and Shogakukan.
The digital manga website, put together by a coalition of 39 Japanese publishers, is set to launch on August 17th in the U.S., with plans to expand to other countries in 2012. The goal of JManga is to provide more manga content internationally, and at a faster pace.
In addition to providing digital manga, About.com’s Deb Aoki who attended the panel reports on Twitter that “JManga.com will allow readers to interact with manga editors and manga creators, to ask questions & get behind-the-scenes stories”.
Pricing for the service has not been decided upon yet. At this point, it sounds like pricing will vary depending on the publisher. However, there will also be content that readers will be able to read for free. One of the goals of the service, it was stated, is to continue series that have been dropped by U.S. publishers.
Additionally, “JManga.com will have well-known titles & also the not-so-well-known titles that aren’t always available scanlated,” according to Kodansha’s Sam Yoshiba, who replied to a question asking what the service would provide to set itself apart from scanlations.
Interestingly, for certain titles, JManga.com will also allow you to toggle between languages, starting with English and Japanese.