Big news was announced for both comics and manga fans yesterday. As announced on Anime News Network, American publisher DSTLRY and Japanese publisher Kodansha are teaming up!

The new partnership between DSTLRY and Kodansha will see the publishers exchanging artists for cover art to expose readers on both sides of the Pacific to artists from each company.

The first product of this partnership is a variant cover for Becky Cloonan and Tula Lotay‘s series Somna by Flowers of Evil/Blood on the Track’s Shūzō Oshimi. Oshimi, whose thrillers are a hit with horror fans, is a perfect fit for the folk horror series.

DSTLRY describes Somna as:

Set amidst the terrifying backdrop of the witch hunts in a quiet 1600s English village, Somna follows one woman’s escape from the confines of her puritanical world. Ingrid is unhappily married to Roland, the town’s bailiff and chief witch hunter, who has embarked on a single-minded quest to purge the ‘heretics’ in their midst. After a prominent town leader is found murdered, accusations fly and no one is above reproach from Roland’s deadly crusade. Ingrid has her suspicions about who the real murderer is, but even as she searches for the truth, she’s pursued by a shadowy figure. Ingrid gravitates to the foreboding phantom in ways she can’t resist; does this otherworldly seduction hold the key to the mystery? Or will he damn Ingrid’s soul to the blackest circle of Hell?

“I was drawn to the story of Somna where dreams and reality intermingle, and the way it’s expressed through different artistic styles,” shared Oshimi. “Drawing the variant cover was fun!”

What’s the potential for this partnership?

U.S. and Japanese publishers teaming up isn’t a new thing. Both Marvel and DC have licensed their characters out for well-received manga adaptations. Additionally, Kodansha had North American artists contribute to an Attack on Titan anthology a few years ago.

However, this is a big move for DSTLRY. The year-old company is a much smaller publisher than Marvel or DC. However, it made enough big waves in its first year as a publisher that they were named The Beat‘s Publisher of the Year for 2023.

Although the partnership is just for covers for now, there are a lot of possibilities for both publishers if this does well. For example, the partnership could produce something like the recent project from VIZ Media, Betwixt: A Horror Manga Anthology, which brought together manga creators from across Japan and the US, including Cloonan. 

Check out Oshimi’s creepy variant cover for Somna #3 below!

Image courtesy of DSTLRY

Somna #3 is available now for pre-order. DSTLRY will release the comic on March 27, 2024.


  1. I still have no idea why you chose this publisher as “publisher of the year”.

    Old gimmicks, forced digital scarcity. Just the same old same old.

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