Kazuhiko Katō, better known by his penname Monkey Punch, has passed away.
Monkey Punch, who began working as a manga artist in the 1960s, was responsible for the creation of Lupin III. The series, which centered on the titular master thief and his compatriots as they went on adventures around world, quickly became a smash hit in Japan and worldwide.
Lupin III was adapted into a number of different mediums, including both live-action and animated films, television series, video games and more. One of the most famous adaptations of the character, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, was also the film debut of Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki.
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Katō won numerous awards over the course of his career, including the San Diego Comic Convention INKPOT Award, the Rome Comic Festival ROMICS Gold Award, the AMD Award Achievement Award and the Tokyo Anime Award Animation Achievement Award. Katō spent most of his later career working less as an active manga creator and more as a teacher to future generations. H was a Professor of Manga Animation at Otemae University and gave a number of lectures about the growth and spread of manga.
He passed away on April 11th from complications related to pneumonia. He was 81.
via Yahoo! Japan