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Posts Tagged Osamu Tezuka

PictureBox Inc Launches New Manga Imprint – Ten Cent Manga

Ten Cent Manga

The manga won’t cost as little as name suggests, but that does little to dampen the fun of sharing word of a new manga imprint revealed earlier this month. According to AnimeNewsNetwork and The Comics Reporter, the publishing company PictureBox Inc. is launching a new manga imprint called Ten Cent Manga.

Currently there are two books scheduled to kick off this new imprint which will be  “focusing on manga straddling Japanese and American cultural influences”:

Last of the Mohicans – Shigeru Sugiura
April 30, 2013 – $19.99/US, $19.82/CAN (Hardcover)
“A 1973-74 classic from a manga master. This (very) free adaptation of the novel employs a range surrealist, collage-like techniuques that engag with contemporary Pop Art and psychedlia, as well as Japan’s modern history of cultural appropriation, to bring to life the great American story. It features combines Sugiura’s signature brand of absurd action and exquisite drawing, veering constantly from lowbrow cartoon spoof to nuanced meditation on American cultural influence.”

The Mysterious Underground Men – Osamu Tezuka
October 2013 (Hardcover)

“Originally published in Osaka in 1948, The Mysterious Underground Men tells the story of Mimio the talking rabbit, as he struggles to prove his humanity while helping his friends save earth from an invasion of angry humanoid ants. Inspired by Bernhard Kellermann’s Der Tunnel (1913) and drawing widely on European and American science fiction, as well as Milt Gross’ own pioneering “graphic novel,” He Done Her Wrong (1930), this full-color edition of The Mysterious Underground Men will not only introduce to English-language readers a founding monument in modern Japanese comics. It will also offer a rare glimpse at the wide-ranging Western cultural sources that made up young Tezuka’s world.”

 According the TCR report, we can expect to see more lesser known titles from well known creators. Already having some Tezuka under their belt is a good way to get started I’d say, and I’m curious to see what else comes of Ten Cent Manga. At the very least, their selection of titles so far and the company’s explained intent means we’ll be getting some history lessons with their releases as we read stories from creators that may not have otherwise been considered for license.

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – January 2, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - January 2, 2013

It’s the first new manga of 2013! 2012 went out soft with no new volumes of manga released in its last week, but distributors and publishers worked to ensure that the new year was much more stacked to start. Get those gift cards ready!

You can read my thoughts on the new year’s first week of releases over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA.

Bleach (Vol.54) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Cage of Eden (Vol.08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Caramel [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Dengeki Daisy (Vol.11) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Heroman (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Hunter x Hunter (Vol.29) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
I’ve Seen It All (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Jiu Jiu (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Love Makes Everything Right [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Message to Adolf (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Ninth Life Love [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Oresama Teacher (Vol.12) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Otomen (Vol.14) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Psyren (Vol.08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Strobe Edge (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Ultimo (Vol.08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]

NYCC 2012: Vertical Nabs Tezuka’s Twin Knights, Okazaki’s Helter Skelter

NYCC 2012: Vertical Nabs Tezuka’s Twin Knights, Okazaki’s Helter Skelter

It begins! New York Comic Con 2012 is this weekend and there’s been a lot of anticipation that this would be the big news event of the year for comics and manga. It’s a great show, having an audience big enough to be an important promotional opportunity but without all the same Hollywood-suffocation of SDCC.  This is the first time in a few years I haven’t attended, but fortunately there’s no shortage of Twitter tweets and news posts to keep us all informed of the news as it breaks.

Vertical Inc. was one of the first to provide us eager readers with manga news. They’ve licensed two new series both due out next year:

Twin Knights – Osamu Tezuka
Helter Skelter – Kyoko Okazaki

Of the two, Twin Knights is definitely the big news for me. It’s a sequel series to Tezuka’s Princess Knight which Vertical released in two omnibus volumes last year. This follow-up story takes place years in the future with the birth of Princess Sapphire’s twin children – Prince Daisy and Princess Violetta. When the two grow older, the son is kidnapped and his sister juggles her own identity while pretending to be him in order to go out and make a rescue. Sounds great to me!

The other series really piques my interest as well. I haven’t heard of Helter Skelter in detail until now but it sounds like a story that fits well in Vertical’s library of books which includes titles like Lychee Light Club, Black Jack and 7 Billion Needles.

