After a 20-year break from making longform manga, Katsuhiro Otomo is starting a new longform manga. Set in Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912), it’s his first shonen (young boys) series. Of course, since Akira wrapped up in 1990, Otomo hasn’t been sitting around playing Tetris. He’s been busy directing and turning out the occasional short comic, like “DJ Teck’s Morning Attack,” which ran with the interview where he announced the new series (that’s the cover above, not the new manga). That was also his first short comic since 2006. This break from the longform makes other long-brewing comics like HABIBI and ASTERIOS POLYP look like hasty efforts.
Considering that AKIRA is one of the most influential comics of all time, Otomo has quite a legacy to live up to…but this will doubtless be one of the big manga stories of the year.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.