New Titles from Kodansha, Coming This Fall!

Lots of Attack on Titan titles!  And other fun stuff!

The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: Eric Stephenson’s ComicsPro speech

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s podcast the More to Come Crew – Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Image publisher Eric Stephenson‘s controversial speech at ComicsPRO, ComicWalker, Kadokawa’s new digital manga venture, Kickstarter hits $1 billion in pledges, Steve Ditko on Kickstarter and comics marketing from fun packs to cereal boxes and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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.

Viz is bringing it out in its deluxe Signature editions starting in December – each volume will includes an 18 page color section. If you’re a Urasawa fan, you’ve already cleared a space on the shelf for it. Unfortunately, Urasawa-sensei is notoriously digital averse (he needs to go hang out with Mark Millar, methinks) so the only legal English versions of his work are the Viz print editions.

MASTER KEATON was a popular anime series and has been adapted into film and a sequel is currently being publsihed in Japan, so this makes bringing it to US readers even more of a natural.

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I’m so darned exciting I’m including the entire PR: [Read more…]

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 work, but especially notable is the just published Insufficient Direction, which offers a humorous view of Anno’s marriage to fellow manga-ka, Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno. Vertical has a preview of it here, and like all of Anno’s work it’s blunt and biting, depicting Hideki as a roly poly man child and Moyoco as a screaming child. Yep, sounds like a marriage of two titanic talents all right.

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TCAF is rapidly becoming the #2 North American show for those who love comics—in my heart it’s tied with San Diego as the best time of the year.

The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: A New Con for New York Conflicts with Two Existing Cons

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s podcast the More to Come Crew – Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Special Edition, the new New York comics-only show from ReedPop (the creators of NYCC), convention woes in Denver and South Bend, Osamu Tezuka‘s backlist goes digital, Viz coming to India, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, casting for the Fantastic Four movie and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

Fantagraphics to publish MASSIVE gay manga

UnnamedAs the diaspora of former PictureBox projects begins, it’s just been announced that Fantagraphics is picking up MASSIVE a huge overview of gay manga and its creators, put together by the same team as the very successful Passion of Gengorah Tagame book that came out this year. This promises to be an eye opening and fascinating look at a little known (in the US) sub-genre of manga.

Fantagraphics Books is thrilled to welcome the team behind The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame (PictureBox) to the family. Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It due out October 2014. This is the most recent entry in Fantagraphics’ queer comics lineup, which also features the anthology No Straight Lines, the graphic novels 7 Miles a Second and Bread & Wine, and manga by Moto Hagio and Shimura Takako.

The Massive anthology showcases Japan’s most talented and influential gay manga artists, including Gengoroh Tagame, Jiraiya, Seizoh Ebisubashi, Kazuhide Ichikawa, Gai Mizuki, Takeshi Matsu, Fumi Miyabi, and Kumada Poohsuke. In Massive, many of these artists’ works are featured in English for the first time; this collection offers an intimate, in-depth look at a criminally overlooked component of Japanese queer culture. In addition to comics and illustrations, Massive features photographs of the artists and their workspaces; cultural and historical context; and interviews with the creators about what it’s like to be a gay erotic artist in Japan.

Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins, and designed by Chip Kidd, this unprecedented survey of manga “made by gay men for gay men” is an essential addition to the queer comics canon; it will introduce the genre often referred to as “bara” (a misnomer for gay manga that has taken on new meanings online) to a new, international audience.

Massive was originally scheduled as a PictureBox Spring 2014 release until its publisher, Dan Nadel, announced that he is ceasing operations. Although we’re sad to see PictureBox shutter its doors, everyone involved is delighted to give Massive a new home. “I’m thrilled that Massive, an essential guide to the world of gay manga, is going to see print next year. Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, and Chip Kidd are the best guides imaginable to this fascinating work and the men who make it,” says Nadel.

For more information on the production team behind Massive and its artists, please visit gaymanga.tumblr.com and fantagraphics.com/massive.

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

Miyazaki manga 1As 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, so he’s definitely drawing SOMETHING.

On Monday, NHK’s Professional Shigoto no Ryūgi (Professional Work Style) program showed the samurai manga that Studio Ghibli anime director Hayao Miyazaki is drawing after he announced his retirement from feature films. The program’s latest episode dealt with the studio co-founder’s September retirement announcement and showed him drawing the manga two months later. Miyazaki said that he wants to draw sengoku (Japan’s Warring States Period) stories and other stories that cannot be cubbyholed.


According to reports, the manga will be serialized in print, as it’s finished. And if there is a just comics god, the English version will be available legally soon after.

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Miyazaki working on a samurai manga, post retirement

2012 11 06 VIZ Media Releases Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Deluxe Manga Box Set Hardcover Volume IRevered 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 Toshio Suzuki told a TV show that “I think he will serialize a manga. From the beginning, he likes drawing about his favorite things. That’s his stress relief.”

