Portland, OR – Comics and graphic novel publisher ABLAZE has announced that it has licensed four acclaimed manga titles by Osamu Tezuka from Tezuka Productions in cooperation with DI Books for English publication under the ABLAZE MANGA imprint. The first title will debut in August of this year, with the rest slated to launch in print and digitally in the later part of 2023 and in 2024.
The titles licensed for publishing are:
- One Hundred Tales – slated to launch August 2023
- Shakespeare Manga Theater – slated to launch in Q4 2023
- Tomorrow the Birds – slated to launch in Q2 2024
- Neo Faust – slated to launch in Q4 2024
This is the first time any of these works will be published in English. Osamu Tezuka is known worldwide as the most influential person of the past century in the development of manga and anime. A medical school graduate who pursued a career in comics instead, Tezuka’s early success in the years following WWII inspired generations of artists and propelled the burgeoning manga industry. Over his lifetime, the “Godfather of Manga” drew tens of thousands of pages in approximately 700 titles for a wide variety of readerships.
Summaries of Osamu Tezuka titles newly licensed by ABLAZE:
One Hundred Tales – August 2023
An adaptation of the Faust legend as a samurai period piece. Ichirui Hanri is an ordinary accountant servicing his lord. Though innocent, he is sentenced to death by hara-kiri after being entangled in a power struggle. A witch named Sudama appears and offers Hanri three wishes in exchange for his soul. Hanri accepts. Is it worth it?
Shakespeare Manga Theater – Q4 2023
Over the course of his career, Tezuka adapted many of Shakespeare’s works: Hamlet, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet (featuring Astro Boy!), and The Merchant of Venice. This book collects them into one volume and is sure to be popular not just with Tezuka fans, but also schools interested in presenting Shakespeare in a format that is easier for readers to engage with.
Tomorrow The Birds – Q2 2024
A science fiction manga depicting a future society in which evolved birds surpass humanity, Tomorrow the Birds is a parable about how we treat those who aren’t like us, and the eventual price that must be paid for arrogance. An unforgettable tapestry of seven-page chapters and longer stories.
Neo Faust – Q4 2024
This adaptation of Goethe’s Faust is Tezuka’s third rendering of this classic and one of the serializations he was working on at the time of his death. Despite being terminally ill, Tezuka continued to develop his already legendary storytelling and illustrations and left behind this enthralling take on a timeless theme.
“Osamu Tezuka lived an extraordinary life. His manga have fascinated me since I was a kid. I’m grateful to Tezuka Productions and ABLAZE for this opportunity to help publish more of them in English,” says Iyasu Adair Nagata, translator and co-founder of DI Books. “These works were inspired by Western literature, including science fiction, and I look forward to the conversations they’ll spark.”
“Osamu Tezuka is perhaps the most renowned manga creator of all time and his works have been loved by multiple generations of fans for more than 70 years,” says Rich Young, Co-Founder of ABLAZE. “We are honored to expand the ABLAZE manga catalog with four of his esteemed works and look forward to comics and manga fans adding to their collections with these new releases.”
ABLAZE titles are distributed in-print worldwide by Diamond Comic and Diamond Book Distributors. Digital versions of ABLAZE titles are available via most major digital platforms.
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ABLAZE is a publishing company releasing a variety of titles—in different formats, genres, and age ranges—original material, crowdfunded titles, reprints, art books, including international titles from Europe, Asia (manga, manhwa, webtoons), and more. The mantra of ABLAZE is quality first, with the goals of giving creators a platform, bringing new voices into the conversation, serving as diverse an audience as possible, and growing the company’s publishing schedule sustainably over time.
ABOUT DI Books:
DI Books LLC was co-founded in 2020 by Dallas Middaugh and Iyasu Adair Nagata to assist with the publishing of manga in English. Located in the Bay Area and New York City.