Tag Archives: yoshitaka amano

The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives arrives in December 2022

DC‘s Dead Boy Detectives are back expanding the Sandman Universe. Writer Pornsak Pichetshote is joined by artist Jeff Stokely to take the Dead Boys to the scariest place of all: the heart of Hollywood!

Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine have been detectives for decades—and dead best friends even longer. But their investigation into a Thai American girl’s disappearance from her Los Angeles home puts them on a collision course with new and terrifying ghosts straight from Thai folklore that could give even a dead boy nightmares!

The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives kicks off on December 27th with a bloodthirsty krasue—a floating, severed head whose internal organs trail beneath it—and amps up the mysteries and horrors from there!

In Pichetshote and Stokely’s new six-issue comic book miniseries, Edwin and Charles are hired to find a missing Thai-American girl named Jai, only for her to turn up dead. Except not. Because Jai, along with her two friends Tanya and Melvin, are all ghosts like Edwin and Charles. Except not. Each child is Thai, with power unlike anything Edwin and Charles have ever seen before, and they all died in LA at different times over the past fifty years! And perilously close by to the boys’ adventure, Thessaly the witch finds herself held hostage by dangerous magics—both a threat to her life and an insult to her ego that simply will not go unanswered… 

The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives #1, written by Pornsak Pichetshote with art by Jeff Stokely, colors by Miquel Muerto, letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou and a cover by Nimit Malavia, arrives wherever comic books are sold on December 27, 2022, and carries DC’s Black Label descriptor, identifying the content as appropriate for readers ages 17+. The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives #1 will also feature variant covers by Alex Eckman-Lawn, Tyler Crook, Filipe Andrade (1:25) and Yoshitaka Amano (1:50).

Dark Horse presents the second edition of Shinjuku

Dark Horse Books presents the second edition of Shinjuku. The horror-action book is written by film and video director Christopher “mink” Morrison, with art by Yoshitaka Amano, and has previously been adapted to animation by Academy Award-nominated Robert Valley. This new edition will be published in an oversized, hardcover art book format and will include a soft lamination cover.

Former special forces soldier, now elite Scout bounty hunter, Daniel Legend is leaving the mean streets of Los Angeles for the meaner streets of Shinjuku. In the real world, Tokyo’s most cosmopolitan ward is a center of metropolitan power, the crossroads of traffic, and a den of vice. But in Shinjuku, Daniel Legend, in search of his missing sister Angela, discovers Shinjuku the unreal city, a nexus of realities riddled with underground pathways. In this realm where lowlife crooks and subterranean monsters alike spill blood in the shadows, three rival yakuza leaders hold control over every earthly crime in a tense triad of greed. Yet for one mobster lord, Shi, no amount of worldly gain is enough to satisfy him. He plans an unholy scheme to seize control over all existence, merging mysticism with the visionary quantum research that was the legacy of Daniel and Angela’s father!

The Shinjuku Second Edition hardcover will be available at comic stores September 21, 2022 and in bookstores October 4, 2022. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore. The Shinjuku Second Edition HC will retail for $49.99.

Shinjuku Second Edition

LILY C.A.T. celebrates its 35-year anniversary and it still shows we’ve much to learn from it

Lily C.A.T.

When I first started reading up on Lily C.A.T. online I came across a description of it that showed up way too often: an anime version of Alien (1979) where the monster is a cat. It doesn’t really do it justice.

The setup does resemble Alien in that it takes place in a spaceship and that there’s a foreign entity wreaking havoc on its crew. Its kind of science fiction, like Alien as well, leans more towards horror than actual sci-fi, but the movie is quick to shed that comparison in favor of something that mixes other classic movies in for a surprisingly deep story about time, the fear of becoming obsolete, and the dangers of progress. And yes, it does have a cat, but it’s no mere monster (although it can be quite frightening).

