Cowboy Bepop is a pretty seminal part of the history of anime – garnering universal acclaim when it debuted in Japan 20 years ago, it was also a powerful part of a new wave of anime that made a huge impression in the US when it aired on Adult Swim in 2001 – and it remains a favorite around the world to this day.
In honor of its 20th anniversary editor Zainab Akhtar is kickstarting The Real Folk Blues: A Cowboy Bebop Fanbook, which will be more than 120 pages of tributes. She writes:
Released in 1998 from director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno, Cowboy Bebop is the much-loved, bittersweet story of Spike Spiegel, ex-assassin turned bounty hunter, his friend Jet and the crew members they begrudgingly pick up along the way: amnesiac gambler Faye, hacker-extraordinaire Ed, and super-intelligent dog, Ein. Not only is Bebop unequivocally one of the greatest anime created but its 26 episodes (and 1 film!) stand as a hugely significant work of science fiction, one that’s centred around people and inclusivity, real and yet hopeful. The fact that 2018 marks Bebop’s 20-year anniversary makes this feel like the perfect moment to pay homage and celebrate this brilliant show.
Though it’s been funded, there a several great stretch goals, and also you’re just going to want to have this book. Akhtar (Shortbox) is an amazing editor, and has assmebeld a fantastic lineup for the book:
Nick Dragotta (East of West) / Ron Wimberly (Prince of Cats) / Patrick Crotty (Internal Affairs) / Anabel Colazo (Encuentros Cercanos) / Freddy Carrasco (Hot Summer Nights) /Leslie Hung (Snotgirl) / Emma Rios (Pretty Deadly) / Ahmara Smith (Comics for Choice) /Jane Mai (Sunday in the Park with Boys) / Sam Wade (Stoke) / Will Morris (Silver Darling) /Jade Feng Lee (Half Moon Heroes) / Vivian Ng (Legend of Korra) / Naomi Butterfield /Michael Furler (Helena) / Chan Chau (We Are All Superstitious) / Molly Mendoza (The Worst) / David Brothers / Joseph Ruddick / Anatola Howard (What Are You Thinking About?) /Jamila Rowser (Wash Day) / Ariel Ries (Witchy) / Laura Lewis / Wren McDonald (Cyber Realm) / Valentin Colcomb / Paul Maybury (Sovereign) / Deshan Tennekoon (Elements Fire) / Shenuka Corea / Peo Michie / Choo / Vivian Nguyen ‘Lawey‘ / Kris Mukai (Weeping Flower Grows In Darkness) / Jemar Souza / Eric Kubli
You can see more samples on the Kickstarter page, but here are two pages, by Will Morris and Jade Feng Lee. This looks to be a highlight of 2019 already!
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.