Del Rey and Marvel Team Up For a Wolverine “Manga”

I just got this press release in the mail about a new Del Rey and Marvel hookup. Wolverine!

The series will be written by Antony Johnston, author of the Alex Rider graphic novels Stormbreaker and Point Blanc. The manga will be illustrated by Wilson Tortosa, artist of Tomb Raider and Battle of the Planets.

The manga chronicles the history of Wolverine, a mutant best known for his adamantium claws. Logan, a rebellious teen training in a remote school in the Canadian wilderness, has no memory of his life prior to being found in the forest near the school. But that forgotten life is about to come after him with a vengeance in this shônen thriller. (Shônen manga is aimed at boys through their teens and focuses on action.)

Wait! Hold up! So it’s a manga if the story is written by a British guy and illustrated by a Filipino guy? Hmm. I think this is another case of a company trying to call their work manga when they might really mean “manga-inspired.” But who’s to really authoritatively say what qualifies as manga? Well, the press release also described manga:

Manga, the Japanese term for comics, is a Japanese cultural phenomenon that accounts for nearly half of all the books and magazines sold in Japan. Read by men and women of all ages, manga covers a wide variety of themes including adventure, romance, fantasy, and more. Manga has experienced incredible growth in the US and Canadian graphic novel market in the past few years. According to industry source ICv2 manga sales reached between $170 million and $200 million in 2006.

So under Del Rey’s description, manga is just the Japanese term for comics. I dunno if I buy it… This is just as bad as calling that one title “The Manga Bible.”

I’m probably somewhat biased for a Wolverine manga anyway, seeing as how I’m currently a student at the University of Michigan and our mascot is Wolverine. Well, ok, it’s the animal, not the X-Man, but I really think we should just adopt Wolverine as our official mascot. He’d totally pwn that wimp, Brutus.