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Following the launch of its new graphic novel line—starting in March 2003 with Don Lomax’s Vietnam Journal, and continuing in June with Harlan Ellison and Richard Corben’s Vic and Blood: The Continuing Adventures of a Boy and His Dog and Guy Davis and Gary Reed’s Honour Among Punks—New York-based publishing company ibooks, inc. has recently announced the upcoming publication of a new line of graphic novels sure to appeal to fans of Japanese manga and animé series. Included in the line-up are titles from such diverse talents as Jean Giraud (Moebius), Jiro Taniguchi, Kevin Lau, Alex Niño, and Steven A. Roman.
“We are pleased to announce the expansion of our new graphic novel line to include works in the most popular comics style today,” explained company president Byron Preiss.
Leading off the ibooks manga line is the September 2003 graphic novel Sunn, a coming-of-age tale that blends the best of manga with the best of US mainstream heroic fantasy.. “His father is Titan, the world’s greatest hero—a powerful warrior who has saved the Earth time and again from countless dangers. But even a seasoned warrior can fall in battle, and when that day finally comes, it is up to high school student Carson Walker to take his father’s place—as the costumed hero SUNN! But superpowers and a unique costume may not be enough to win the day when Carson finds himself facing the villainous Bakemono—the man who nearly killed his father.”
Providing the graphic punch to this coming-of-age superhero story is current sensation Kevin Lau, an artist hailed by Wizard Magazine as “a four-color John Woo when it comes to killer action sequences.” Lau made his professional debut as an artist for Marvel Comics, providing pencils for books such as Elektra and X-Force. In 1999, he began working for Harris Comics on their popular Vampirella title, eventually moving over to draw and plot the manga-influenced series Vampi—a cyberpunk “reimagining” of the vampiric femme fatale, published by Anarchy Studios/Harris Comics. Currently, he is the creator/artist of Xin: Legend of the Monkey King—a fantasy/adventure series based on Chinese legends—also published by Harris.
Sunn is written by Steven A. Roman, author of the recent bestselling trilogy X-Men: The Chaos Engine —featuring the popular Marvel Comics superteam—and a contributing writer to the Marvel-related prose anthologies Untold Tales of Spider-Man and The Ultimate Hulk. He is also the writer and creator of Lorelei, a horror/adventure comic book series published under his Starwarp Concepts banner.
Scheduled for release in September 2003, Sunn is a 192-page, black-and-white graphic novel with grey tones. Also contributing to this manga debut are character designer Humberto Ramos (Marvel’s Peter Parker, Spider-Man), comics legend Alex Nino ( veteran of Disney animation and DC comics) and inker Nathan Massengill.
Following Sunn is Icaro, by Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jiro Taniguchi. Moebius is the legendary French artist widely acknowledged as one of the major modern-day influences in the visual arts field. Among his accomplishments in the comics industry are stories featuring his fantasy warrior Arzach; the “Lieutenant Blueberry” tales of the Old West; and the graphic novels The Airtight Garage, The Man from Ciguri, and the adventures of John Difool (written by world-renowned director Alexandro Jodorowsky).
Collaborating with Moebius on this project is Tokyo-based manga legend Jiro Taniguchi, winner of the Shogakukan Manga Award for “Inu wo Kau” (“Feed the Dog”), and the Tezuka Osamu Culture Award for “Bochan no Jidai” (“Young Boy’s Days”).
Icaro is a thrilling science-fiction adventure in the tradition of Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Clamp’s sf sagas: A mind-bending, fast-paced adventure of Icaro, a young man with the ability to fly, and a young woman, Yukiko, who risks her life—and more to help him achieve his dreams. Icaro’s fight to be free, and Yukiko’s sacrifice to aid him in his quest, make this an inspiring story, and one of the first significant original manga collaborations of East and West.
The two volumes of Icaro are scheduled for release in November 2003 and January 2004. Each will be published as a trade paperback 160-page volume in standard comics trim size.
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