Biggest Attack On Titan Announcement Ever?

We Didn’t See This Official Collaboration Coming…

No, this doesn’t have to do with the live-action movies (a fact that leaves many of us grateful).

This was a big announcement at the 2015 Comic-Con.  Namely, the Kodansha Comics panel, which advertised having the “Biggest Attack on Titan Manga Announcement Ever.”

New manga stories will be coming soon.  There’s something quite special about the upcoming manga though – They will be drawn by North American artists!

Can North American artists write and draw manga?  Are these collaborations “manga,” “comics,” graphic novels,” or all of the above?  This is a project that blurs the lines, and opens up a lot of possibilities.

So, what do you think about it?  Does it catch your interest?  Read the details below the break, and let us know how you feel in the comments below!

At New York Comic-Con 2015, Kodansha Comics tantalized fans with a panel with the hype-tacular title “The BiggestAttack on Titan manga Announcement Ever.”

So what was the announcement? Something completely new and different for the world of manga – an all-new anthology collection of short stories based on the Attack on Titanuniverse created by Hajime Isayama, but with a special twist: the stories would be written and drawn by an eclectic all-star line-up of N. American comics creators.

The Attack on Titan Anthology will be a 250-page, full-color graphic novel featuring new and original stories set in the past, present and ‘alternate universes’ of man-eating giants and the remaining population of humans who are forced to live and defend themselves within walled cities. These new original stories are currently in development, with publication scheduled for Fall 2016.

Already signed up to contribute to this all-star effort are fan-favorite creators from the superhero side of the comics shop such as Scott Snyder (Batman), Gail Simone (Red Sonja), Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr (New Batgirl), Kevin Wada (She-Hulk), Genevieve Valentine (Catwoman) and Paolo Rivera (Daredevil)

Also signed on to create Titan tales are indie comics creators including Tomer and Asaf Hanuka (The Divine), Faith Erin Hicks (The Nameless City), Kate Leth (The Bravest Warriors), Afua Richardson (Genius), Ronald Wimberly (Sunset Park), and many more who are “in talks now,” and will be announced soon.

ANN sat down with the people who are spearheading this project, to learn more about the origins of this project, Hajime Isayama‘s involvement with this unusual creative collaboration, and what they have up their sleeves for 2016. The creative team includes:

  • Jeanine Schaefer, Former Marvel Comics Editor (She-Hulk, X-Men, Wolverine), and co-editor on the Attack on Titan anthology
  • Ben Applegate, Associate Director of Publishing Services, Penguin/Random House,  in charge of Kodansha Comics Editorial/Production

For starters, here’s an interview with Schaefer, Applegate and Koide, discussing how they came up with this concept and how they’re hoping to create a new bridge between N. American and Japanese comics.

Ben Applegate:
About a year ago. Kodansha, on the Japanese side, was asking us to come up with new ways to break into the US and international market; specifically, new ideas for products that would have a unique appeal to an international audience.

Kana Koide:
Especially for brand new readers, who have not read much manga before, such as readers of American comics.

Interviewer: I noticed that about Attack on Titan, that it has a unique cross-over appeal to American comics readers. I recently visited Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles and they had Attack on Titan displayed prominently with all their other comics, not just in a special “manga” section.

Of course, there was also the Attack on Titan/Avengers cross-over comic that was featured in Brutus magazine last year. Was the Attack on Titan Anthology inspired by the AoT/Avengers comic?

Ben Applegate:
No, actually, this was project already in progress before that one-shot story was published.  It was an entirely separate thing.

Interviewer: What captured your attention about it?

Jeanine Schaefer:
Part of the reason why it’s so popular around the world is that’s a really human story at it s core. Sure, there’s horror and gore, and this apocalyptic, end of the world element to it, but it’s a story about the base fears in all of us. What will happen if I can’t control myself? What will I do if forces outside of myself affect my life and my family. At its base level, these gut reactions, this feeling of helplessness that everyone can relate to.  And the art! The art is CRAZY. (laughs) I kept texting Ben when I was reading it, ‘What IS this stuff?’ It’s really compelling. The pacing, the cliff-hangers… it’s so expertly crafted. It’s a master class on how to create a serialized story.

You can train for the zombie apocalypse, and still have no idea what will happen, how you will react when you’re really faced with those sorts of life and death situations.

And NO ONE is safe. No one. In Western comics, especially those that have been serialized for many years, you know Superman’s going to make it out of any given situation. You don’t know what the collateral damage is going to be, or how he’ll get out of it, but you know he’s going to get out of that situation.

With Attack on Titan, you don’t know who’s going to make it until the next volume, the next chapter. Within the first two volumes of Attack on Titan, over two-thirds of the team you’ve gotten to know is decimated!  It makes the reader feel very unsafe, which is something that I like.  As an editor, as someone who has worked on creating stories for a long time, I feel like I get the rhythm of stories, and how things will work out, this is going to happen next, and so on. But with this series, I really don’t know what’s going to happen next! That’s thrilling for readers; to not feel safe in a safe space.

Ben Applegate:
We’ve talked a lot about wanting to include a lot of different genres and styles of stories. It’s important to Kodansha that there be a lot of variety in this anthology, but we wanted to keep this basic element of the story, the fear and uncertainly that underlies everything that happens. In the serious stories, we had to tell writers, “No one can be safe here.”

Interviewer: So there’s no Attack on Titan “canon” that these creators have to stick to?

Ben Applegate:
No, no – I mean that they can feel free to kill off any of the characters that THEY create for their stories. In order to make it feel like Attack on Titan, no one can be safe. For the reader, it can’t feel like they can pick out ‘this character is going to live, this one is going to die’ while they’re reading these stories, because if it was, it wouldn’t be like Attack on Titan. We wanted to preserve this feeling.

Source: Anime News Network

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