News: Reading is Fundamental Even Right to Left posted June 2, 2004
June 2 -- Viz, LLC, one of the highest profile companies around the recent surge of manga in North America, announced its intention to work with Reading is Fundamental on one of their literacy outreach projects. In the 1970s, Marvel Comics' move to work with educators and advocacy groups was considered an important step in recognizing the comic book's potential positive influence on children learning to read as opposed to keeping them from proper books. It was also as a sign the resurgent company was beginning to enter the mainstream of North American media enterprises. Whether or not the Viz deals signifies the same thing for translated manga publishers or if companies looking for charity partners are simply better able to pick up on hotter media items, remains a mystery.
Viz may eventually take their charitable involvement to places where Marvel has remained neutral. According to Viz representative Jason Thompson, his company is helping coordinate a team-up of the popular character, the personality-possessed game maven Yu-Gi-Oh with the sometimes controversial People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] under the tagline "Cruelty to Animals is No Game."