Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Manga Bits - 12/22

I've only been back in Japan two days and am just starting to catch up on everything new in the manga world from down here in Kobe. I'm off to Tokyo tomorrow for a week of fun and frolic with all my artist and editor friends and I'm sure I'll have more news and gossip then as beer and sake starts loosening tongues. I'll also be going to a few of the bigger publishers' year-end parties and those are always great fun and great sources of information. But for now, just two little news bits that may be of interest to manga fans...

Hiroaki Samura, he of Blade of the Immortal fame, has a new series that's coming out semi-regularly here in Japan. It's called "Bradharley (sp?) no Basha" and is an British period piece. It's running in a comic anthology called Erotics F, and as you can probably guess from the name, it's a collection that specializes in adult content. And Samura-san's story is indeed adult, quickly throwing young English rose Diana into a world of hardcore bondage and S&M. Three parts have been published so far, in Erotics F 32, 34 and 36 if you're looking for them. Kitoh (Shadow Star) Mohiro and Shou (Madara) Tajima are also regular contributors. Death Note's Takeshi Obata also contributed a full color poster in the latest issue, which supposedly spiked sales.

Also, two new collections of original Star Wars manga tales have just gone on sale, Star Wars Silver and Star Wars Black. With covers by Kia Asamiya, the interiors are illustrated by a variety of eclectic manga artists. The stories are all set in Stae Wars Infinities settings, which are outside of standard Star Wars continuity.

One thing I found rather interesting about these collections though are that they're coordinated by Field-Y and published by TokyoPop here. We've heard about TP's Star Trek publishing plans but any Star Wars news has remained rather quiet. Dark Horse has the Star Wars comic book license in the States, and has released English verisons of all the Japanese Star Wars manga in the past. So will TokyoPop be doing English versions of these new manga adventures? However, looking at the back pages of these new Star Wars manga, it appears TokyoPop is now publishing new collections of all the Star Wars manga in Japanese. Looks like there may have been a change of licensee here. Could this affect the Star Wars manga already released in English by Dark Horse? I'll be asking around...

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