Kodansha to bring back Sailor Moon

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It’s the title that broke manga in the US — no comic has had a bigger influence than SAILOR MOON, the manga/anime that kicked off the shojo manga boom, made it safe for girls to read comics, and introduced the idea of cosplay to America in a big way.

Created by Naoko Takeuchi, and published as part of their MIXX magazine, SAILOR MOON also put Tokyopop on the map in the late ’90s. However the title has long been out of print in English, despite cries that it would find a ready audience.

At long last, SAILOR MOON is coming back, this time from Kodansha, with a deluxe edition of the original 18 volumes in 12 books, and a first-ever US version of CODENAME: SAILOR V, the prequel.

PR below:

Kodansha USA Publishing, a subsidiary of Kodansha, announced today the exciting return of Naoko Takeuchi’s SAILOR MOON, one of the most significant names in comics and manga, to US publishing. Brand new deluxe editions of the acclaimed series will be released by Kodansha USA’s Kodansha Comics imprint in September 2011. Out of print for six years, SAILOR MOON re-launches along with Takeuchi’s two-volume prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, in print in the US for the first time—making this one of the most highly anticipated manga releases in years.
 
The SAILOR MOON manga, which originated in Japan in 1992 and debuted in the US in 1997, follows Usagi Tsukino, a young girl who transforms into super heroine Sailor Moon to combat evil and fight for love and justice in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. The first successful shôjo (girls’) manga release in the US, SAILOR MOON changed the book landscape and helped establish the foundation for the manga craze; in particular drawing attention to the popularity of comics among female readers.
 
Prequel series CODENAME: SAILOR V, the first of Takeuchi’s “magical girl” manga, will make its highly anticipated debut in the US alongside the SAILOR MOON re-launch. In CODENAME: SAILOR V, teenager Minako Aino fights as Sailor V against the villains of the Dark Agency before she discovers Sailor Moon.
 
The Kodansha USA editions of SAILOR MOON will be published on a bi-monthly schedule and follow the 2003 Japanese re-release format of the classic series. The original 18 volumes have been condensed into 12 volumes covering the main storyline, and two volumes dedicated to short stories. Each volume has gorgeous new cover art, retouched interior art and dialogue along with extensive bonus material from Takeuchi, and detailed translation notes.
 
One of the most recognized manga and anime properties in the world, SAILOR MOON took American pop culture by storm, with mentions in music (“One Week” by Barenaked Ladies), bestselling books (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot) and more. In Japan, over 15 million copies have been sold and the series has generated everything from animated features to live action musicals, a live action television series and countless merchandise.
 
“I’m very excited to reintroduce Ms. Takeuchi’s work to her American fans,” said Yoshio Irie, president and CEO of Kodansha USA Publishing. Irie is also the former chief editor of Nakayosi magazine in which the SAILOR MOON manga was serialized. “As we continue to build the Kodansha Comics manga list, a title like SAILOR MOON is the jewel in our crown. As the former chief editor of the work in Japan, I’m especially thrilled to finally release the prequel, CODENAME: SAILOR V, to the many fans who have been asking for it at long last.”

First Look: Adrianne Palicki dons Wonder Woman costume

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The pilot for the Wonder Woman revamp just started shooting, and EW has revealed the first still of star Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night LIghts) in the new Wonder Woman costume.

The new look seems to be modeled in equal parts on Jim Lee’s revamped design and MAC’s recent Wonder Woman make-up line packaging. Critics are already calling it vinyl-y, Halloween costume-esque and garish — or as one of our correspondents joked “It’s amazingly similar to what they wear in fake superhero bondage porn videos.”

Our take? Sure it’s loud and blue and red. But YOU try dressing like a superhero. The addition of the black pants from the Lee redesign would have toned it down a bit but OYMIGOD! Look at those cool cyan boots!

On the plus side, Palicki certainly wears the costume well.

C2E2 ready to kick things off

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Day 0 at the second edition of C2E2 found retailers confabbing, and early arrivals checking out the new location for the show.

Following last year’s inaugural show in the Lakeside hall set on the banks of Lake Michigan, the convention has moved to a more modern hall that’s laid out on a more human scale. No longer do you wander over the Rainbow Bridge from Niflheim to Asgard just to attend a panel. The show floor (more compact this year) is on one floor, panels are on another, and you can see where everything is from the railing.

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The McCormick place remains a dauntingly huge venue, however. Jim Shooter, Mike Richardson, and ChrisCross could stand in a pack and still look like ants against this heroic scale.

We have lots of notes from the retailer meeting but this pesky virus or whatever it is has claimed our energy to type. No big bombshells — however, this crop of retailers does seem much younger and more focused on improving their stores than some previous generations. In the years we’ve been attending these things, it’s nice to see some matters go from vague ideas to industry standards, like more stores with POS systems and now day-early delivery.

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We caught show runner Lance Fensterman (above) in a quiet moment just as the floor was settling down. He acknowledges that last year’s show left something to be desired in the local turnout but feels that this year they have done everything they can to market the show — Green Lantern shelf talkers at Pepsi displays and so on. He said that before the show opened they would already have sold more tickets than they did for all of last year’s show, so things are looking positive.

There’s still a lot of good will for the show, even if some publishers, like Image, are sitting this one out. And professionals are happy that con season is in full swing, flooding the CBR bar to sample the exclusive brew designed just for the show.
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Above, Oni peeps play games in the bar.

More later.