May 8, 2013

U.N.C.L.E. AND BATMAN MANGA

Takao Saito, creator of Golgo 13, adapted James Bond and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for the Japanese manga market in the 1960s. The stories were serialized in comic digests and collected for release as paperbacks. Saito's spy manga are some of the hardest artifacts to track down and it's a rare treat when collectors get to see examples of this work. The James Bond and U.N.C.L.E. books rarely appear on eBay and tend to be listed between $100-$300. Here are some rare examples of Saito's U.N.C.L.E manga, Napoleon Solo. It's fun to see how Saito fashioned the characters in the style of Golgo 13 and brought familiar secret agents into the dynamic world of his comic pages. It has been suggested that the style of Golgo 13 was derived from these earlier spy manga, which may have been cancelled due to legal issues. I'd love to see a large collection translated into English in the style of Chip Kidd's Batmanga (hear that, Chip?). Incidentally, Batman appeared alongside Solo in Shonen Magazine and I have included some pages by Jiro Kuwata below. 




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3 comments:

  1. David Foster from Permission to Kill sent this interesting comment:

    ... allegedly Saito was sued (or at least told to desist) from doing his manga James Bond strips. It is alleged, that Golgo 13 arose from the ashes (maybe left over illustrations). That's why they look so similar (and why they haven't been re-published and now sell for exorbitant prices). I am sure with licensing deals, this will change one day - and we'll see the Japanese Bond in English.

    As for the Manga Batman (apparently has surfaced in English). Here's a little piece that Carol wrote a little while back on the Cultural Gutter - you may be interested in.

    http://theculturalgutter.com/comics/the-secret-history-of-the-skeleton-suit-in-japan.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. and...

    According to john Cox - the Saito Bond's were licensed, but Glidrose put a stop to them...

    http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/comichistory.html

    ReplyDelete

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