Helter Skelter revolves around Ririko, a model who underwent extensive plastic surgery to attain her beauty. The clinic who performed Ririko’s surgeries goes under investigation for questionable business practices, and Ririko’s body starts to deteriorate. As the model’s prominence in the entertainment industry begins to falter, so does her sanity.” – AnimeNewsNetwork

The first volume of Twin Knights will be released in July 2013 for $12.95/US, $13.95/CAN. Volume one of Helter Skelter will premiere in July 2013 as well for $16.95/US, $18.95/CAN.

ANN has a full write-up of the event, including this interesting tidbit “…gauging interest in starting a subscription model so that series will stay in print.”. Fantagraphics recently offered a subscription-like service for their series, Wandering Son. Omnibus volumes were a big trend-shift for print manga in North America – could subscription models be next? If it’ll keep printed books in my hands, then sign me up! My only real issue with subscriptions directly with publishers is cutting out the comic-store middle man, but it’s all test-and-see now.

Back to the manga goods in closing – two awesome licenses! Excellent choices, Vertical. I’m eagerly awaiting them both next summer.

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – September 26, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - September 26, 2012

It’s Yotsuba&! week! So says I, because there’s a new volume of Yotsuba&! out this week and I think that’s plenty reason to celebrate. It’s also the week that we see Digital Manga’s Kickstarter-funded, Barbara. A new Osamu Tezuka is always on my to-buy list. Then there’s a new volume of Tyrant Who Falls in Love – huzzah!

You can read the list of all the books shipping this week at my On The Shelf column for Otaku USA.

Barbara [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Deltora Quest (Vol.08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class (Vol.04) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Genshiken Omnibus (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Higurashi When They Cry (Vol.19): Massacre Arc (Pt.01) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Jack Frost (Vol.06) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Miles Edgeworth Ace Attorney (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Omamori Himari (Vol.00) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Raiders (Vol.08) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Tale of the Waning Moon (Vol.03) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Tyrant Falls in Love (Vol.07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Until Death Do Us Part (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Yotsuba&! (Vol.11) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]

Otaku USA: On The Shelf – September 5, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - September 5, 2012

It’s been a weird couple weeks, and part of that has lead to there being several weeks between my trips to my local comic store (Strange Adventures) to buy new manga. So bizarre! This week will be the tipping point though. A new Tezuka title, Message to Adolf, from Vertical Inc., new Viz Media volumes of Bleach, Bakuman and… a new volume of Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden after three years?!

Sold. You can check out the full list of titles that shipped this week over at my On The Shelf article for Otaku USA.

Digital Manga Stretches for the Tezuka Goal with Updated Kickstarter

Digital Manga Stretches for the Tezuka Goal with Updated Kickstarter

With over 450 backers, Digital Manga’s Unico Kickstarter surpassed it’s original funding goal last week. True to their word, the company announced a secondary license for their backers to shoot for – Osamu Tezuka’s Atom Cat:

“This is a family reboot of Astro Boy drawn by Tezuka in 1986-87, about a little boy who has a cat with Astro Boy’s powers. It’s adorable, fun, and has some great art and action!”

Even with additional thousands of dollars required for this title, the number was reached in a matter of days. Another Tezuka was added, this time a two volume series, Triton:

“It’s the story of Triton, a boy living in modern Japan who discovers he is the last survivor of the destruction of Atlantis by the god Poseidon. With his dolphin comrades by his side once again, he goes on a quest to avenge his family and, more importantly, begin to understand where he came from.”

Currently the Kickstarter is just over $30,000 with the current goal for the publication of Triton set at $47,000. Digital Manga continues to set some hefty goals indeed. I’m not sure how they’re working out their ‘pricing’ – going from approximately $20,000 to $6000 then shooting back to $20,000 – but backers seem keen on following the path regardless. Whether or not they reach the nearly fifty-grand total by July 21st remains, of course, to be seen.

