Slam Dunk, Vagabond's Inoue to Visit NYC in November
posted on by Egan Loo
Viz Media is planning to host Takehiko Inoue, the world-renowned manga creator of Slam Dunk, Vagabond, and Real, as a special guest at the new Kinokuniya flagship bookstore in New York City on November 19. Inoue will create an exclusive drawing on a wall that has been reserved for him on the store's second floor.
The new three-story Kinokuniya store is located across from Bryant Park at 1073 Sixth Avenue (also known as Avenue of the Americas), between West 40th and West 41st Streets. The second floor, with the planned Inoue drawing, will be dedicated to manga. Kinokuniya has yet to announce the store's exact opening day, but it had been previously planned for this month. An art exhibition and other events are planned for the store's opening.
Born in 1967, Inoue started drawing manga as an assistant to the equally famed artist of City Hunter, Tsukasa Hojo. Inoue made his own professional debut at the age of 21, and created his breakthrough hit, the Slam Dunk basketball manga, two years later in 1990. As an offer of gratitude to his fans for buying over 100 million copies of Slam Dunk since then, Inoue held a three-day-long signing event for over 5,000 fans in 2004. In the Japanese government's Media Arts 100 Poll of the public's favorite works of art of all time, Slam Dunk took first place in the manga division. Both of his current works, the samurai manga Vagabond and the wheelchair basketball manga Real, have won the top manga honor in Japan's Media Arts Festival. His artwork was exhibited earlier this year in The National Art Center of Tokyo as part of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs' Media Arts Festival's 10th anniversary exhibition, "The Power of Expression, Japan."
In addition to Inoue's Kinokuniya appearance, Viz Media is also sponsoring a Halloween event with free Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat gifts at New York City's Blood Manor attraction on October 18. The game companies Tomy and D3Publisher are hosting a separate launch event for the Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution game at the Nintendo World Store in New York City's Rockerfeller Plaza on October 27. Inoue himself has been privately visiting the nearby state of Connecticut to support the first winner of his Slam Dunk Scholarship. The Shueisha-sponsored scholarship awards an outstanding Japanese high school basketball player with one year of education abroad at Connecticut's South Kent School.