Abrams ComicArts is jumping on the manga bandwagon with Kana, a new imprint focused mostly on manga aimed at older readers. Their debut list includes six series that offer a mix of fantasy, science fiction, action-adventure and even a heartbreaking tale of young people navigating their gender identity in a small town. Publishers Weekly has the story.  

The line will draw some material from Abrams French parent company, Media-Participations, with mostly manga originally published in Japan, with a few titles originally published in French by international creators. The line will be led by Rodolphe Lachat, v-p and publisher of Abrams ComicArts.

The first six titles announced for Kana include Scars by Brandon AriasLeviathan by Shiro KuroiManhole by Tetsuya TsutsuiSilence by Yoann VorniereEden of Witches by Yumeji, and Space Punch by ZD. Here’s a closer look at these new titles, coming to a bookstore and comic shop near you, sometime this year.

Leviathan vol. 1 by Shiro Kuroi
Leviathan vol. 1 by Shiro Kuroi

Leviathan by Shiro Kuroi

Originally serialized in Shueisha’s Jump+ digital magazine and published in French by Ki-oon, Leviathan is a 3-volume science-fiction suspense story set in an immense spaceship that seems abandoned. When looters break into the ship, they discover the diary of a young boy that recounts the events that led up to the ship’s current state of decay. But what becomes clear from reading the diary that there’s a survivor, or perhaps a predator lurking in the shadows.

Eden of Witches by Yumeji

Eden of Witches by Yumeji

Released as L’Éden des Sorcières in France by Ki-oon, and serialized in Japan in Enterbrain’s Harta magazine (the home of A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori) this fantasy series’ lush, detailed artwork will remind readers of Kamome Shirahama‘s Witch Hat Atelier. But this story puts its own spin on a world of witches, including a young woman who has to find her way in the world before mastering the magical arts.

An interesting twist to this series — it was apparently commissioned by the editors at Ki-oon, and was picked up for publication in Japan shortly thereafter.

From the description from the Japanese edition:

Pirie, a girl who is a witch’s apprentice, and a beautiful magical beast, Orc. Two people living in a barren land, hear rumors of “Eden,” the only sacred place where animals and plants gather. With hope in their hearts, they set out on an adventure!

Manhole by Tetsuya Tsutsui
Manhole by Tetsuya Tsutsui (Shueisha)

Manhole by Tetsuya Tsutsui

This 2-volume series by the creator of action-crime drama Prophecy (available now as an omnibus edition from Kodansha) was originally published by Shueisha in their seinen magazine, Young Jump, and published in French by Ki-oon. 

Similar to Prophecy, Manhole is a modern-day crime/suspense story, but this time, it’s centered around a biological threat — a deadly parasite with mysterious origins that’s unleashed upon the world when a naked man drenched in blood emerges from a manhole on a busy street in Tokyo. From the Japanese edition: 

A completely naked man died a mysterious death in a shopping district at dusk. An autopsy reveals a new type of parasite in his body. A veteran detective, Mizoguchi, and his subordinate, Inoue, pursue a case and stumble upon a manhole. In the darkness, there is a mysterious “facility”…! Accelerating fear, terrifying bio-horror!!

Silence vol. 1 by Yoann Vorniere

Silence by Yoann Vorniere

Silence is a 3-volume (so far) series, originally published by Kana in French, and is an original fantasy-adventure tale written and drawn by Vorniere (who is on Instagram at yoann_agneau, if you’d like to see more preview art from Silence).

From the French description of the series:

Young Blade and his village are cut off from the rest of the world. The monsters, who locate them by sound and more particularly by voice, have forced them to communicate using sign language. But in a world where permanent night reigns, resources are running out. While Blade accompanies Gray the village hunter on a supply expedition outside, they are attacked because the young boy inadvertently breaks the silence. BLADE, consumed by guilt, will do everything to redeem himself and will make a discovery that could completely change the destiny of the village…


Scars by Brandon Arias

Scars by Brandon Arias

Released as Cicatrices in French by Vega Dupuis, Scars is a love story about two middle school students in Japan — Kyonosuke has a large scar on his face as a result of skin graft surgery. His friend Akira is trans, and endures bullying from their classmates and physical abuse from their father, who doesn’t recognize their gender identity. The pair meet and begin a romantic relationship, but must grapple with a question that could unravel their bond: Are they truly accepting each other, as they are, as much as they think?

Space Punch by ZD

Space Punch by ZD

This 4+ volume adventure series, originally published by Ankama in French, follows Joe and Zack, two boys who lost their father when they were children. The brothers choose different careers: Zack opts to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a policeman, while freewheeling Joe earns a living as a food delivery person. But an encounter with a  “mysterious artifact” changes their life in unexpected ways.

What’s the difference between Kana France and Kana US?

While the imprint shares the same name as its French counterpart, the first six titles announced for the US-version of Kana come from a wide range of publishers, including French manga publishers Kana, Éditions Ki-oon, Vega Dupuis, and Ankama, and Japanese publishers Shueisha and Enterbrain. Most of these first six titles announced for the debut of Kana focus on stories aimed at older readers, rather than shonen or shojo manga hits with anime tie-ins. They’re also an intriguing mix of series penned by both Japanese and French creators, making for an eclectic first outing for this imprint.

From PW’s report:

With plans to publish as many as 40-60 volumes a year, the line will ramp up with staffing as well, with a staff of five. The line will also focus on adult titles, including horror and mature subjects, rather than shonen and shojo. “but Kana will tap into the older market, as millennial readers, and Gen Z, will continue to age up and will want to find titles to fit their growing tastes,” Lachat told PW. 


  1. You’re correct! That’s my bad — the other book, “Scars” is the one-shot. “Space Punch” is 4 volumes (so far). I made the edit, so thanks for pointing that out.

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