The Kodansha USA Publishing team was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing last week of Zac Bertschy, writer, podcast host, executive editor at Anime News Network, and longtime friend to us and to the manga industry.
Over two decades at Anime News Network, Zac was a constant amid the anime and manga world’s ebb and flow. At a time when there were very few ways to read reliable anime and manga news in the U.S., he raised standards, pounded the pavement at conventions, and wrote tirelessly, helping shape ANN into a daily must-read.
As a critic, Zac’s judgments were sharp, but he was not a cynic. He relished the joy of falling in love with a hidden gem and sharing it with the world. We’re grateful that he did so much to spread the word about the manga he loved –which included many Kodansha Comics titles –in his podcast, writing, and boisterous convention panels. He was a booster of the art form itself, always trying to find more ways to cover manga even when flashier forms of entertainment threatened to take over the spotlight.
We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his loved ones, his colleagues, and the many who encountered his writing, his voice, or the man himself at an event and found a kindred spirit in a relentless world.
Contributions have been requested in Zac’s memory to the Glendale Humane Society and the Trevor Project. To express a small part of what Zac meant to us, Kodansha Comics will be donating to the Trevor Project in his honor, and we hope you’ll join us.
Rest in peace, Zac. We’ll miss you.
Kodansha USA Publishing Team