Another Bad Manga Industry Sign: Del Rey Lays Off Ali Kokmen

Not much to the news beyond that, unfortunately. Ali Kokmen, friend of this blog and all-around terrific guy, has been laid off from Del Rey, as revealed in the fourth paragraph of this Publishers Weekly Comic-Con writeup:

… there’s another casualty in the manga market downturn. Longtime Del Rey manager marketing manager Ali Kokmen (who is roaming the floor at Comic-Con) has been laid off. Like every other manga publisher, Del Rey has been cutting back on the number of titles it publishes, and there is much speculation about the impact of Japanese publisher Kodansha, which supplies most of Del Rey’s manga list, launching a U.S. office and its effect on the Del Rey Manga licenses. There is much speculation that Kokmen’s departure may be the first indication of changes coming in the comics publishing program at Del Rey.

We’ve been worried about that here at, what with Del Rey’s growing dependence on licensed graphic novel adaptations of prose books they publish. Those have been growing in number while manga declined. Combined with the move to manga omnibus editions, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a continued cutback in the titles they publish, although that would be disappointing.

Update: Heidi reminds us that Del Rey is still distributing Kodansha manga, and parent company Random House distributes DC’s graphic novels.


  1. Ugh, I was going to ask Ali about Del Rey at NYAF. Now I suspect Del Rey won’t even be attending NYAF. This sucks.

  2. I remember Ali. Hoping he finds his feet again sooner than later.

  3. I was beginning to wonder what happened to the Del Rey Manga email newsletter. I hadn’t seen it for some time. The website also appears to be reorganized. T.T

  4. […] Comics representing Del Rey. Del Rey didn’t have a panel at the show this year and with the news of Ali Kokmen, the marketing manager who did a lot of to get Del Rey Manga going being laid off, makes more real […]

  5. […] reassuring to see Del Rey list eight new manga volumes this month, given recent concern about their plans for the format. And they’re mostly single books, too, with only one of the […]

  6. […] two months, they switched this year to mostly omnibus releases. During the summer, much loved marketing manager Ali Kokmen was laid off, leading to less information being available to concerned readers. They’ve been […]

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.