For the better part of the past year (and some change), Tumblr has beheld one of the most blissful art jams of the current millenium, a panel-for-panel recreation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga starring the cast of The Simpsons appropriately dubbed, Bartkira. Inspired by Ryan Humphrey, organized by James Harvey and featuring the work of a sprawling assortment of artists from all over the web, the project has finally reached a print milestone. On May 1 at Portland, Oregon's Floating World Comics, fans got a chance to take in 16 pages of the project's original artwork in a special gallery, and also pick up a 96-page exhibition book collecting a selection of the project's sequential pages. ComicsAlliance dropped by to see the epic of Bart-turned-Kaneda and Milhouse-turned-Tetsuo in print and on the wall. Neo Springfield may or may not have E.X.P.L.O.D.E.d.
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama is on a roll lately when it comes to expanding the lore of his 42-volume manga series. On top of completing his latest manga, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman and a 12-page Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z prelude story known as Dragon Ball Minus, the creator recently provided siblings Android 17 and Android 18 with some added backstory (and epilogue) in a Q&A in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump.
After a few years of relative quiet, Shotaro Ishinimori's Kikaider is set for a major resurgence. On May 18 a new version of the android hero will team with Kamen Rider Gaim in the 30th episode of the character's eponymous tokusatsu series to fight Kikaider's classic rival Hakaider. One week later on May 24 the conscience-circuit-equipped robot will star in a solo film, Kikaider REBOOT, which could result in an ongoing TV series. Though action figure fans will have to wait until April of 2015 to unbox it, Bandai Japan has opened preorders for a limited edition S.H. Figuarts action figure incarnation of the character's 1971 manga and TV style.
Metal Gear and Kinnikuman (a.k.a. M.U.S.C.L.E.) fans have some heavily-articulated action figure options on the horizon. Following a few years of concentrating on mid-to-larger-scale action figures, Kaiyodo's Revoltech line is returning to the more miniature market with "Revolmini" Solid Snake and Kinnikuman toys standing about 4.33-4.5" tall, respectively.
Earlier this month the latest entry into Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball canon arrived in the April 7th issue of Shonen Jump, officially tying together the creator's most beloved series with his recently completed (and potentially final solo) work Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Dubbed Dragon Ball Minus, the 16-page tale spells out DB protagonist Goku's alien origins and how his doomed parents sent him to Earth, the planet readers meet him in-progress many years-- and a personality-altering head injury -- later in the pages of the original Dragon Ball manga. The hook here is that the story shows Goku's mother Gine for the first time while cementing that Jaco and Dragon Ball take place in the same universe.
Was this story necessary? Not at all. Will you like it anyway? Totally. It looks great, never takes itself too seriously (or seriously at all!) and feels like Toriyama is merely picking up where he left off.
On the off chance that you thought there was anywhere you could go to escape the presence of The Avengers now that they were the stars of a series of films that have taken in roughly 48 trillion dollars, don't fret: They are everywhere. Or, to be slightly more accurate, they're now in Japan, thanks to a series of comics designed to introduce Japanese children to Marvel's team of superheroes.
Created by Fujiminosuke Yorozuya as part of an effort to promote Marvel and Toie's new Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers anime, Marvel Avengers ran as a twelve-page one-shot in Monthly Korokoro Comic for kids, introducing Captain America, the Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Spider-Man to younger readers in a lighthearted comedy.
Since 2009 Kodansha has printed a combined 30 million copies of Hajime Isayama's Attack On Titan manga, which so far includes 12 volumes and a number of spinoffs. That breaks down to around 16,438 volumes of manga a day for five years. Now, that may not seem like a ton in a market where the number one manga, One Piece, has sold more than 300 million (and counting) copies across 71 volumes since 1997, but one needs only look at North American comic sales numbers to concur that it's still a statistic worth celebrating. And celebrate they did last night at the Lazona Kawasaki Plaza shopping mall in Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki, Japan with a 200-foot-tall projection featuring the series signature man-eating Colossal Titan and the humans who fight them at something approaching a 1:1 scale.
A manga about the partnership and subsequent falling out between Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak is a big hit. At Harvard Business School, at least.
And this isn't Caleb Melby's The Zen of Steve Jobs or the Japanese manga titled Steve Jobs, either. This is a 32-page graphic novel titled Apple's Core that was developed specifically to offer students a cautionary tale about how business relationships can go bad.
Action figure collectors will soon be able to assemble Sailor Moon's core crew of Sailor Scouts. This September Sailor Jupiter will join Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus as part of Banai's S.H. Figuarts line. Like the other figures in the line, SJ seems modeled principally after the Sailor Moon anime that originally ran in the '90s, but it should still sit fine with readers of creator Naoko Takeuchi's manga and the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal anime based on her art style.
The city of Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympics this past fall, leading many people, this site included, to draw the parallel between reality and the post-apocalyptic manga and anime feature film Akira, which took place in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Neo-Tokyo.
The organizers real-life Games in Tokyo have turned to another manga/anime, Doraemon, to help promote the Olympics. The famous robot cat is an ambassador for the 2020 Games. With that in mind, animator Aleix Pitarch has combined Akira, Doraemon and the Olympics in a tribute video. It's...harrowing.