Lily C.A.T. is the creation of Hisayuki Toriumi, one of the minds behind the classic Gatchaman. Released in 1987, the movie, set in the 23rd century, follows the men and women (and cat) of space cruiser Saldes, a ship that was hired out by the Syncam Corporation to take surveyors into a new planet with unique mining possibilities. The trip reaches its destination, but before the crew has the chance to get off the ship and survey the planet, strange deaths and disappearing corpses keep them in place until they can figure out what’s caused this nightmare scenario just as they reach the end of their first 20-year cryosleep journey.

In comes the cat, a creature that might be a clone or copy (or something else) of another cat that travelled with one of the crew members. Her name’s Lily and it’s quickly established something isn’t entirely feline underneath all her fur. It doesn’t take long for a hulking monster to reveal itself, it’s presence offering part of the explanation as to why the crew is being consumed and what the cat’s role is in all this.

Lily C.A.T.

One of the main attractors of the movie is Yoshitaka Amano’s character and creature designs. Amano, known for his work on Vampire Hunter D, Final Fantasy, and Speed Racer, creates a monstrous mass of horror that seems inspired more by John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) than H.R. Giger’s designs for Alien. It’s a brutal manifestation of hunger that holds a certain mystery as to its killing methods and why it consumes the bodies of those it kills.

This is where comparisons to Alien stop. As the ship’s crew starts to dig into the events that are taking place on the Saldes, character motivations and trust issues start revealing deeper concerns afflicting its crew. For a movie that’s just over an hour long, there’s a fair amount of existential dialogue taking place and they range from thoughts on humanity being overtaken by technology, ideas on how time becomes obsolete when travelling in space, and the importance of fulfilling one’s duty despite being presented with the possibility very little of it matters given the circumstances. Here it veers into 2001: A Space Odyssey territory.

Lily C.A.T.

As the movie progresses, it becomes evident that its central computer might be seeing the monster and its biochemical components as a rare find that could benefit the Syncam Corporation’s bottom line if brought back to Earth. The crew slowly realizes that their presence at this point is mostly superfluous given the computer is capable of navigating the ship by itself and of containing the creature to certain areas for a long trip back home with the new cargo.

The realization inspires the ship’s captain, Mike Hamilton (played by Mike Reynolds in the English dub version), to reexamine his decision to dedicate his life to space travel and he sacrificed in its pursuit. He goes on to provide one of the movie’s most existentially unsettling monologues. Hamilton speaks to the price space travelers pay in terms of time, framing it as a pursuit that is appreciated on a very lonely stage.

Undergoing twenty, thirty, or forty-year time jumps for deep space travel means those left behind continue aging naturally while the traveler artificially extends his or her life span. It means travelers sacrifice a lot for a system that, at the same time, is trying to eliminate human input entirely at every turn. The insight Captain Hamilton provides in his monologue allows for a more complex type of questioning when it comes to tried and true sci-fi tropes. It leaves an impression and promotes the further exploration of genre ideas that we’ve seemingly taken for granted way too often.

Lily C.A.T.

There’s a subplot concerning criminals that make their way into spaceships to go on illegal time jumps to avoid arrest for serious offenses. Again, time is a factor that puts into question the entire notion of duty, especially if we think about it as something that runs on an invisible timeline we’ve never thought necessary to consider before.

These and other variations on the sci-fi formula are what make Lily C.A.T. such an impressive and important example of classic anime. Toriumi’s vision considers a profound worry for the things humans sacrifice in service of progress, especially how our limited foresight can put us on a road towards obsolescence. The movie offers a warning that’s as prescient now as it was when it came out, perhaps more so given what’s come to pass since its original release. Give it a watch and don’t get too distracted by the cat. There are other things to worry about when humans venture deeper into space.

