posted on 2001-08-07 00:09 EDT
Excerpted from the Press Release:
Shotaro Ishinomori's Legacy Lives on with The Skull Man from TOKYOPOP® Manga
Kazuhiko Shimamoto adapts works of one of manga's pioneers in Ishinomori's final collaboration
LOS ANGELES - 8/6/01 - From his deathbed, the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori hand-picked Kazuhiko Shimamoto to revitalize his dark, seventies anti-hero The Skull Man. One of the most important manga creators of all time and the man responsible for Kamen Rider (Masked Rider in the US), Cyborg 009, and hundreds of other manga and anime series, Ishinomori spent his final days working on this labor of love. TOKYOPOP® Manga is proud to release The Skull Man for the first time in the US, thus continuing the legacy of one of Japan's greatest creators and his selected protégé.
Stunned by the initial offer to take over The Skull Man and work directly with Ishinimori on the project, Shimamoto made it his goal to imbue the character and story with the soul of its creator. In the process, he used modern concepts of storytelling with retro art and showed the excitement he had for a project that would be akin in the US to Will Eisner turning over The Spirit to a young, up and coming illustrator.
"After starting on The Skull Man, I immersed myself in researching Mr. Ishinomori's work even more than ever," Shimamoto said in the foreword to the first volume. "Before I could establish the character of Skull Man for myself, before I could make his story my own, I had to show the world that I was the ultimate Ishinomori fan and advocate."
His name, his body and his soul have been taken from him - now all that's left for The Skull Man is revenge. Created in the Seventies, The Skull Man was a new type of manga character. Willing to sacrifice the lives of the innocent in his dark quest for retribution, he is an anti-hero with a dark, but magnetic presence. Orphaned as a young boy, The Skull Man lives in a shadowy world of homicidal mutants and seductive assassins in the vein of American superhero-noir like Batman or Spawn.
As the series by Shimamoto starts, a beautiful female assassin arrives to eliminate a bureaucrat hiding out in a hotel. Unaware she has been followed, the assassin is suddenly confronted by a mysterious man. She is unable to run and has no choice but to kill him. At point blank range, she shoots - but the mysterious man is unfazed. The stranger continues following her until he transforms into a wolf and attacks her. Who is this monster and where did he come from?
TOKYOPOP® Manga will begin releasing The Skull Man as a monthly comic series in November before it begins to run exclusively as a graphic novel series next year.
TOKYOPOP, a division of Mixx Entertainment, Inc., is a market leader of character-based entertainment from the creative hotbed of Japan and the surrounding Asian region. Founded in 1996, TOKYOPOP has exclusive rights to a range of popular properties and releases a growing line of publishing, film, and music products. With over 2 million publications in print, TOKYOPOP's publishing line includes several books based on popular cartoon characters enjoyed by millions of fans, such as Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing and more. Through its DVD and VHS labels, TOKYOPOP® High Voltage Video and TOKYOPOP® Anime, TOKYOPOP is bringing Japanese pro wrestling and anime to the rapidly expanding audience of US fans. In music, TOKYOPOP® Soundtrax is a market leader in video game and anime soundtracks from titles such as FFIX, Trigun and Resident Evil Code: Veronica X. Find out the latest at www.TOKYOPOP.com.