Comics In Context

What's so great about comics? Well, a BUNCH of things, pilgrim, and that's what this blog aims to tell you about. So just sit tight. And maybe buy some of the merchandise over at my eBay store. Maybe.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Akira (1988 – Epic Comics – Iss. 1-10 of continuing series)

The 1988 animated film Akira marked the first major assault of Japanese cartoon culture on American soil. Sure, TV shows like Speed Racer and Star Blazers had left psychic scars on the kiddies in the previous decade, but nobody had seen anything like Akira. It’s an ultra-noir, a cross between Blade Runner and Altered States, a complete mindblower of a movie.

It’s also a brutal truncation of the long-running manga by Katsuhiro Otomo.

Akira ran for eight years in Young magazine in Japan. It features the continuing bizarre adventures of the ultimate juvenile delinquent, Tetsuo Shima, in post-disaster Neo-Tokyo. A near-collision on his motorcycle with a mysterious, deformed child brings him to the attention of a secret government program that awakens uncontrollable psychic powers within him. Testuo’s bike-gang buddy, Shotaro Kaneda, is determined to either save or kill his lifelong friend.

Epic Comics released a “colorized” version of the black-and-white manga, and it sold tremendously well. The books were compiled into ten graphic novels by Epic, but were criticized by the hardcore fans for “dumbing down” the translation a bit. Dark Horse released a more faithful six-volume set in 2000.

Issues 1-10 of the Epic Series are available for sale at the Comics In Context eBay store. They are all near-mint to very fine and highly collectible.

You can also get both versions of the graphic novel and the very fine DVD at Amazon.

Wanna learn more?
Here's the Wikipedia entry ...
Here's a good article over at ...
And here's a pretty rockin' fansite.