Vault Comics and Kinokuniya Partner for Exclusive Yoshitaka Amano Bleed Them Dry Trade Paperback Cover

Vault Comics and Books Kinokuniya are thrilled to announce a very special, limited edition Kinokuniya exclusive trade paperback edition of Bleed Them Dry with cover art by legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano. This special printing is limited to 100 copies that are available exclusively at Kinokuniya

The Bleed Them Dry trade paperback collects the entire comic series that was created in association with Lotus, Nagoya TV, and F.J. DeSanto. Created by Hiroshi Koizumi, written by Eliot Rahal, drawn by Dike Ruan, colored by Miquel Muerto, and designed by Tim DanielBleed Them Dry: A Ninja Vampire Tale weaves Japanese and Western mythology together to create a deep-future sci-fi epic about Detective Harper Halloway, who’s been tasked with capturing an insidious killer: Someone targeting our immortal brethren, the Vampires that have been living beside us peacefully for centuries.

The year is 3333. Earth is in a state of recovery. Vampires are real, and though far less populous, they thrive alongside humans in the Japanese engineered mega city known as Asylum. People have come to understand that some Immortals are good, some are bad, and most navigate the world without incident. There is peace. 

That is, until now. 

Someone is brutally murdering vampires. And Detective Harper Halloway has been assigned to the case. To solve it, she’ll have to unearth a much deeper truth: the future of humanity has been edited. 

The Bleed Them Dry collection hits store shelves on February 10th, 2021. 

Bleed Them Dry Yoshitaka Amano cover

Superman Takes Off in 2021 with a New Anthology, Superman: Red & Blue

In the spirit of DC’s iconic Eisner Award-winning Batman: Black & White anthology series, DC has announced Superman: Red & Blue, a new six-issue DC comic book mini-series presenting fresh new visions of the Man of Steel, featuring an incredible slate of comics’ most exciting and innovative storytellers creating comics pared back to Superman’s two signature colors of red and blue (magenta and cyan for the color nerds)!

Around the world, everyone knows that when they see a red and blue streak in the sky, it’s not a bird…it’s not a plane…it’s Superman!

To start things off in March’s Superman: Red & Blue #1, Academy Award-winning writer of DC Future State: The Next Batman John Ridley joins artist Clayton Henry to tell a story of Clark Kent as he confronts a villain who still haunts him, in a story that shows what Superman can mean to a whole country. Then, Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber take readers to the streets of Metropolis to show how one hero can mean so much to an individual in pain.

Plus, writer/artist Wes Craig tells a tale of Superman’s early days and the man who inspired him to become the hero he is today! And Marguerite Bennett and artist Jill Thompson give us a tale of teenage Clark Kent, while Dan Watters and Dani, the team behind Coffin Bound, bring an outlandish fable about what happens when all colors are stolen!

Superman: Red & Blue #1 (of 6), featuring 40 pages of stories by Marguerite Bennett, Wes Craig, Dani, Brandon Easton, Clayton Henry, Steve Lieber, John Ridley, Jill Thompson and Dan Watters, retails at $5.99 with a cover by Gary Frank and variant covers by Lee Bermejo and Yoshitaka AmanoSuperman: Red & Blue will ship monthly beginning on March 9 in DC’s Prestige Format binding.

Dark Horse Direct Delivers Umbrella Academy Fine Art

Before it was a smash hit Netflix show, The Umbrella Academy was an acclaimed comic series featuring everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family. To celebrate the series, Dark Horse Direct presents their latest offering in fine art prints, featuring Yoshitaka Amano’s masterfully artistic interpretation of The Umbrella Academy comic series, originally created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá! Limited to just 500 available, don’t miss the opportunity to add this unique 24”x32” fine art print to your collection, filled with all of your favorite Umbrella Academy characters!

While searching for inspiration for this particular piece, Amano was on a veranda rooftop at his home in Japan one evening this last September 2019. There happened to be a beautiful Harvest Moon in the sky, that also coincided with the Japanese “Fifteen nights”, the phase of the moon’s path through the sky where the celestial body was perfectly full. It was in this moment, Amano imagined Spaceboy, and the rest of The Umbrella Academy, bursting out of the blinding moon falling upon their unsuspecting target.

