Wednesday, July 09, 2008

BLACK JACK MANIA BEGINS

I'm starting to get that crazy sensation again. Do you feel it too? It's time to start anxiously awaiting the newest Osamu Tezuka release from Vertical!



I'm still enjoying the hell out of their Dororo editions (just read Volume 2 last week, will post thoughts on that and other stuff I'm reading soon), but they've decided to start their onslaught of Black Jack buzz.

Everyone worth their manga mettle has at least heard the name of the expansive Black Jack serial already, which is considered by a lot of folks as the greatest series by the greatest cartoonist ever. A tall order, but not far from the truth. Viz took a shot at publishing this series previously, and managed to get two fantastic volumes out in the '90s before pulling the plug. Those books are short and hard to find, but still remain utterly shocking and thrilling collections.



Now, we're about to head off on an odyssey of awesomeness, as the first volume (of 15+ total?) is released by Vertical on September 23, 2008. The publication plan according to them is to:
...Release the Black Jack episodes in the order that Tezuka indicated for a hardcover “Deluxe Edition” planned before his untimely death in 1989 at the age of 60. Each 300-page volume of the Vertical, Inc. series will feature a dozen-plus stories, most published in English for the first time. The Vertical volumes will also embody the high production standards that readers have come to expect, not only from the publisher’s Tezuka output, but also its line of Japanese pop fiction.

I was dubious at first about the overly-busy cover designs, with a simple 4-color block slapped front and center; From this picture of the coming volume stacks, though, it looks like that's simply a slipcover over a crazy B&W collage of Tezuka panels. If that's the case, I think I'll be taking the slips off the books and stacking them up as pictured here:



The big finale here, Vertical has posted a preview of a new story from Volume 2-- about beach surgery on a Killer Whale! HUZZAH!



UPDATE: It sounds like Diamond will be offering exclusive hardcover editions of the first three Black Jack volumes via Previews, with an additional story thrown in to boot. Hmmmm. (Tip via kouros!)

15 comments:

magwea said...

I like a lot.

This time in two years all of black jack will be mine, regardless of cover design. Good times, thank you Vertical for pulling Viz's slack.

ryan said...

Vertical is fantastic. It's gonna be incredible to have this Tezuka series out in english... it's even longer than Astroboy, by my reckoning :)

Kouros said...

In case you didn't know, Vertical is planning exclusive hardcover editions with Diamond for the first three volumes with exclusive stories.

http://previewsworld.com/public/default.asp?t=1&m=1&c=23&s=126&ai=71206&ssd=

Anyway, I can't wait for this. Tokyo Zombie and Black Jack in the same month? Heaven.

ryan said...

Wow, no kouros I hadn't heard that yet! I'll update the post accordingly.. thanks!

Are you gonna be at Comic Con later this month? If so, you can get your Tokyo Zombie fix a little early :)

Ryan!

Kouros said...

I live in LA, so I'm not too far away, but sadly won't be able to attend.

RosenRed said...

The amazon link at vertical's site does not work but I think you can pre-order it, for those who can't wait till September ^^

myrto said...

The preview was awesome. Vertical is doing a great job, with all this Tezuka goodness that offers.

JE said...

So that hardcover edition is only for the direct market? No other alternative channels for that?

The comics distribution here is less than stellar...

bittermelon said...

So. XXXcited. REALLY. beautiful cover design, great concept

alexmercado said...

chip kidd? mofo can do no wrong.

ryan said...

@kouros: Oh bummer :( I'm gonna post details soon, but I'll be working the Last Gasp booth on Friday and talking manga with whoever wants to stop by...

@rosenred: Awesome. I think I'll try and see if I can snag an advance copy somehow, or buy it from Kinokuniya here in SF

@myrto: They always deliver the goods. I know that Yani was instrumental in getting the Black Jack project off the ground-- we all owe him hella gratitude!

@JE: Hmmm. Not sure yet-- I just heard about it tomorrow. I'll ask around and see what I hear.

@bittermelon: Girl, make some space on your freakin' bookshelf!

@alex: Actually, these were designed by Peter Mendelsund, who has replaced Chip as Art Director for Vertical. He also designed the Dororo covers, which are probably my favorites designs to date for their releases...

Kouros said...

I'm sadly visiting relatives on the East Coast. Plus, one-day passes for Friday are sold out now anyway. I would have loved to stop by, though.

Ivy said...

I'm desperately not trying to fangirl too hard at this news and embarrass myself while doing so.
I always hated how little attention BlackJack gets (especially at cons).

ryan said...

@kouros: Bummer! Maybe we'll see you at APE or SPX later this year :)

@ivy: What's wrong with fangirling out super hard? If nothing else, this is the series that deserves it.

Kouros said...

The timing of my trip is horrible. I leave the morning of July 18th, meaning I'll have to try to see The Dark Knight in Maryland, and I'm missing Comic-Con, too.

If you're going to be a fangirl over a series, better Black Jack than most other series. I especially like Black Jack because I basically learned French by reading it. I bought four or five volumes, and, by the time I worked my way through all of them, my French was vastly improved. So I can't wait to read it all in English now.