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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

D+Q to publish Shigeru Mizuki's KITARO


Expanding its Shigeru Mizuki library, Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world English rights to the cartoonist’s most famous character as well as one of the most famous characters in Japan, KITARO, it was announced today by Chris Oliveros, Editor-in-Chief, Acquiring Editor and Publisher of Drawn & Quarterly. To be released in early 2013, this is the first time KITARO will be published in English as were his D+Q graphics novels NONNONBA (2012) and ONWARDS TOWARD OUR NOBLE DEATHS (2011).

"We’re elated that we publish Mizuki as he is a true virtuoso of manga," said Oliveros. "What is fascinating is that each of his books reveal a different aspect of his sensibility. Many of Mizuki’s lifelong themes such as yokāi are distilled in KITARO, creating a fantastical world where B-movie monsters collide with the wonder of childhood."

KITARO is the bestselling manga-ka’s most famous creation. Created in 1959, the Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro series was inspired by a kamishibai or paper theatre entitled Kitaro of the Graveyard and first appeared in Shonen comics magazine for boys. It quickly became a cultural landmark for young and old alike. Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro has inspired half a dozen TV shows, plus numerous video games and films, and its cultural importance in Japan cannot be overstated.

ABOUT KITARO: Meet Kitaro. He’s just like any other boy, except for a few small differences: he only has one eye, his hair is as an antenna that senses paranormal activity, his geta sandals are jet-powered, and he can blend in to his surroundings like a chameleon. Oh, and he’s a three hundred and fifty year old yokāi (spirit monster). With all the offbeat humor and a delightful cast of characters, Kitaro is a light-hearted romp where the bad guys always get what’s coming to them.

ABOUT SHIGERU MIZUKI: Born March 8, 1922 in Sakaiminato, Tottori, Mizuki is a specialist in stories of yōkai and is considered a master of the genre. Currently in Japan, the life of Mizuki and his wife has been made in an extremely popular television drama that airs daily. Mizuki is the recipient of many awards including Best Album award for NonNonBā at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Special Award, Kyokujitsu Shō Decoration, Minister of Education Award, Shiju Hōshō Decoration and the Kodansha Manga Award. His hometown of Sakaiminato honored him with the Shigeru Mizuki Road, a street in his town decorated with bronze statues of his Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro characters and with other designs relating to his works and the Shigeru Mizuki International Cultural Center. The works of Mizuki have been published in Japan, South Korea, France, and Spain.

Maki Hakui of Press Pop in Japan negotiated the rights. KITARO will be distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books.

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