Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week broke the news recently that Vertical, publisher of such Osamu Tezuka books as Buddha and the in-stores-today MW, will publisher the master’s classic series Black Jack, in its entirety, beginning in fall of next year:
The series stars title character Black Jack, an unlicensed but gifted surgeon who saves peoples lives, often against all odds. The series is a childhood favorite of Vertical editorial director Ioannis Mentzas. “[Black Jack] is probably the most influential book of my early years,” explained Mentzas, “and I’ve heard that sentiment from many Japanese.” Mentzas added that the character’s appeal lies in its psychology. “Black Jack reflects the glory and squalor of early adulthood,” he said. Mentzas believes that the series will draw an audience in the late teens to early 20s. “I think any high school or 20-something person of the slightest intellectual bent will identify with BJ.”
According to Palmer, founder of the Web site Tezuka in English, which is devoted to introducing Tezuka to an English speaking audience, Black Jack is the second most popular character in Japan. “Black Jack is Tezuka’s most exciting adult character,” Palmer said, citing the Japanese medical and technology company Hitachi, which recently licensed the Black Jack character to be the spokesman for its medical equipment.
This is fantastic news for long-time Tezuka fans like me, and certainly suggests that Vertical has seen success with the manga they’ve published so far to attempt to publish a lengthy series like this.
Also in this week’s PWCW: A Yaoi-Con report; an interview with Suburban Glamour creator Jamie McKelvie; a look at the CBLDF’s upcoming plans; a Uclick profile; and an interview with the author of Spider-Man: The Icon, Steve Saffel.