The manga publisher Vertical, Inc., is bringing Felipe Smith, the creator of Peepo Choo, to SDCC and Otakon this year. Smith, an American, started out drawing global manga (MBQ) for Tokyopop. He moved to Japan after
winning the top prize the Morning International Manga Competition, being offered the opportunity to draw a manga for Kodansha's manga magazine Morning 2.* The result is Peepo Choo, the three-volume story of a foreigner's adventures in Japan, and Vertical is closing the circle by publishing Peepo Choo in English—the first volume is due out this week. The press release (full text below the cut) notes in passing that Smith is developing a new manga for Kodansha, so the relationship must be working out.
As if that weren't incentive enough to visit Vertical's booth, they will also be announcing their new licenses at SDCC, although they don't have a panel. I chat with Vertical's marketing director Ed Chavez fairly often—I have known him since he was blogging at MangaCast—and I'm quite sure that whatever he has to announce, it will be remarkable. And for those who prefer the cute, they will have some adorable Chi's Sweet Home swag, tying in with their new all-ages book about a lost cat adopted by a family in a pet-free apartment complex.
Vertical and Morning Go to ComicCon
When Felipe Smith left the U.S. he was already an accomplished comic artist. Having won numerous awards for his work before landing in Tokyo the man had nothing prove. But after taking on the extremely competitive and demanding Japanese comic industry, Mr. Smith has proven that he is just beginning to grow as an artist and storyteller.
His Japanese debut Peepo Choo made an instant splash when it launched back in 2008, rocking the manga scene with his original designs and his bigger than life characters. While his tale of culture clash challenged even veteran comic critics, there was no doubt in their minds that Felipe had mastered the art of manga presentation. Now Peepo Choo stands along side works from such luminaries as Moyoco Anno, Takehiko Inoue, and Naoki Urasawa published in Japan's premiere seinen (men's) comic anthology Morning.
As Felipe is in development of his latest series for Kodansha, Japan's largest publisher, his Peepo Choo is ready to take on American readers. And to celebrate the occasion Felipe will be joining Vertical at San Diego Comic Con and Otakon as a guest this summer with book signings at both shows. Felipe will also be going back home to LA between cons for a special event at Hollywood's Meltdown Comics. So don't miss out on your chance to meet a comics legend before he once again departs for the Far East.
Book Signing @ Comic Con International (limited to 100 ticketed guests)
July 24, 2010 (Saturday) 2:00pm-3:00pm
Location: San Diego Comic Con ˆ San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA
Peepo Choo Launch Party @ Meltdown Comics
July 26, 2010 (Monday) 7:00pm-
Location: Meltdown Comics ˆ Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Book Signing @ Otakon
July 31, 2010 (Saturday) TBA
Location: Otakon - Baltimore Convention Center, 1 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD
Also of note Vertical will be handing out special goodies to promote our latest kawaii (cute) hit Chi's Sweet Home. Another Morning title, Chi's Sweet Home is the heartfelt tale of a lost kitten and her adventures with her new adopted family.
We will be passing out exclusive Chi's Sweet Home bookmarks and coasters throughout the con. We will also have a limited number of Chi cell phone straps and other goodies to patrons that buy copies of Chi volume 1 or 2, while supplies last.
The Vertical table will also be ground zero for information regarding Kodansha's 5th Morning International Comic Competition (MICC). We will have a judge at the our booth (B03) over the weekend and there will be special Morning and MICC promotional fliers available for potential contestants, as well.
The grand prize winner and runners up for the 4th MICC is scheduled to be announced later this month, and the winning comic will be published in a future issue of Morning Two magazine.
*Smith was actually a finalist in the competition before MBQ was published and was scouted by the editors of Morning 2. Thanks to Vertical marketing director Ed Chavez for the correction.