Some exciting news has been buzzing around the interwebs last night and this morning... Viz is launching a web-only English edition of the rad seinen manga magazine IKKI. The site is now live at http://www.sigikki.com/ right now.
More details are in this article from PW, which explains that they will be putting up previews of new series on the site for free, and using the site to gauge interest in which titles to release in print form, etc.
Some other artists that have run in IKKI:
+ Taiyo Matsumoto (Number Five)
+ Naoe Kikuchi (Tetsuko no Tabi)
+ Iou Kuroda (Sexy Voice and Robo)
+ Koji Aihara and Kentaro Takekuma (Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga 2.0)
+ George Asakura (Heibon Ponch)
The awesome news for us? The first title they are posting is Daisuke Igarashi's Children of the Sea.
[Click here to read the official first chapter in English]
They also posted an interview with Igarashi today. I'm skeptical of some of these initiatives, but IKKI is home to some awesome titles and the site is starting out pretty strong. According to them, upcoming series they'll release on the IKKI site are Natsume Ono’s House of Five Leaves, I'LL GIVE IT MY ALL...TOMORROW, by Shunju Aono, and Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida. FRESH.
UPDATE: A lot of international folks have noted that the IKKI English site seems geo-restricted to the US, like Hulu.com. You can search for tips but here's a quick way (from this site) to set up a proxy and check the site out from abroad:
0. Search for "us proxy list" or something similar and find an active US proxy ip and port. Write that down.
1. Start Mozilla Firefox.
2. From the main menu click on: Tools >> Options.
3. Click on the "Advanced" icon.
4. Click on the "Network" tab.
5. In the "Connection" frame, click on the "Settings" button.
6. In the "Connection Settings" dialog box that appears, click on the "Manual proxy configuration" radio button.
7. In the "HTTP Proxy" textbox, enter the IP address of the proxy server.
8. In the "Port" textbox, enter the port on which the proxy service is running.
9. Click "OK" to close the "Connection Settings" dialog box.
10. Click "OK" to close the "Options" dialog box.
11. Proxy server configuration is complete, restart the browser and check out http://www.sigikki.com/.
Did that work? Leave your tips in the comments for other folks.