“That’s what he is drawing now. He’ll get angry if I talk too much,” Suzuki added.

Miyazaki is hardly a stranger to manga, having drawn Nausicaa of the Valley Wind previously. The whole series was presented in a nice box set by Viz last year

If this is true, and we ever get to see it, it would be pretty damned cool, needless to say.

24 Hours of Halloween: Junjo Ito’s Uzumaki

20It doesn’t get any more disturbing than this.

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’ for Teens
Kippei Katakura is a 17-year-old playboy who spends his time chasing girls, careless of their feelings. But when his 5-year-old cousin Yuzuyu comes to live with his family after her mother’s sudden disappearance, Kippei is put in charge of taking care of her. As Kippei gets to know Yuzuyu and starts to understand how she feels, he also begins to realize that all girls were like Yuzuyu once…

COWA! (One-Shot) Rated ‘A’ for All Ages
Paifu, a half-vampire half-werekoala, is always getting into trouble with his best buddy, José the Ghost. But when the Monster Flu sweeps through town, the fun and games are over. If the monsters don’t get the medicine soon, everyone will die! With all the adults sick, it’s up to the kids to save the day!

MUHYO & ROJI’S BUREAU OF SUPERNATUAL INVESTIGATION, Vols. 1-2
Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Are you a victim of unwanted spirit possession? Is there a ghost you need sent up and away…or down to burn for all eternity? If the answer is yes, then you need Muhyo and Roji, experts in magic law. Serving justice to evil spirits is their specialty.

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VOICE OVER: SEIYU ACADEMY Vol. 1 Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Hime Kino’s dream is to one day do voice acting like her hero Sakura Aoyama from the Lovely ♥ Blazers anime, and getting accepted to the prestigious Holly Academy’s voice actor department is the first step in the right direction! But Hime’s gruff voice has earned her the scorn of teachers and students alike. Hime will not let that stand unchallenged. She’ll show everyone that she is too a voice acting princess, whether they like it or not!!

X 3-In-1, Vol. 1 Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens $13.99
Their Destiny Was Foreordained… The fate of the world is at stake in this gorgeously illustrated masterwork from the four-woman artistic team CLAMP! Kamui Shiro is a young man who was born with the power to decide the fate of the Earth itself – a destiny he can barely bring himself to believe. But as other players involved in the prophecy begin to gather around him – the “Seven Seals,” with the power to protect the Earth, and the “”Seven Harbingers,” who are fated to destroy it – he has no choice but to come to terms with his fate.

New Series Launching October 29th:

BOYS OVER FLOWERS, Vols. 1-2 Rated ‘T’ for Teens
Although Tsukushi Makino is from a poor family, she attends an elite school for the super rich, where her life has become intertwined with the “F4,” the ruling boys of the school, in a whirlwind of love and confusion!

NORA: THE LAST CHRONICLE OF DEVILDOM, Vols. 1 Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Nora, an unruly demon, has defied his superiors one too many times. For the sake of his “education,” Nora is sent to live among mortals and enters a bond of servitude with cool-as-ice star student Kazuma Magari. Kazuma is about to learn the ways of the underworld… and Nora will learn more from the “real world” than he ever thought possible!

YU-GI-OH! MILLENNIUM WORLD, Vols. 1-2 Rated ‘T’ for Teens
The final saga of the YU GI OH! epic! After many deadly duels, Yugi has collected the three Egyptian God Cards, the key to remembering his own past life as an Egyptian pharaoh. When the cards take Yugi’s soul back in time, can he defeat the villains of the past and achieve his ultimate destiny?

Webcomic Alert: Bani Garu, Lea Hernandez’s history of Gainax

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BoingBoing has just introduced a new webcomic and it’s a doozy: Bani Garu, a history of Gainax Studio, the legendary Japanese animation studio. There’s an intro to the strip here and here’s the first episode. BOOKMARK IT.

In 1989, I was an Ascended Anime Fangirl: I was picked to be the vice-president of General Products USA, the American merchandising arm of the notorious Japanese animation studio Gainax, best known for the sci-fi anime Evangelion.

I was working with the people who’d made an astounding amateur video set to ELO’s “Twilight” and less than five years later were pro and making a chain of cult hits. Ascended fanboys. My people.

My people who took me on a year-long trip down a rabbit hole of reality.

The Beat Podcasts! More To Come – DC’s 3D Cover Woes

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s episode, Heidi and the rest of the More to Come Crew – Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss DC’s 3D novelty cover shortage and how it impacts retailers, the DC Comics ICv2 interview, new digital business models from Mark Waid’s Thrillbent, Keith Knight and the Sequential app, creator rights topics including the Kirby WFH legal ruling and Chris Claremont’s movie snub,  movie reviews of The Wolverine and Two Guns, manga obscenity arrests in Tokyo and much more in this podcast from PW Comics World.

