I’ve done a number of these “Best Art Ever” galleries now, and I can say, without hesitation, that this one was the hardest to put together by far. By far. Not because it was difficult scrounging up enough cool art to fill a gallery, but because there was enough amazing art to fill a hundred galleries! I swear, there are people on DeviantArt who draw nothing but Sailor Moon. People who have page after page of fantastic fanart dedicated to ol’ Meatball Head and her friends and enemies. It’s ludicrous how many great takes and redesigns and re-imaginings there are out there, and I know there were probably so, so, so many that I never even saw.
Naoki Urasawa's Pluto is one of the best comics I've ever read, period. It's engaging on every level, doing the impossible by retelling the single most famous story from the single most famous manga creator of all time -- Astro Boy, by Osamu Tezuka -- as a murder mystery that has an incredible amount of tension and drama. On the rare occasion that anyone asks me for manga recommendations, Pluto is always at the top of my list.
That said, it's also the only Urasawa comic I've ever read. As much as I know that I should dive in for more, Monster and 20th Century Boys are two of the most prominent entries on the long list of comics that I'm sure are great but just haven't gotten around to.
When Viz announced last year that they were going to publish the complete Master Keaton, though, I decided not to let the opportunity pass me by again. After all, this was a book that sounded right up my alley; a world-traveling combination of Indiana Jones and MacGyver, and while it might not come as much of a surprise, I can assure you that the first volume is amazing.
Friends, this is the sort of comic book movie news I enjoy writing about: Naoki Urasawa (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) can now add the honor of becoming the first manga author to have his work adapted into film in Spain. Spanish director Javier Yañez obtained the rights to one of Urasawa's early short stories, Mighty Boy, from publishers Shogakukan, gaining approval from the master himself in the process. Although the film was largely privately financed, Yañez took the initiative to crowd-funding platform IndieGogo in order to raise the final $10,000 it required, and now it's finished and available to watch in full, for free (subtitled in both English and Japanese).
I spent a bit of time trying to track down Urasawa's original story online, with no luck (it's not been translated in English, and was published as part of an anthology volume), so I'm unable to comment on how the adaptation translates, or how faithful it is, but I can tell you what the film is about and if it's any good.
Under normal circumstance, a publisher announcing that it got the rights to a foreign series with plans for a US printing later in the year wouldn't be cause to get more than the usual amount of excited, but when the series is a classic from Naoki Urasawa that's described as a "post-Cold War thriller" about a world-traveling archaeologist/insurance investigator? I mean, that's like six different things that I'm into in one sentence, so rest assured that I am pumped about this news.
The series in question is Master Keaton, which debuted in 1988, set for release in 12 deluxe edition volumes as part of the Viz Signature line this December, and cannot get here fast enough.
Once it was announced that Guillermo del Toro was working with HBO on a television adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's Monster, it was only a matter of time before the series, for which several volumes have long been unavailable, was fully returned to print. And it became official this weekend at Otakon, where Viz announced that the acclaimed horror manga would be made available again in the form of 2-in-1 deluxe omnibus volumes.
Eight years after the end of the anime based on writer/artist Naoki Urasawa's acclaimed horror manga Monster, the story is coming back to TV under the guidance of Hellboy and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro...
Since its creation in 1952, Osamu Tezuka's "Astro Boy" manga has become a certified worldwide phenomenon, featured in multiple television series, movies, and books. 2009 alone saw the introduction of two new takes on the "Astro Boy" mythos: a CGI "Astro Boy" movie aimed squarely at the brainpans of American children, and "Pluto," a new manga for adults who want a little bit more from their cartoon characters...