'Vagabond' to return this month after lengthy hiatus

Takehiko Inoue announced Monday on Twitter his samurai manga Vagabond will return Jan. 29 to Kodansha's Morning magazine following a nearly year-long hiatus.

The acclaimed artist, whose creations include the basketball series Slam Dunk and Real, took what been intended as a four-month break in February so he could devote time to research and other matters (which included a major art exhibition). However, the return of Vagabond was delayed from June to the fall to finally later this month.

According to Anime News Network, Inoue acknowledged it "has been a while" since the previous chapter.

Debuting in 1998, Vagabond is a fictionalized account of the life of late 16th/early 17th-century Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Earning the Kodansha Manga Award and the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, the title has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide. Viz Media released the 36th volume in North America in October.

Vagabond previously was placed on an 18-month hiatus, beginning in September 2010 and ending in March 2012, because of Inoue’s ongoing health issues. The artist turns 48 years old on Jan. 12.

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