Tune in for our next regularly scheduled podcast!

Catch up with our previous podcasts or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

Otakon news: Monster is back, show moves to Washington, more licenses

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As we mentioned a post or so back, Otakon, one of the biggest anime/manga shows on he East Coast was held this weekend in Baltimore, with more than 30,000 fans in attendance. One bit of news that dropped is that the show is moving to Washington, DC in 2017. The problem is that the Baltimore Convention Center is too small and, to be frank, out of date. Have we heard this story before?

The Greater Baltimore Committee proposal calls for a new 500-room hotel and the demolition of the existing Sheraton Hotel and a new 18,500-seat arena on the Conway Street land between the new hotel and Charles Street. It also includes a plan to demolish the east wing of the convention center and triple its size to 580,000 square feet, and connect it with the Arena.

The convention center in Washington has 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, compared to 300,000 square feet in the Baltimore Convention Center. Noonan, a supporter of the GBC proposal, said there is no firm financial plan to support it.


The BCC is also where the yearly Baltimore Comic Con is held, a fan and pro favorite for it’s convenient location. I go most years (missed last one) but the facility isn’t quite state of the art. And downtown Baltimore itself has pretty major problems—outside the touristy Inner Harbor things get dicey at night. (One year, the parking garage attendant at our hotel actually had to warn us that a gang was headed our way and we needed to come inside as a bunch of comics folks stood on the sidewalk yapping.)

The plan to expand is just that: an idea. Otakon is a lot bigger than the Baltimore Comic-Con, but obviously this is a developing type situation.

Otakon has also announced a sister show to be held in Las Vegas. So Anime shows are not dead!

In other Otakon news, most excitingly, Viz is bring Monster back! This series by the great Naoki Urasawa is one of his most accessible works—it’s the story of a doctor who devotes his life to stopping a killer whom he saved as a child. The new edition will be in 9 books instead of 18, with double sized issues. It’s very heartening to see a book of this quality come back into print. Manga is not dead either!

There were more licenses announced from Vertical and Seven SeasThis blog post has a round up, including Vertical bringing out Fumi Yoshinaga’s Kinou Nani Tabeta?, aka What Did You Eat Yesterday? which is a foodie manga about a gay couple.

Katsuhiro Otomo, Nobrow, and Japanese fashion house Comme des Garcons collaborate

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As a comics fan, it’s always nice to see the medium get wider recognition from other fields, although perhaps not as surprising in the past few years of pop culture dominance, thanks in large part to blockbusting comic film adaptations. But there’s Marvel and DC influencing ‘wham!’ sweatshirts from Topshop, and then there’s the  slightly more left-field collaborations you don’t see coming, like James Jean creating concepts and illustrations for Prada products.  [Read more…]

Kickstarter Watch: Osamu Tezuka’s THE CRATER

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For fans of the ever prolific “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka, we can thank our lucky stars for publishers like Vertical/Viz/Dark Horse for providing stellar translations and compilations of such momentous works like BUDDHA, BLACK JACK, and the recent MESSAGE TO ADOLF.  It’s without a doubt a great time to be an English reader of Tezuka’s work and have so many of his stories easily accessible to our eager fingertips. That said, there still remains a large number of his creations that have yet to be released stateside, and that’s where the newest endeavor from the freshly formed KANSAI CLUB comes in. Set for release at this July’s Supercon in Miami, Florida, KANSAI CLUB has recently begun fundraising for a limited edition translation of THE CRATER, compiling all 17 short stories into a single volume.  [Read more…]

Here be Monsters: new Guillermo Del Toro manga TV adaptation in the works

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Some seriously appetite whetting news via Deadline: HBO have teamed up with none other than scare master extraordinaire, Guillermo Del Toro, to adapt Naoki Urasawa’s 18 volume manga series, Monster.

Urasawa’s story follows a brilliant young doctor, Kenzo Tenma, who risks his reputation, career and fiancee when he chooses to save the lives of two young twins, over treating a rich mayor. The survivors of a horrific massacre, the twins disappear soon after, leaving a murderous trail in their wake: a trail that Tenma picks up again in bloody fashion ten years later.

Previously adapted as a 74 episode anime on Japanese channel NTV in 2004/5, Del Toro’s original intention was to re-make Monster into a film for New Line, a plan that was scrapped when the project continued to grow to the point where it was no longer conceivable as feature length movie, leading him down the TV show route.

Del Toro will be sharing co-writer duties on the potential series with Stephen Thompson (of Dr Who, Sherlock fame) and is on board to direct the pilot episode himself. I have to admit, while I’m a huge fan of Del Toro and unfamiliar with this manga,  it does sound more like your traditional crime, serial killer tale than his usual actual monster/creature fare (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim), which makes me curious to see how he handles this.

Guillermo del Toro

(via Deadline)