Atom Cat
Paperback (B/W)
Page Counts: 200
Release Date: Unknown
Price: $12.95/US
Paperback (B/W)
Page Counts: (Vol.01) 488 | (Vol.02) 440
Release Dates: June 2013/August 2013
Price: $19.95/US

I’m always glad to have the potential for Tezuka (or manga in generally,really), especially in this instance as Atom Cat sounds like a fun spin-off of Astro Boy – this coming from someone who doesn’t like cats too. I still really wish, however, that Digital Manga would have enough faith in the material to publish it without relying on this method of repsonsbility shift. I don’t think it’ll ever sit right with me watching a for-profit company requesting these kinds of upfront funds from its audience. Kickstarter as an extras potential – such as allowing a digital-only release to go to print or bring an old book back as a reprint, such as they did with Swallowing the Earth – seemed considerably more appropriate use of the service for them. If a financially backed, for profit organization with almost a decade of publishing experience is going to use a Kickstarter, I would hope they could show the confidence to use it as that kind of bonus offer system and not a do-all-end-all crutch.  Maybe then asking your readers to shell out $45,000+ towards mostly unknown costs might go down a little easier… but who’s to say?

But I digress (surprise surprise!). Despite my previous post and podcast on the topic, I still feel I could go on rambles in regards to these Kickstarter projects for pages more so I’ll withhold myself here. I really do adore Digital Manga as a company for their taste and consistency over the years, but these Kickstarters and DM Guild activities have me really on the fence about their current direction. There’s a lot good about the intiatives, but a lot of negatives too.

Ultimately I am glad to see more Tezuka potentially hitting the market and both Atom Cat and Triton will be on my bookshelves when they’re available to actually purchase. Time will tell if it’s one or both, as Triton‘s fate in English seems to now lay squarely on an audience who could already be understandably maxed out.

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka's Unico

Digital Manga launched a new Kickstarter project late this week, this time for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico. The Kickstarter launched June 21st and is currently over halfway to their goal of $20,000/US.

Unico is a series Tezuka drew for children during the late 70s and it was originally published in full-colour. Digital Manga plans to release the entire thing in one omnibus collection and maintaining the colour print (hence they say the much higher pledge amount). They’ve got a couple rough sample pages on their Kickstarter project page so the curious can get a glimpse of what they’re pledging towards.

“Unico is a little unicorn who possesses the magical power to help those who love him. His story begins in the Greece of mythology, with Tezuka’s take on the story of Psyche. In his version, Unico brings great happiness to the mortal Psyche, who in return cares for him and loves him. But the goddess Venus is jealous of Psyche, tricking her and ordering Zephyrus, the West Wind, to kidnap and banish the unicorn to someplace far away after wiping his memory. Before Unico can spend too long in one place, Zephyrus returns to carry him away again.”

The book is being quoted at 441 pages and for a cost of $39.95/US once printed. In addition to pledging towards Unico, Digital Manga has stated that they’ll be including a second license in the project if the Kickstarter surpasses it’s $20,000 goal in advance of the July 21st cut-off. … what could it be?

I made no secret of my opinions towards Digital Manga’s use of Kickstarter in the past. While I’m pleased to see they’ve made some changes to the benefit of their supporters (such as preview pages),  I still won’t be supporting this project as a pledger. When/if the book is completed and out on store shelves, however, I’ll definitely be purchasing it to add to the Tezuka collection! Unico looks quite adorable.

The company’s last Kickstarter was for Osamu Tezuka’s Barbara which was successfully funded at $17,032 – three times more than the $6,500 requested. Barbara is scheduled for public release this September (Amazon CAN/US).

PR: DMP Platinum Brings Tezuka Manga for Kids to Kickstarter with “Unico”

Digital Manga, Inc.’s Platinum Manga imprint is returning to Kickstarter to publish the first ever full-color Osamu Tezuka manga in English!

Gardena, CA (June 21st, 2012) — Today Digital Manga, Inc. launched a project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Unico, the children’s comic by Osamu Tezuka, in English for the first time. Until July 21, fans will be able to buy into the project to receive rewards including copies of the book and exclusive bonuses, such as T-shirts, posters, stickers and a digital companion with educational games and bonus material for young readers and their parents and teachers.

If fans pledge a total of $20,500 or more by the deadline, Unico will be released in a single volume edition in January 2013 through DMI’s Platinum Manga classics imprint. It would be the first manga released in full color in English by Tezuka, an important pioneer of manga and animation in Japan and perhaps the most prolific and acclaimed comics artist of all time. Digital Manga’s previous two successful Kickstarter campaigns were focused on two of Tezuka’s adult works, Swallowing the Earth and Barbara. In a twist, Digital Manga has announced that if the goal is met with sufficient time to spare, another Tezuka children’s license will be made available through Kickstarter immediately.

