Kodansha to publish yakuza, samurai manga

Talking to Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Sean Michael Wilson, the editor of the alt-manga anthology AX, reveals that the Japanese publisher Kodansha is bringing out a line of mature manga works. (It's not clear whether Wilson is referring to Kodansha USA, Kodansha's US manga publishing arm, or Kodansha International, which is a different division.)

Either way, this sounds like an intriguing project, both in the way it is being done and the books they are working on. Wilson is actually writing the books, which are adaptation of Japanese prose works, and they are going to be published in English in Japan and then in North America and the UK. Wilson has four books scheduled; the first are Hagakure, an adaptation of In the Shadow of Leaves, a guide for samurai, and Yakuza Moon, the true story of a woman born into a Yakuza (Japanese organized crime) family.

Wilson is also working on Gekiga Freaks, the manga biography of Masahiko Matsumoto, whose Cigarette Girl is due out next year from Top Shelf, but the publisher for that project has not been determined yet.

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