Comics Lowdown: RIP Monkey Punch, Kazuo Koike

Plus: Bill Mantlo in need, halfway through ‘Saga,’ awards and more.

The manga community has lost two legends in April, as both Lupin III creator Monkey Punch and Lone Wolf & Cub co-creator Kazuo Koike have passed away. Both men died from pneumonia six days apart, and were once considered rivals when their respective manga ran in Weekly Manga Action magazine. They also worked together on the Secretary Bird manga mini-series that ran in the magazine in 1970.

Monkey Punch, whose real name was Kazuhito Kato, was 81 when he passed away. His most famous creation, Lupin III, started as a manga and was later adapted into six animated television series, eight animated feature films, two live-action feature films, two musicals and several video games. He passed away April 11.

In addition to Lone Wolf & Cub, Koike is also known for such titles as Lady Snowblood, Crying Freeman, Samurai Executioner and many other popular series. His work influenced many American creators, including Frank Miller, who drew covers for First Comics’ publication of the series. Koike also worked on a few western series, including a Hulk manga and an issue of X-Men Unlimited. He passed away April 17 at the age of 82.

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Dynamite launches new ‘Swords of the Swashbucklers’ series

Marc Guggenheim to write the new series, which starts in December.

After successfully funding a collection of the original Swords of the Swashbucklers series published by Marvel’s Epic Comics line in the 1980s, Dynamite Entertainment has announced an ongoing series featuring new stories about the space-faring pirates.

Swords of the Swashbucklers by Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice began life as a graphic novel from Marvel back in 1984, followed by a 12-issue series. It’s about a teenage girl whose parents are kidnapped by an alien empire, so she joins up with a crew of space pirates to try and save them.

The new series will be written by Marc Guggenheim, current writer of X-Men Gold for Marvel. “Swords of the Swashbucklers has long been a favorite of mine and it remains one of the great high concepts in all of comics, which is unsurprising when you consider that Bill Mantlo and Butch Guice were the creative forces behind it. I’m humbled to continue their work and looking forward to introducing this remarkable comic to a whole new audience,” he said in a press release.

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‘Swords of the Swashbucklers’ sails again

Kickstarter for a new collection of Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice’s classic Epic Comics series funds in under 24 hours.

Dynamite Entertainment is looking to bring Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice’s Swords of the Swashbucklers back into print, and they’ve turned to Kickstarter to do it. And less than 24 hours into their campaign, they’re already 100 percent funded.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Swords of the Swashbucklers began life as a graphic novel from Marvel back in 1984, followed by a a series that ran for 12 issues under their Epic Comics banner. It’s about a teenage girl whose parents are kidnapped by an alien empire, so she joins up with a crew of space pirates to try and save them.

Continue reading “‘Swords of the Swashbucklers’ sails again”