Limited to a run of 500, these Giclée prints are hand numbered, with a foiled Yoshitaka Amano signature and will be sold for $99.99. The Umbrella Academy Fine Art Print by Yoshitaka Amano, “Harvest Moon” is available for pre-order exclusively on direct.darkhorse.com and is expected to start shipping March 18, 2020.

The Umbrella Academy Fine Art Print by Yoshitaka Amano, “Harvest Moon”

Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy this October

Dark Horse has revealed details from the upcoming Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy. Author Florent Gorges, one of France’s leading video game historians, sets out to explore the 50 years thus far in the career of legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano.

Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy is a beautiful celebration of the life and imagery of Japan’s master of fantasy and science fiction art! This handsome, landscape-style hardback contains nearly 400 illustrations and photos from the incredible career of Final Fantasy designer Yoshitaka Amano. But Beyond the Fantasy covers far more than just the famous game series. Amano’s artistic journey goes back to his first job in 1967—age 15, working on Speed Racer! From animator to illustrator, to internationally exhibited painter, this biography is a look not only into the work of Amano’s life, but the influences, techniques, philosophy, and family that have nurtured it.

The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition is a must-have for any Amano fan. Its three colors, black, red, and gold, are designed to evoke Amano’s own favorite hues—and his father’s traditional lacquerware craft that influenced him from childhood!

The black slipcase of the Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition contains not only the same 328-page gold hardback biography from the regular edition, but also the elegant red 96-page Yoshitaka Amano—Paris Sketchbook, a landscape-style softcover with French flaps. The Paris Sketchbook follows Amano through the famous city in a photo essay, collecting the sketches of the people he made along the way!

Besides the gold and red books, the Limited Edition also contains a portfolio with a region-free Blu-ray (subtitled in English) featuring almost three hours of talk and interviews with the creator and the documentary makers, containing bonus information and archival images not in the biography. You’ll walk with Amano through the streets of Paris, shop with him for drawing supplies and art books, and experience a “live draw” in his studio, showing Amano’s exact technique from blank sheet to finished Vampire Hunter D painting! A mini-lithograph of the painting and a Final Fantasy illustration is also included in the portfolio—and finally, the Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition features an individually signed card from Amano himself!

The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy hardcover is 328 pages and retails for $49.99. The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Editionis 424 pages total and retails for $149.99. Both editions go on sale October 10, 2018, and are available for preorder.

VIZ Media Celebrates Japanese Artist Yoshitaka Amano With New Art Book

YoshitakaAmanoIllustrations-3DVIZ Media is celebrating the work of one of anime and pop art’s most renowned artists and character designers as it announces the release of Yoshitaka Amano: Illustrations on August 19th.

Packed with sketches, commentary, and interviews, this beautiful volume offers a concise survey of Amano’s remarkable career to date, featuring selected full-color pieces for series such as Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D and Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), as well as for his own creations like Hero and N.Y. Salad. Yoshitaka Amano: Illustrations carries an MSRP of $19.99 U.S. / $22.99 CAN.

Since launching his career at the age of 15 with the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko Productions, Yoshitaka Amano has become one of the most acclaimed artists and illustrators at work today. Displaying a rare range, his oeuvre encompasses everything from minutely observed still-life sketches to full-color paintings on an epic scale, from children’s storybooks to dark adult fantasy, from theatrical productions to video games to sculpture to commercial design.

Yoshitaka Amano began working at Tatsunoko Productions creating the character designs for such classic properties as Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) and Time Bokan. He later became a freelance artist notably doing illustrations and conceptual design work for the Final Fantasy video game series, and the Elric Saga, Heroic Legend of Arslan, and Vampire Hunter D novel series, among many others. He has also released over a dozen art books, collaborated on theatrical and opera productions, produced lithographs in Paris and New York, and has held solo exhibitions all over the world. In 1999 he published The Sandman: The Dream Hunters with writer Neil Gaiman, which received a Bram Stoker Award. Yoshitaka Amano is also the recipient of Seiun, Eisner, Dragon Con, and Julie Awards.

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