San Diego Comic-Con is a place to explore not only new content, but new technology to consume that content. The eigoMANGA VR reader was one such opportunity this year and I was excited to try it out.
I had the chance to sit down with Austin Osueke at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 and discuss eigoMANGA, the new VR reader, and the type of content they plan on bringing to eager manga and comic book fans.
You have a VR app. I had a chance to play around with it, and it looks like you can actually read through the manga using the app. Why did you decide to go the VR route for a manga reader?
Basically VR, as we thought, was the new frontier for digital media and there haven’t been a lot of players in comics for VR at the moment. So, we thought, why not do it? We started, I think in 2016, and it has been a full year in developing. We released it in March!
It is brand new, and it looks like you have quite a collection of titles. Are you going for any specific genre or trying to cover a lot of ground with your app?
We’re open to many genres, and we want this to be a platform for other creators and publishers no matter what genre to use it. A lot of our stuff is predominantly manga because it is from my collection. But we did work with other studios that don’t do manga and it is great.
You’ll be able to read other stuff besides manga. Do you have anything that might be coming up, or is it kind of hush-hush right now?
Well, it is more of our titles. We have developed some original comics from our own end. So, we are releasing those on the app soon. And we hope to engage with many other creators in studios and publishers outside of manga and it’s basically new to everybody right now. Especially when it comes to mobile VR. There are some players in Oculus (…) But nobody has really thought about it for mobile and iPhones yet. So, we’re still trying to find our market and have our market understand what this is and everything.
If someone is looking for publisher can they contact you? Are you taking pitches?
It is through our website EIGOMANGA.COM. We have a submission policy on there. At Comic-Con we are doing portfolio reviews. We also have a How to Draw Manga panel workshop where we are doing face-to-face pitchfolios as well. Year round we are always looking for new titles and to work with and develop with other people.
Any titles that might be coming up through the app?
We’ve released a fighting game called Vanguard Princess and we released a comic series back in May. We hope to put that on the app by the Fall in October.
How many titles are available right now?
Right now there are 14 titles on the app and we are capable of handling literally thousands. It is pretty much up to the server space and your connection speed. We built it to be robust and scalable so it can handle a lot of titles, basically to encourage creators to come to us, to work with us, to get their titles on VR. It’s just not our own stuff. We want to be universal.
Anything else you want our readers to know? Anything you might want to add?
Check out the app. It is new for everybody… VR! Everyone is still trying to see if VR is here to stay, a fad, or if it is a true medium. So, check out the app to find out for yourself.
Thank you for the chat, Austin. Anyone interested in finding out more can visit eigoMANGA at their website.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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