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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‘Monstress,’ ‘Saga,’ ‘On a Sunbeam’ among the 2019 Hugo Awards finalists

‘Abbott,’ Paper Girls’ and ‘Black Panther: Long Live the King’ round out this year’s nominations in the the ‘Best Graphic Story’ category.

The nominees for the 2019 Hugo Awards have been announced, including the “Best Graphic Story” category. This year’s nominees include three comics from Image, one from Marvel, one from BOOM! Studios and a graphic novel from First Second.

Presented annually since 1955, The Hugo Awards recognize the best science fiction in books, comics, movies, TV and more. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention every year. The Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been awarded since 2009, with previous winners including volumes of Saga, Ms. Marvel, Girl Genius and Sandman: Overture. Monstress won the award for the last two years and is up for the award again this year.

This year’s nominees are:

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First Second to publish Walden’s ‘On a Sunbeam’

Eisner Award-nominated comic comes to print in 2018.

Tillie Walden’s Spinning, released last month, has been racking up good reviews lately, so it’s no surprise that First Second would want to publish more of her work. And lucky for them Walden already has a completed story ready to go — her excellent “On a Sunbeam” webcomic.

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