CBR has an exclusive preview for you of two pieces of art from “OTOMO: A Global Tribute to the Mind Behind Akira,” a new art book honoring Katsuhiro Otomo, the creator of the pioneering cyberpunk manga “Akira.”
“Akira” was first published in English (as a colorized monthly series under Marvel’s Epic imprint) in 198896, and a French translation came out in 1990, making it one of the earliest manga to cross over from Japan to other countries. The powerful story, which Akira later adapted into an anime, captivated readers, and today “Akira” is regarded as a classic.
In 2015, Otomo was awarded the Grand Prix d’Angoulême, the top honor of the Angoulême International Comics Festival; he was the first Japanese artist to receive that award. The Grand Prix winner plays a major part in the following year’s festival, and as part of the celebrations, Otomo’s French publisher Glénat organized an exhibit of tribute art from creators around the world. The artworks were collected into a limited-edition volume that was originally available only at the show.
Kodansha Comics will publish an English-language version in March, but they shared two of the artworks, one by Range Murata and one by Tomer Hanuka, exclusively with CBR. Hanuka is best known for his collaboration with his twin brother, Asaf, on “The Divine” and the series “Bipolar,” which has been nominated for Ignatz and Eisner awards. Murata, an artist and designer, is best known for his anime, including “Last Exile,” and he was also the artist for the light novel “Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City.”