It's the end of the year! We made it through 2015, a year that brought all kinds of new, weird and brilliant comics into our lives. It's been a huge year for the industry, with the arrival of several new publishers, multiple new digital publishing concepts, and a whole slew of creative talent pushing themselves into the spotlight. With so much going on during 2015, there's one question you might have not thought about yet: what's coming up in 2016?
So much. There are new graphic novels, new publishing lines, new digital initiatives; it's all going on. And so, as we reach the Yearender, it's time to look ahead, to see what comics' future will bring.
Despite its important market share, huge visibility and ever-rising, record-breaking sales numbers, manga is still largely ignored or scorned by the Western comics community — a term that here means retailers, readers, publishers and some creators — while the critical press and general public thinks of manga as something separate from comics. But why?
Even at just a hair over two-minutes long, there's more action in this new trailer for the Attack on Titan game than there was in the majority of episodes from the first season of the anime. Sure, Eren and Mikasa and the Survey Corps get into it with some titans during a few episodes of the show, but for the most part, each episode is a competition between characters to see who can whine the most. Attack on Titan does have some nice design work though, so even I can't front on the visual appeal. Fortunately, those sweet uniforms, weapons and monsters take center stage in this trailer.
Ahead of Tokyo Game Show, which kicks off later this week, Koei Tecmo teased the first gameplay footage of its upcoming PlayStation-exclusive Attack on Titan game. There's not a whole lot to see, but what is shown does give us at least an idea of what to expect from the upcoming action title. First and foremost, the cel-shaded graphics look fairly tight. It's not outside the norm for games based on an animated property to get that kind of presentation, but it looks to be working to AoT's advantage. Since Attack on Titan will be available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, that cel-shaded style also gives the engine some flexibility across the board. It's a similar idea of what Telltale's done with its cross-generational games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
In a huge move for improving access to manga, Comixology has announced a partnership with publisher Kodansha to bring huge volumes of their manga library to its digital comics service. That means you have one less reason to say, "I don't read Manga"! With a whole range of amazing titles coming online, perhaps it's time to try out series like Noragami, The Seven Deadly Sins, or the blockbuster hit Attack on Titan and its various spin-offs.
Felipe Smith lived the dream of a thousand starry-eyed DeviantArtists when, in 2008, his nerd-skewering masterpiece Peepo Choo debuted at Kodansha-owned manga magazine Morning 2. When asked about what went into accomplishing this feat — becoming fluent in Japanese, keeping pace with the manga industry’s rigorous schedule, being an American noticed by the manga industry at all — Smith is all shrugs and smiles. His work spans the globe, he’s completely reinvigorated Marvel’s Ghost Rider, and, as friends pop by his booth, he slides smoothly in and out of the three languages he speaks, but you know, no biggie. Smith takes it all in his stride.
Peepo Choo, a gleefully lurid tale of cultural fetishization, yakuza, teenage boys, and gravure idols, lies far afield from Ghost Rider in terms of content. But Smith’s zingy, earnest voice unites the two works, and it is this voice that makes Smith such an exciting creator with such a tantalizingly unpredictable future. ComicsAlliance sat down with him at San Diego Comic-Con to discuss living and working in Japan, nerd culture around the world, and what Robbie Reyes brings to the superhero table.
With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!
Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for day three, Saturday July 26, 2014 — with an emphasis on comics programming. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.
The promotional machine for Disney's big, animated fall film Big Hero 6 has really started ramping up with the announcement of the various voice cast members and a brand new trailer.
An odd quirk of the promotion for the film has been that it doesn't seem to mention Marvel Comics even one time, though the concept, characters and title come from a Marvel team that spun out of Alpha Flight and had a few mini-series over the years. Now it looks like Marvel's not even going to publish one of the comics that tie into Big Hero 6, a manga by Haruki Ueno. It's going to be in Kodansha's Magazine Special instead.
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.
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