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By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Americans can’t get enough Tezuka!
Well sort of. The Japanese comics pioneer was as prolific as he was influential and recently we’ve recently seen a pretty ambitious attempt at getting a bunch of his works into print here in the US from DMP.
But a lot of primo Tezuka’s work was already published here via a series of very attractive volumes published by Vertical which ranged from Black Jack—perhaps his most accessible series and one of the best known—and standlone volumes like Ode to Kirihito. Sadly many of these books are out of print, but not to worry, Vertical is bringing them back in digital form:
are proud to announce the eBook rights to our entire Tezuka collection!
In the coming months expect to see all of our Tezuka titles available through the Apple iBookstore, Kindle, Nook, and hopefully Google Play. We will focus first on the series that are out of print – Apollo’s Song and Black Jack. Expect to see two to three books uploaded every two to three weeks.
Apollo’s Song – omnibus
Black Jack 1 through 17
Dororo – omnibus
Princess Knight 1&2
Ode to Kirihito – omnibus
Book of Human Insects
Buddha 1 through 8
Message to Adolf 1&2
So glad this was finally confirmed. We have been working on this for more than a year now.
Oh and we also want to confirm simultaneous eBook and print releases of My Neighbor Seki also!
Digital reprint rights are not a gimme among manga-ka or their estates—where’s that digital Urasawa?—so having this sanctioned is a great step forward.
And yeah, check out Black Jack. The story of a heroic doctor who goes around operating on people to solve crime is as awesome as it sounds, and Black Jack’s mop of hair is a comics symbol as primary as Tintin’s cowlick.
Via sharp eyed Johanna Draper Carlson:
Speaking of manga, as we just were, and Tezuka and Kickstarter as we were yesterday, here is another Tezuka Kickstarter project that has kind of gone into the “Kickstarter failure” file.
Last June something called Kansai Club Publishing raised more than $52,000 to publish an English language version of Tezuka’s The Crater. This is a short story collection, originally published from 1969-1970, that the Kickstarter page says is “the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, horror, fantasy and comedy. This is the first time that one of Tezuka-sensei’s short story collections will be published in English.”
Well that sounds great, and the money was raised. But then…this project fell into a crater. The usual foreign mailing costs hadn’t been factored in, and a rather glum update showed that this project was just too much for the organizer, Andrew Nevo, to handle:
As some of you already know, the books are not yet ready to ship. We ran into a number of issues with the first batch that we received from the casebinder and needed to make various adjustments to the cover of the book and layout of a number of pages. The cover image is still the same and nothing was changed with the contents of the book, however, we felt that these adjustments were necessary in order to deliver the high quality book that we promised to all of our backers.
I wish that there was a way for us to provide everyone with additional compensation for the many delays that we have faced thus far in the book’s creation, however, there is little that we can do. We have already spent well over $30k and will spend another $40k plus on packaging, shipping and handling to send the books out to our Kickstarter backers only. All that we can do at this point is to make sure that our books come out perfectly and meet all of your expectations.
I cannot stress enough to everyone that we are making no money on this project. As everyone knows, this book was the first book that we have published and every step that we took to get to this point has been taken without guidance from industry experts. Sure, we started with extensive plans and deadlines for this book that we strongly felt could be met. However, our lack of knowledge and inexperience of the publishing industry has caused heavy delays throughout. Everyone who has worked on this book’s creation did so out of love for classic manga and without compensation. All help that we received came from people who work full-time jobs who took a few hours out of their weeks here and there to help bring this book to fruition.
I will be posting another update this week with the new dates for when the books will be shipped once we receive the updated schedule from our printer. I implore everyone to please stop contacting Tezuka Productions with angry complaints, sending me threatening emails and calling my house/cell phone. Tezuka Productions is just as angry with us as all of you are. I understand that your trust in us has been waning for some time and I simply cannot stress enough how sorry I am for not being able to provide everyone with a copy of the book on time. Please be just a little more patient.
This will likely be out first and last project. I hope that we have not discouraged others from trying their hands at legally printing classic manga themselves. If anyone believes that they can do a better job with future projects (as I’m sure many of you can) please feel free to reach out to me with any questions once this project has finished and I will be happy to help in any way I can. At least others who follow in our steps will not need to make the same mistakes that we made. Thank you again for your continual support, understanding and patience.
As of this date, no one has gotten books, and a 450 comment thread of complaints on the comment page has ensued. I’m not going to read through all of them, but the jist is mostly what I wrote above: the guy was in over his head. Here’s one representative one:
In all fairness this project did look amateur when it was live. I’m sure Osuma Tezuka’s name was the only reason this project got so much attention. This project, Kansai Club and Andrew all gave of signs that this project may be sketchy. I agree that Andrew mishandled pretty much everything on this project but we all took a chance and ignored the signs so now we are out our $ and this project is dead in the water. I wish there was more we could do to help remedy this but we will probably have to accept this as a failure.
Nevo hasn’t been heard from since June, and opinions seem to vary between being a conman and just naive. At any rate, we all know many Kickstarters do not come to fruition….and this seems to be another one. Caveat backer.
