British comics creator Sean Michael Wilson is clearly a happy man – and has every right to be after his new book, Hagakure: The Manga Edition, went on sale in Japanese bookshops this week.
Written by Sean, art is by Japanese creator Chie Kutsuwada and the book, which will also be published in the UK and US, is out now in shops like Kinokuniya and Tsutaya, the big highstreet bookshops in Japan.
“This is the first original manga that Kodansha’s International department has ever done,” he told downthetubes. “It’s amazing that in its 50 year history it has only ever repackaged existing ones from the wider Kodansha family.
“But now Kodansha International have started an original mature manga line, and Hagakure is the first. So it’s something of importance.”
Sean, who first sprang into the comics limelight with his self-published and critically-acclaimed Angel in the Woods back in 2003, describes the story as “a closely authentic adaptation of the classic samurai book from the 17th century.” It’s a collection of tales and anecdotes by the real-life samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who lived between 1659-1719, and the manga is based on William Scott Wilson’s English translation of the original book, which was compiled towards the end of Yamamoto’s life.
In addition to Hagakure, Sean has been busy in other arenas, scripting an adaptation of the recently-released The Canterville Ghost for British publisher Classical Comics (as well as Wuthering Heights, released in the summer).
• Hagakure: The Manga Edition is available in Japan in Kinokuniya, Tsutaya bookstores, etc. Price 1500 yen.
• Hagakure is released 1st November 2010 in the UK (and in January in North America) by Kodansha International Ltd – and will have a launch event as part of London’s ComICA Festival.