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‘Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service’ gets omnibus treatment

kurosagi

Dark Horse is expanding its omnibus line with oversized new collections of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.

Created by Eiji Ōtsuka and Housui Yamazaki, the frequently gory horror manga centers on five young graduates of a Buddhist college, each with a special skill — dowsing, embalming, channeling an alien intelligence, etc. — who form a company devoted to delivering the dead to where they need to go to move on to their next reincarnations. It’s not pleasant or easy work, and it doesn’t always pay, but it beats a 9-to-5 job.

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Viz Media brings back ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’

legend of zeldaViz Media is bringing Shotaro Ishinomori’s manga The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past back to print for the first time in 20 years.

Arriving in May from the publisher’s Perfect Square imprint, the full-color edition will collect the loose adaptation of the original game’s story, which was originally serialized in 1992 in Game Power magazine. The story was re-released as a trade paperback the following year.

The story by Ishinomori, creator of Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider and Hotel, followed the overall story arc of the game, but included new plot twists and characters, including Link’s fairy guide Epheremelda and a descendent of the Knights of Hyrule named Roam.

“Many older fans recall eagerly awaiting each new issue of Nintendo Power magazine back in the ‘90s for a new monthly chapter of A Link to the Past,” Beth Kawasaki, Perfect Square’s senior editorial director, said in a statement. “While it followed the overall story arc of the original Super Entertainment System game, creator Ishinomori also added new plot twists and characters that made this a stand-alone favorite among multiple generations of fans.”

Read the next four issues of ‘Shonen Jump’ for free

WSJ2015_01_19_CoverTo celebrate its third anniversary of going digital, Shonen Jump is offering four issues for free in the next four weeks, as well as a discounted price of $19.99 for a one-year subscription. The free issues are available via the Shonen Jump website and the Viz Manga and Weekly Shonen Jump iOS and Android apps.

The nice thing about an anthology is the variety, and the Jan. 19 issue, the first to be offered for free, has a good mix of stories. There’s One Piece, the long-running pirate tale; if you’re not particular about understanding the details of the plot, you can jump right in and enjoy the kinetic, cartoony battle scenes.

Toriko is another classic Shonen Jump story, about a group of “gourmet hunters” who travel the world looking for foods that are rare, hard to get, and uniquely delicious. It’s an odd combination of battle and foodie manga, and it’s fun to see big, over-muscled guys get all weepy over a salad, as happens in this week’s chapter, or watch a gourmet dig into a bowl of “Ojiya-style eyeball porridge.” It’s amazingly imaginative, and well worth a read.

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Kodansha announces ‘Attack on Titan’ spinoff, other licenses

The Science of Attack on Titan

The Science of Attack on Titan

Kodansha Comics, the publisher of the bestselling manga Attack on Titan, announced a slew of new manga licenses late today at an event at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in New York. The new titles, all of which will be published in the second half of 2015, include an Attack on Titan spinoff and a second Colossal Edition, as well as new series by Blade of the Immortal creator Hiroaki Samura and Deadman Wonderland artist Jinsei Kataoka. Here’s the rundown:

The Science of Attack on Titan, by Rikao Yanagita: One of the cool things about Hajime Isayama’s hit Attack on Titan is that the world is really well thought through, and every now and then the story pauses for an explanation of the structure of the walls around the city, or what’s known about the Titans. Yanagita takes this a step further for the curious fan, tackling questions like what, exactly, Titans live on and how the walls were built.

The Attack on Titan Colossal Edition, Vol. 2: Kodansha published the first volume last year; it’s a deluxe hardback edition with extra color pages, along the lines of the Walking Dead Compendium, collecting the first five volumes of Attack on Titan. This 1,000-page second volume will collect volumes 6-10.

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‘Vagabond’ to return this month after lengthy hiatus

vagabond-v34Takehiko Inoue announced Monday on Twitter his samurai manga Vagabond will return Jan. 29 to Kodansha’s Morning magazine following a nearly year-long hiatus.

The acclaimed artist, whose creations include the basketball series Slam Dunk and Real, took what been intended as a four-month break in February so he could devote time to research and other matters (which included a major art exhibition). However, the return of Vagabond was delayed from June to the fall to finally later this month.

According to Anime News Network, Inoue acknowledged it “has been a while” since the previous chapter.

Debuting in 1998, Vagabond is a fictionalized account of the life of late 16th/early 17th-century Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Earning the Kodansha Manga Award and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, the title has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. Viz Media released the 36th volume in North America in October.

Vagabond previously was placed on an 18-month hiatus, beginning in September 2010 and ending in March 2012, because of Inoue’s ongoing health issues. The artist turns 48 years old on Jan. 12.

‘One Piece’ sets sail for kabuki stage next year

one piece

The Straw Hat Pirates of the smash-hit manga One Piece have been for television, film, video games and prose, and next year they’ll make the leap to the kabuki stage.

According to The Japan Times, the announcement was made over the weekend by publisher Shueisha, which will partner with movie company Shochiku to stage the production. One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda will supervise the adaptation.

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Viz Media to publish Junji Ito’s ‘Fragments of Horror’

fragments-junji-ito-cropped

Viz Media has acquired the rights to Fragments of Horror, the collection that marks horror master Junji Ito’s return to the genre after eight years.

The creator of such macabre manga as Tomie, Uzumaki and Gyo, Ito debuted Fragments of Horror last year in the inaugural issue of the relaunched Nemuki magazine. The collection was released in July in Japan.

Arriving next summer as part of the Viz Signature imprint, Fragments of Horror features tales “ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome”: “An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest.”

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‘Attack on Titan’ cover unveiled for ‘Brutus’ magazine

brutus-cropped

Hajime Isayama’s cover has been revealed for the 790th issue of Brutus, the Japanese pop-culture magazine that will include a crossover comic in which Marvel’s Avengers fight Attack on Titan‘s 46-foot-tall Female Titan on the streets of New York City.

