Sporadic Sequential
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Today's Mangarama Exclusive: Junji Ito & Taiyo Matsumoto New Creative Team on 'Naruto'!

The manga Marvel tributes got me thinking about the differences between manga and Western corporate comics. Chatting with Deb Aoki via email, we were considering the possibility of a whole art book of Japanese artists presenting their takes on famous American superheroes and thought it could be a really fun project. But the idea of the reverse wasn't as appealing to either of us. I think part of is that, whereas a superhero series might change writers and artists every few months, manga series are strongly (pretty much exclusively) associated with their original creators. Perhaps an art book of American creators offering their interpretations of popular manga characters could work, but it's a harder thought experiment for me to wrap my head around.

Anyway, the whole thing led to some questions that I thought readers might be able to help me out with:

1. Has there ever been a manga series that changed creators, for whatever reason? Has a creator ever handed over the rights of his series to another creator? (I'm thinking of something like Miracleman where the rights were passed along as creators moved on.) Have assistants ever taken over when the original creator got bored of the series?

2. Has there ever been a corporate-owned manga that was continued after the original creator left the book? Have any creators ever sold the rights to their works for a lump sum? Have characters or series ever continued to have new volumes published even after the death or retirement of the original creator?

3. What is the longest-running manga series? Has it always had the same creator? (I found some answers relating to the longest-running continuously published serialized manga, but I'm more curious about the manga with the most volumes published.)

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