VIZ Media Makes 2008 Free Comic Book Day a Manga Day with Special Free Issue of Shonen Jump Magazine

Special 32-Page Sampler Edition of Nation's Most Popular Manga Anthology - SHONEN JUMP Magazine To Feature NARUTO, BLEACH and SLAM DUNK

San Francisco, CA, March 26, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its participation as a Gold Level Sponsor in the 2008 Free Comic Book Day, taking place May 3rd. VIZ Media is producing a special edition (rated "A" for All Ages) of SHONEN JUMP Magazine (rated 'T' for Teens) to be distributed for free at participating stores nationwide.

The annual occasion, developed by Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc., the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books, is designed for comic book retailers across North America and around the world to offer a range of select titles for free to further spread awareness of new and upcoming series and highlight the diversity of the comics and manga (graphic novel) genres.

SHONEN JUMP will publish a special, free condensed issue of the magazine to appeal to new comic book fans as well as established manga readers. The SHONEN JUMP Free Comic Book Day issue will contain 32 action-packed pages including special previews of three of VIZ Media's most exciting serialized series - NARUTO, BLEACH and the newly serialized SLAM DUNK - as well as coverage of many of the magazine's other popular series such as ONE PIECE and YU YU HAKUSHO, and introduce new readers to the diverse array of content the magazine offers. Longtime SHONEN JUMP fans will also love the BLEACH poster included in this special edition.

SHONEN JUMP joins a select group of ten other preeminent publishers participating in Free Comic Book Day including Archie, Bongo, Dark Horse, DC, Dynamite, IDW, Image, Marvel and Virgin. For more information on Free Comic Book Day please visit

"Despite the massive popularity of manga in the United States, there is still a huge audience waiting to experience the range of unique art and compelling stories featured in these excellent Japanese comics, "says Marc Weidenbaum, Editor-In- Chief of SHONEN JUMP. "By supporting Free Comic Book Day, we hope to get manga into as many hands as possible, and let American comic readers discover the pleasures of the ninja epic that is Masashi Kishimoto's NARUTO, the soul-reaper action of Tite Kubo's BLEACH, and the high-school hijinks of Takehiko Inoue's SLAM DUNK."

SHONEN JUMP, which celebrated its 5th anniversary earlier this year, appeals to over 1.9 million readers monthly aged 12-17 - with an average monthly circulation of over 241,000. SHONEN JUMP is the first place fans can read new chapters of the latest hit manga from Japan as titles such as NARUTO, BLEACH and ONE PIECE have two or more chapters regularly serialized each month in addition to product articles on a vast array of related video games, trading cards, animation and toys. Ardent fans appreciate the easy to read and affordable presentations of a notable array of different genres, stories and art styles, yet the magazine still offers new readers the opportunity to 'test' several manga at once. For more information on SHONEN JUMP Magazine please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.