Alas, Isayayma’s cover illustration doesn’t depict that showdown, but rather the cast of his hit manga Attack on Titan reimagined as school children, hanging out in Tokyo’s Ueno Park as danger looms in the distance.

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Pokémon teams with Junji Ito to give you nightmares

pokemon-ito-cropped

Every once in a while, a Pokémon emerges that makes you reconsider the notion of catching them all. After all, not every one of them is as cuddly as Pikachu, and some of them are just plain disturbing.

Consider the Banette, a grudge-holding doll-like Pokémon possessed by “pure hatred.” That’s troubling enough, but now consider the Banette as drawn by Junji Ito, the wonderfully twisted mind behind such horror manga Tomie, Uzumaki and Gyo.

For Halloween, the Pokémon Company is teaming with the horror master for “Kowapoke,” or “Scarypoke,” a seasonal promotion on the company’s website trumpeted with Ito’s Banette illustration, which can be downloaded as a free wallpaper or purchased as a T-shirt. More content is on the way.

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Tokyo manga apartments may soon be an option for tourists

manga apts

Manga lovers planning a trip to Tokyo may soon be able to stay at lodgings designed specifically for them.

According to Nikkei, the Tokyo company Slow Curve plans to buy leases for condominiums and apartments in the city’s Akihabara, Ikebukuro and Nakano neighborhoods, and stock them with as many as 2,000 manga.

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NYCC | Yen Press announces ‘Prison School,’ ‘Emma’ & more

prison-school1

Yen Press announced at New York Comic Con a late of new licenses that includes Prison School, adaptations of the light novels Chaika, The Coffin Princess and Trinity Seven, and a new project from Svetlana Chmakova.

The Hachette Book Group imprint will also reissue Kaoru Mori’s Emma — previously released as part of DC Comics’ CMX line — in a series of five hardcover omnibus editions.

A full list of the announcements, and their descriptions, can be found below.

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NYCC | Vertical Inc. launches Vertical Comics imprint

harsh mistress of the cityVertical Inc. has announced the launch of Vertical Comics, an imprint dedicated to manga and anime-related books, leaving the publisher’s primary line to focus on contemporary Japanese prose works in crime fiction, fantasy and sci-fi.

According to Publishers Weekly, beginning in the fall, the new imprint will publish 20 new manga titles over the next year, with plans to expand to 30 t0 40 manga and anime-oriented works.

The New York-based company also announced at New York Comic Con that, following the release next summer of the Attack on Titan – Before the Fall: Kyklo light novel prequel, it will publish Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City, written by Ryo Kawakami, with illustrations by Range Murata. Yes, Range Murata.

Vertical also confirmed the release of the manga Prophecy, Vol. 1, by Tetsuya Tsutsui in November and My Neighbor Seki by Takuma Morishige in January, the anthology Dream Fossil: The Complete Collection of Satoshi Kon in summer 2015, and A Sky Longing for Memories: The Art of Makoto Shinkai in May.

‘Attack on Titan’ posters swap humans for fast food

attack-on-titan1

Hajime Isayama’s manga Attack on Titan is as popular as it is gory, with enormous creatures that devour humans in the same way we might dig into a bucket of KFC — only with a lot more indiscriminate bone-crunching. Needless to say, those probably aren’t the kind of images you want to plaster throughout the Tokyo subway.

So what do you do if you’re tasked with promoting an art exhibit at a Tokyo museum devoted to Attack on Titan? Well, Rocket News24 reports the designers cleverly avoided complaints about graphic imagery by covering the unfortunate humans on each of the posters with a photo of fast food — pizza, burgers, fried chicken and the like. I suppose there’s an argument to be made those are even more horrific than the originals.

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‘Naruto’ manga to end next month

Naruto, Vol. 70

Naruto, Vol. 70

Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto’s bestselling ninja manga, will come to an end next month after a 15-year run. The final chapter will be published Nov. 10 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump.

The impending end doesn’t come as a surprise to most readers, as Kishimoto announced in 2012 that the “series is rising towards its climax,” and just last year revealed Naruto was “in its final phase.”

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Jiro Taniguchi to be guest at Angoulême comics festival

Jiro Taniguchi

Jiro Taniguchi

Jiro Taniguchi, creator of The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood and more than 40 other manga, will be a special guest in January at the 42nd Angoulême International Comics Festival, which will include a major exhibit of his work — the first of its scale in Europe.

Titled “Taniguchi, l’homme qui rêve” (“Taniguchi, the dreaming man”), the exhibition will cover four decades of Taniguchi’s work, which includes the memoir A Zoo in Winter, the conquest-of-Everest tale Summit of the Gods, the time-travel story A Distant Neighborhood, and the mystery The Quest for the Missing Girl.

Not only does Taniguchi’s work span most of the major graphic novel genres, the official press release points out, but he has crossed over to become an author with universal appeal. Indeed, Laurent Duvault, director of international media development for the publishing group Media Participations, told me at this year’s festival that “Taniguchi was the first Japanese artist to have his own area, not in the manga section but in the French section [of bookstores]. It was a graphic novel approach, not a manga approach.” He attributed this in part to the fact that Taniguchi’s work is flipped, so it reads left to right, making it more accessible to readers of European languages. Taniguchi is no stranger to Angoulême: A Distant Neighborhood was awarded the Alph’Art prize for best scenario at the 2003 festival, and he was one of the nominees for the Grand Prix this year.

Taniguchi, who has four new books coming out this year in France, will be present at Angoulême to open the exhibit and participate in the program; after the festival is over, the show will go on tour around France and the rest of Europe.


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