Ask @VerticalComics_Ed:

Hi, correct me if i'm mistaken, but printers used to make the copies all have preset page size/lengths/cuts right? I can't help but notice that, on a lot of the manga I own, the cover binding always ends up a tad shorter than the actual page size. Why is that? It's not a huge problem, but it bugs me

I am not a printer so I do not know exactly why that is.
However, I do know this... Sometimes covers and pages are not printed at the same location. Sometimes cuts are off. Sometimes glue can be overused/underused.
I cannot say why for your books (or mine for that matter) but that (or being a wee-bit long) is actually very common for all books.

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What are your thoughts on translation notes? I thought the goal of a good translation was to avoid them and provide a reasonable localization that doesn't require them. Ignoring original author preferences for specific terms, are there other places where you feel they are necessary or unavoidable?

We try to avoid them.
It is hard to do so in culturally sensitive books - Seki comes to mind - but they are often not always necessary.

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Do you know if manga publishers ever work with anime distributors locally (within North America, specifically)? It seems like a rarity if it happens at all, but I feel like it would make sense for them to work together since they tend to have overlapping interests. I'd like to see more cross promo.

We have worked with anime distributors before. Fans of Summer Wars might remember that we did a cross-promotion deal with Funimation. We are working on the Chi's Sweet Home DVDs. And we have some other things up our sleeves.
But yeah, if we can get in touch with the anime companies we are generally interested in doing stuff.

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Why do you think it is that manga comes in so many shapes and sizes? Obviously for compilations and omnibus books it makes sense, but a lot of releases from different and sometimes the same publishers are different. Why isn't there one universal size?

First even in Japan there are no standard sizes. Shonen and shojo have a "size" but most JP publishers has a size that is a few millimeters different. Josei and seinen vary alot. Book to book they may change even within the same magazine.
Some US pubs try to keep the JP sizes to reduce moire effects (if files are bad, wonky, old). Sometimes the mangaka ask to keep the JP sizes.
Then different printers have different sizes. So that makes a difference.
Ultimately this isn't unusual. Books are like that. And they should be that way. Books are like people; they are and should be different!

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Who is in your regards the best manga artist in terms of art and vice versa the best in story telling ?

I honestly rarely ever consider mangaka in this way. I have favorites but in terms of best I do not think that is even useful.
I like the following artists for different reasons - Hideo Azuma (character design), Usamaru Furuya (flexibility), Kentaro Miura (backgrounds), and Shigeyuki Fukumitsu (layout).
Writing is tough cause script writing and visual showing are different things and mangaka do not always write their scripts. But I do like how the following artists "show" their stories: Tagro, Yukari Ichijo, Mochiru Hoshisato, Naoki Yamamoto, and Seiiki Tsushida.
I am not sure if any of these could be considered the best. But they inspire me.

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Hey Ed you buying that BLAME shinsoban release? Better be of good quality for that price.

For our office collection? Definitely.
I think it'll be pretty nice. It's going to be a B5 size. The original size was a B6, so this will be a whole papersize larger. It'll have new cover design. I think it's going to keep all the color pages from the first run. And the 10 volume series will be collected in 6 books.
So yeah, should be nice!

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Have you ever cried or been close to tears when reading a manga? If so what moment gave you the ol' lump in the throat?

ArchAngel Manga
I cried a lot reading GTO or Yoiko cause they're so hilarious.
Lump in the throat moments...not really. I don't get moved by manga that way much. Horror manga doesn't scare me. Tear-jerkers in prose or comic form don't sadden me. I might think a bit about what the author is trying to get out of readers, so often I might chuckle or snort at scenes like that.
Good panel work can really change my reading pace or attitude towards a book and bad writing can piss me off easily but I don't really get moved emotionally much by manga. I just feel it's generally fun when done well; cheap entertainment even if it isn't.

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With a number of light novels being published at the moment, do you think LNs will see success in the U.S, or is it an overly-ambitious venture at the moment since they have failed here before?

Well let me start off by saying.... Volume, or in this case number of books released at once, is not always a good thing. If anything in the US anime and manga business, the industry has repeatedly shown that rapid growth in this manner often leads to trouble.
When ADV Manga promised to release 1000 units in X number of years...they collapsed. And this was before the DVD side fell apart.
DC's CMX had ambition also opening with a list the size of what established current pubs like Seven Seas and DMP crank out. They folded too.
Or how about Fantagraphics stating they would do around 6-8 series a year.
The DVD side almost feel apart when market pressures and bad investing created a very unhealthy bubble. Tokyopop's struggles became very obvious to the public when they hit peak licensing also (even before the econ bubble began to take their legs out one by one). And let's not forget TP's light novel line and how while relatively modest might have been a little bit of an over-reach when they tried it, killed it, and kept it as a zombie line.
Now... It's 2015, almost a decade from when the market was in it's last big bubble, and the mange market is healthy again. While Yen has acquired a number of titles, we haven't seen many other pubs follow that path aggressively yet. Vertical is doing some. Viz still has HaiKasoru (a mix of J-Lit and J-Light prose) and that has done kinda how Vertical expected it to do. But that's pretty much it.
The landscape for LNs has changed a bit. More anime are based off them now. And some are hits instead of mid-tier works. No one can deny Sword Art's popularity. And that has done well for Yen. Accel World though... Not as big. Not by a long shot. A Certain Magical (ToAru)... A little better than Accel. Vertical's Before the Fall a little better than ToAru.
Then for books like Log Horizon (so-so to meh) and DanMachi (very nice) it's kinda early days. But DanMachi did get a recent boost (anime related? Breast Ribbon related??).
Could there be a push back? Maybe. Is overly ambitious I'd say it is to an extent. But let's not forget Yen is a part of Hachette and they know how to sell novels (maybe more than manga; don't forget they released Haruhi, Spice & Wolf and Kieli for years now). So these are risks they can take with better knowledge than most. If Seven Seas or DMP or DH were going all in, I'd be worried. With Yen I think they have a plan and we'll see if it works together over the next few years.
Vertical will take their usual path...small but somewhat nimble; conservative but also challenging.

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Is there any chance you guys could work with Jiro Matsumoto again? Bring over things like Tropical Citron and Freesia? Did Velveteen & Mandala work out for you guys?

Freesia is a Shogakukan title, so at this time that is basically only available to Viz Media (Shogakukan owns Viz).
Velveteen is an 18+ title and our expectations were tempered, but it wasn't much of a success. It did get on some influential reading lists, though.
So ultimately we could, but I do not see it happening any time soon.

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Would you ever do a Complete Box Set release for series that won't get omnibus reprints/aren't ridiculously long? Something like a Flowers of Evil box set or a Witchcraft Works box set when it finishes?

Possibly not.
Manga boxsets are not common. And for the most part unless a title is already popular, most stores don't want them (prices are high, they take a lot of space, they are often hard to return to pubs). I know of a few stores that often buy boxsets, break them up and sell the individual books... Kinda defeats the purpose.

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Do creators and pubs usually make initial contact with you by company email or office phone?

That type thing is pretty rare. It is usually the other way around.
But email is usually the form of communiqué. We are a US company and most JP pubs do not have English speaking staff (and if it's their first contact they might not know what our JP capabilities are, right).

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