Vertical to make Tezuka backlist available in digital editions

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Americans can’t get enough Tezuka!

Well sort of. The Japanese comics pioneer was as prolific as he was influential and recently we’ve recently seen a pretty ambitious attempt at getting a bunch of his works into print here in the US from DMP.

But a lot of primo Tezuka’s work was already published here via a series of very attractive volumes published by Vertical which ranged from Black Jack—perhaps his most accessible series and one of the best known—and standlone volumes like Ode to Kirihito. Sadly many of these books are out of print, but not to worry, Vertical is bringing them back in digital form:

The secret history of alternative manga

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Manga isn’t all awkward schoolgirls and giant robots. There has long been a very strong alternative and literary thread of manga, and two recent articles give you some perspective on it.

I would call Ryan Holmberg’s Proto-Gekiga: Matsumoto Masahiko’s Komaga a must read, but I have to confess, it is very long and involved, and I have set it aside for weekend reading. BUT the important thing is that he compares and contrasts Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who is kind of credited as the father of “gekiga” or realistic manga, with Matsumoto Masahiko, a figure who appears in Tatsumi’s autobiographical A Drifting Life under another name. Masahiko’s work went down a slightly different path than Tatsumi’s but Holmberg shows that it was equally important:

The secret history of alternative manga

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Manga isn’t all awkward schoolgirls and giant robots. There has long been a very strong alternative and literary thread of manga, and two recent articles give you some perspective on it. I would call Ryan Holmberg’s Proto-Gekiga: Matsumoto Masahiko’s Komaga a must read, but I have to confess, it is very long and involved, and […]

Digital Manga announces MASSIVE six-figure Tezuka Kickstarter

Digital Manga has been successfully Kickstarting publication of several books by God of Comics Osama Tezuka for a few years now. So far they’ve done Barbara, Swallowing the Earth and more. But Tezuka drew some 150,000 pages of comics in his lifetime, so this is a pretty big task to bring all his comics to English. The new project has ambitious goals: to publish the following titles:

31 Days of Halloween: Junji Ito does Pokemon

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I know we’ve been slacking a bit with 31 Days due to the horrors of New York Comic-Con, but it’s full sped ahead to the pumpkins now. And here is the best thing you will hear today, tomorrow or possibly in a lifetime: Japanese Horror master Junji Ito Is doing a Pokemon collaboration.

Yeah that’s right. The creator of Uzumaki, Museum of Terror, the Long Hair in the Attic and much more, is doing POKEMON.

The news was announced in Japan as a “Collaboration,” you know, like Tokidoki doing Marvel, except terrifying and unspeakable. It’s called “Kowapoke,” which means “Scarypoke” and a single phone wallpaper image has been released thus far. That’s Banette, cute little Banette, admittedly not the nicest Pokemon, now all Kowapoke’d up. T-shirts are being given away in Japan now because life is unknowable and terrifying.

Jiro Taniguchi to attend Angoulême 2015

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According to a French press release, and Google translate, manga master Jiro Taniguchi will be one of the main guests for the 42nd Festival du Angoulême in January and will have the first major European exhibition of his work there. Taniguchi is the author of such highly regarded series as The Walking Man, A Distant […]

Yen Press announces Yen On light novel imprint, new manga licenses

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It seems that there were about 8,000 comics and anime cons this weekend and they all had news. At Sakura Con in Seattle, Yen Press announced a new imprint called Yen On which will publish about 24 “light novels” a year, including A Certain Magical Index (left). Light novels are shortish genre novels aimed at […]

Manga sales are still pretty big

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attackontitan_13.jpg While American comics publishers are usually secretive about the print runs, apparently Japanese publishers aren’t quite as stingy with numbers. It was just announced that #13the latest volume of Attack on Titan, the international mega hit, had a print run of 2.75 million—a record for Kodansha and a LOT more than the 40,000 print […]

March comes in like a lion wins Tezuka Prize top award

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The 18th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes, given out to notable manga, were announced yesterday. he grand prize went to March comes in like a lion by Chica Umino. The story is described thusly: The story of the manga follows a solitary shōgi player named Rei and his relationships with a neighboring family. He becomes […]

Viz announces NEW Urasawa in English – MASTER KEATON

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Naoki Urasawa is probably the greatest living genre cartoonist. Sorry ya’ll but it’s all true. Combining dense, suspenseful plotlines with thrilling, heart stopping artwork that never sacrifices character, he’s just the master. He’s even won an Eisner Award.Works in English, all published by Viz include MONSTER, PLUTO and 20th CENTURY BOYS. And now, MASTER KEATON, an early (pre-Monster) work from 1988 about a heroic insurance investigator who goes around using his archaeological skills to solve mysteries. SOLD. The series was co-written by Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki.

Moyoco Anno is coming to TCAF with INSUFFICIENT DIRECTION

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Josei Manga superstar Moyoco Anno is comif to this year’s TCAF. WOOT! It’s her second US convention—she appeared at New York Comic Con in 2012—and the fact she’s back for more is pretty exciting. (Melinda Beasi interviewed her for the Beat here.) Deb Aoki has all the reasons you should be aware of Anno’s amazing […]

David Brothers: “I’ve got to keep banging the drum for more” [Interview]

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David Brothers is one of the most accomplished writers-about-comics around, a blogger who recently moved into the industry himself as a member of the Image Comics staff. Having made a name for himself on websites like 4thLetter and Comics Alliance, his writing on (in particular) creator-owned comics, artwork, Manga and race have provided some of […]

Webcomic Alert — Oldboy: The Devil’s Eyes

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Although a perfectly good manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi exists—and was published in English by Dark Horse—the makers of the upcoming OLDBOY remake have created a new spinoff comic by Jason Badower and Rich Silverman and posted it on Tumblr. Two parts have been put up thus far. In the tradition of movie […]

Here’s a peek at Miyazaki’s post-retirement samurai manga

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As we recently reported, legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has retired from filmmaking, but he’s rumored to be returning to cartooning, working on a period “Samurai manga,” according to associates. Well, it sounded a bit like a pipedream, but a Japanese TV show has allowed a few peeks at Miyazaki-sensei slaving away at a drawing board, […]

Miyazaki working on a samurai manga, post retirement

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Revered animator Hayao Miayazaki announced his retirement from moviemaking a few months ago; his final (we think) film The Wind Rises has just opened in Japan and will come to America in February. So what’s a sensei to do with his free time? According to one colleague he’s going to draw samurai manga. Studio Ghibli’s […]

31 Days of Halloween: Akira Toriyama’s COWA! and seven other new digital series from Viz

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Viz had been plugging along with its digital comics available via Viz.Com and their app they just announced eight new series. Including one by DragonBall Z’s Toriyama about a cute half vampire were-koala. That guy is a frickin’ genius. Prices run from $6.99 to 13.99 Here’s the whole list. AISHITERUZE BABY, Vol. 1 Rated ‘T’ […]