The book opens in mythological Greece, where Psyche takes care of Unico, and in return he uses his magical powers to bring her happiness. Jealous of Psyche, the goddess Venus orders the West Wind to wipe Unico’s memory and spirit him away where Psyche will never reach him. Unico’s adventures eventually take him to the Wild West, medieval Europe, and even more fantastic locales. Along the way he makes friends and turns back evil with the power of love.

“With Unico losing his memory every time he is transported to a new world, the book is not only a fun adventure for kids, it’s also a moral story, with considered spiritual themes,” said Ben Applegate, editor of the Platinum Manga imprint. “Unico already has a small fanbase in the United States thanks to the animated films, which were first released here in the ’80s and were recently re-released on DVD. However, we’re not just trying to appeal to nostalgic grown-ups like me. We’re doing the book specifically so that parents can read it with their kids. And teachers, too: We think this would make a great addition to primary school libraries and literature curricula.”

The digital companion, available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, will also include entertaining explanations of the Greek myths and historical locations used in the book.

The Kickstarter campaign, with promotional materials and a video, can be viewed here:

Digital Manga Launches Second Kickstarter for Tezuka’s Barbara

Digital Manga Starts Kickstarter for Tezuka's Barbara

On Friday Digital Manga Publishing launched their second Kickstarter – a crowd-souring website that takes monetary pledges towards a goal. While DMP’s first project was to fund Osamu Tezuka’s Swallowing the Earth back for a second printing, this time they’re collecting pledges to go towards licensing and publishing a new Tezuka title – Barbara.

“Wandering the packed tunnels of Shinjuku Station, famous author Yosuke Mikura makes a strange discovery: a seemingly homeless drunk woman who can quote French poetry. Her name is Barbara. He takes her home for a bath and a drink, and before long Barbara has made herself into Mikura’s shadow, saving him from egotistical delusions and jealous enemies. But just as Mikura is no saint, Barbara is no benevolent guardian angel, and Mikura grows obsessed with discovering her secrets, tangling with thugs, sadists, magical curses and mythical beings – all the while wondering whether he himself is still sane.”

In only two days the company has received pledges totalling more than the $6500 they were asking for. Their press release states that additional rewards (extras for those who pledge more than the $25 cost of the book) will be released throughout the month leading up to the date they’ll be closing the drive and collecting the money (February 13th).

While those who pledge $25+ in this drive have been guaranteed copies of the book once it’s complete – scheduled for sometime in July 2012 – Digital Manga’s Ben Applegate has stated that copies will also be printed and distributed to bookstores as well. I’m grateful for this as it allows me to keep supporting my local businesses and avoid the $20+ I’d very likely end up paying just for the shipping of a single book to Canada through their service (which I’ve now learned is considered overseas? Choose a better word, USPS!). It also means those new to Tezuka or manga, or those curious but not willing to buy blindly, can still have a chance to flip through and make an informed decision. There’s no word on what size this print run will be though and it’s questionable how available this title will be when they need to seek outside funding from consumers just to finance it initially.

The last time Digital Manga used a Kickstarter drive to fund their operations I was skeptical and even after the first’s success, I still am. I’m thrilled to see another older title get a shot at English publication, let there be no question of that. But that Digital Manga is again using a system like Kickstarter – typically used by individuals or small groups without financial backers or partners that companies have – still just doesn’t sit right with me. While I shared my initial thoughts back in November, this second project prompted elaboration as I continue to try and pinpoint what this kind of move means to me and other manga readers.

Read more…

Year In Review: Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

There are no shortage of ‘Best Of’ lists this time of year. While I like popping around to different peoples’ sites and seeing what they thought, it’s a bit of a frustration that I can’t seem to write one myself. How people choose a solid list containing five or ten favourites, from across different genres and subject matters, is just something I can’t seem to muster the brain power for. Not enough conviction I suppose? There’s just so much to love!

But I can’t overlook the perfect chance to look back at all the great titles a year had to offer and 2011 had some really fantastic ones. So then where is this going, oh rambling one, you ask? My semi-traditional equivalent to the yearly best of – the random Lissa’s favourites and best-ofs list! Which really just means you get a lot more titles broken into a lot more categories so I can remain a lot more loving to a lot more series. And in some cases not so loving… From the Best Release Quality to the Favourite Fan Service and even to the most Gag Worthy – here are a bunch of my favourite titles from 2011!

Read more…

Take me back to the top!