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.
While it doesn't stock everything the publisher has to offer in print just yet, Kodansha's Manga Box app is now available for free for iOS devices. The app currently offers 13 free titles to read, including spinoffs of popular titles like Attack on Titan and Kindaichi Case Files.
Longtime on-demand anime streaming powerhouse Crunchyroll is entering the "simulpub" manga business in a big way this week with a new monthly digital comics subscription service. The Web, iOS and Android compatible service is kicking off with a set of 12 Kodansha titles translated for English readers in 170 countries the same day the material debuts in its native Japan. The first wave of material in the service includes Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Space Brothers, UQ Holder!, A Town Where You Live, Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches, My Wife is Wagatsuma-San and Coppelion. What's more, Crunchyroll says even more manga is yet to come.
It looks like the "other story" set to expand the Attack on Titanmanga universe is set to debut in Shounen Sirius magazine in Japan on August 26. As revealed in the recently released second AoT anime Blu-ray, the upcoming Attack on Titan: Before the Fall manga serves as a prequel to creator Hajime Isayama's main series and will be written by Satoshi Shiki, with the interior artist currently unannounced. Interestingly, Before the Fall is itself an adaptation of a series of light novels by writer Suzukaze Ryo, with illustrations by Thores Shibamoto, who is also credited as the character designer for the adpated manga.
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