Speaking of manga, as we just were, and Tezuka and Kickstarter as we were yesterday, here is another Tezuka Kickstarter project that has kind of gone into the “Kickstarter failure” file. Last June something called Kansai Club Publishing raised more than $52,000 to publish an English language version of Tezuka’s The Crater. This is a…
And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems was originally published on The Beat
The winners of the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards have been announced. Follow the links below for free samples of books by some of the winners.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples won the prize for “Best Continuing Series” for Saga. Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker came out on top in the “Best Reality-Based Work” category for The Fifth Beatle. Matthew Inman took home the “Best Digital Comic” award for The Oatmeal.
Here’s more from the press release: “Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 26th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2014 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics retailer Kathy Bottarini (Comic Book Box, Rhonert Park, CA), author/educator William H. Foster (Untold Stories of Black Comics), reviewer Christian Lipski (Portland, OR Examiner), Comic-Con International board member Lee Oeth, library curator Jenny Robb (Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum), and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist/critic James Romberger (Post York, 7 Miles a Second).”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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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
Art comix publisher PictureBox has announced a new line: Ten Cent Manga, which will be curated by manga exert Ryan Holmberg (you can read some of his insightful manga writing at The Comics Journal.) We're told the line will include "famous titles by superstars, as well as single-artist volumes and anthologies of comics by forgotten geniuses."
Greeting card sent to famed Donald Duck illustrator Carl Barks by Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka :: year unknown :: via comicartfans.com
By: Aline Pereira
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This past week, my teenage son and I had the chance to visit the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum located in Takarazuka city. Osamu Tezuka is often referred to as the ‘father of manga’ and is highly revered by manga artists in Japan. His most famous works include Astro Boy, Black Jack and Jungle Emperor Leo.
The museum was opened in 1994 and contains items from Tezuka’s life like his numerous sketchbooks and writings, as well as an animation studio in the basement, and a screening room for films. There is also a library, shop and cafe on the upper floor. On our visit, the exhibition hall was filled with panels from Tezuka’s manga series Buddha, which is about to debut as a full-length animated film this May.
My son and I enjoyed touring the museum. In the animation studio, we drew our own little two panel animations where we could see our drawings in action on backdrops of our own design. I think my son’s favorite part of the museum was the library where there were multilingual editions of Tezuka’s most famous manga.
While he read, I watched an interactive media program about Tezuka’s life. Born in 1928, the oldest of three sons, he took to drawing at an early age. As a youngster, he was often bullied and took much solace in his imagination. In particular, he was inspired by the world of nature, especially insect life. In fact, Tezuka took his pen-name from an insect called the osamushi. He continued with his obsession of drawing cartoons, even during the war years, when such activity was considered frivolous and unpatriotic. While young, Tezuka had a serious swelling in his arm which was cured by a doctor; Tezuka then wanted to become a doctor himself and pursued medical studies in university. However, he continued with his drawing of manga, and eventually, on the advice of his mother, pursued his one true passion as his sole profession even though, at the time, such a career was considered precariously unstable. And the rest, they say, is history!
700 manga later, with Tezuka immortalized by the Japanese as the god of manga, it is unfortunate that so few of Tezuka’s work are available in English. Hopefully that will change in the years to come.
Today is what would have been the 82nd birthday of Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. Fittingly, a book I’d ordered from Amazon just arrived in the mail: The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga by Helen McCarthy. The book is deeply discounted on Amazon right now—only $16.59—and includes a dvd with a rare 1985 Japanese documentary about the artist. It’s a classy looking package and the most comprehensive overview of Tezuka’s life I’ve seen in English. The book doesn’t appear to focus as much on his animation work as I would have liked, but that’s understandable given that it’s an overview of Tezuka’s entire career, the greater portion of which took place in the realm of comics.
In commemoration of Osamu Tezuka’s 80th anniversary, a group of 35 artists are presenting works inspired by Tezuka’s manga at the Parco Factory art gallery in Shibuya, Tokyo through Nivember 10th.
From the Daily Yomiuri:
“Tezuka (1928-1989) had his own distinctive style, but the early influence of Walt Disney animation remained clearly visible in it. Even when his material was dark and sinister, his characters were cute.
Present-day artist Kyotaro Aoki has taken Black Jack and characters from Tezuka’s Dororo, MW, Ode to Kirihito and other manga and changed their cartoon faces into lifelike pencil portraits, showing what they might look like in the real world.
While Aoki adds detail, Akihiro Soma (Concorde), strips it away, presenting Black Jack in a minimalist torn-paper collage resembling the work of American illustrator Eric Carle (known for his kids picture books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar).
An art collective known as Enlightenment takes the liberty of making Black Jack a woman, in a large painting in which the outlaw surgeon is partly hidden by drugs, money and other symbolic objects flying out of her billowing cape.”
Some photos of the artwork are available here.
I try to shy away from posting about contests, but this one is pretty fun, and requires minimal work. Knopf and Vertical Press book designer Peter Mendelsund (previously) wants some help choosing the colour scheme for the next volume of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack.
Visit Black Jacket Mechanical for the full details. Entries due September 9th, and the winner will get a full set of the Black Jack series.