The Comics Reporter broke the news last week that PictureBox Inc will be publishing a new manga line with Ryan Holmberg, called Ten Cent Manga. The line will begin with the production of two books, the first of which will be released in May this year: Last of the Mohicans by Shigeru Sugiura, with Holmberg and Dan Nadel on editing and translating duties. Here’s some more information on that from the PictureBox site:
‘A 1973-74 classic from a manga master. This (very) free adaptation of the novel employs a range surrealist, collage-like techniuques that engage with contemporary Pop Art and psychedlia, as well as Japan’s modern history of cultural appropriation, to bring to life the great American story. It features combines Sugiura’s signature brand of absurd action and exquisite drawing, veering constantly from lowbrow cartoon spoof to nuanced meditation on American cultural influence.’
This PictureBox edition is the first book-length publication of Sugiura’s work in English and the inaugural volume in historian Ryan Holmberg’s Ten-Cent Manga series, focusing on manga straddling Japanese and American cultural influences. An introductory essay explores the complex art history of Sugiura’s Mohicans. Also included is a translation of Sugiura’s 1988 article “Silent Movies”, on his lifelong love affair with Hollywood.’
The second book, due in October, is titled The Mysterious Underground Men and by none other than the ‘godfather’ of manga himself, Osamu Tezuka. Further details fom The Comics Reporter:
‘While Tezuka Osamu’s New Treasure Island (1946-47) was the first major hit for the “god of manga,” the artist himself regarded a later book the first of his signature “story manga.” Originally published in Osaka in 1948, The Mysterious Underground Men tells the story of Mimio the talking rabbit, as he struggles to prove his humanity while helping his friends save earth from an invasion of angry humanoid ants. Inspired by Bernhard Kellermann’s Der Tunnel (1913) and drawing widely on European and American science fiction, as well as Milt Gross’ own pioneering “graphic novel,” He Done Her Wrong (1930), this full-color edition of The Mysterious Underground Men will not only introduce to English-language readers a founding monument in modern Japanese comics. It will also offer a rare glimpse at the wide-ranging Western cultural sources that made up young Tezuka’s world.’
I have to confess to not knowing a great deal about manga, but the feeling I get -certianly in the UK- is that despite it’s overwhelming popularity in Japan, and even the US, it’s still not really made a big impact on ‘western’ comics, something you see reflected if you take a cursory glance at the big comics news sites and blogs. I find that interesting as it’s probably more readily available in English and yet there still appears to be an indifference or resistance to it. That’s my rubbish two pennies on it. More Tezuka is only ever a good thing though.