Dark Horse Press Announcements (Jan. Comics/Feb. Trades)

Akira Club gives the English-speaking world new insight into one of the most universally acclaimed manga works ever created!

Katsuhiro Otomo's epic manga, Akira, is considered by many to be the finest work of graphic fiction ever created, a work of astonishing power and visionary scope, and possessing of a level of illustration skill unmatched in the annals of the medium. This epic story was for many, the first introduction to anime and manga.

Now available for the first time in an English-language edition, Akira Club is an essential companion to Akira, a dazzling collection of Otomo's mind-blowing visions, including over one hundred title-page illustrations created for the original serialization but not included with the published collections of Akira.

The book also features rarely seen alternate art, preliminary drawings, production sketches, and a variety of Akira posters, advertisements, and products, all accompanied by fascinating commentary by the artist himself. This essential companion belongs on the bookshelves of every Akira enthusiast, manga fan, or devotee of fantasy and science fiction illustration.

"More than twenty years since its original serialization, Akira, in my view, still sets illustration standards that are as yet unmatched in the field, and Akira Club showcases a huge amount of Otomo's Akira art that was never collected. Absolutely mind-blowing stuff!" says Dark Horse Senior Editor Chris Warner.

Akira Club features story and art by Katsuhiro Otomo. It arrives on sale March 7 with a retail price of $29.95

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ISBN: 1-59307-741-6

Shirow Masamune's Orion comes to life for the first time in right-to-left Format with all-new bonus features!

In the mighty Yamata Empire, magic and technology are one and the same. Now, the Empire is preparing its ultimate feat of psycho-science: the destruction of all the negative karma in the galaxy! But will this mystical purification be the salvation of humanity—or the trigger of its ultimate destruction? Only one being can save the Empire from its folly: Susano, the God of Destruction. Wild, arrogant, and homicidal, Susano has come to teach the world the true nature of power!

Shirow Masamune, creator of Appleseed, Dominion, Intron Depot, and Ghost in the Shell, has earned a huge worldwide following with his unique, eclectic, and visually stunning blend of science fiction and fantasy. Orion is Shirow at his wildest, and is now for the first time in America published in right-to-left reading format, as originally published in Japan. Plus a variety of great bonus features like an art gallery, Orion glossary, and notes on the text composed by Shirow himself!

Orion 3rd Edition features story and art by Shirow Masamune. It arrives on sale February 14 with a retail price of $17.95.

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ISBN: 1-59307-695-9

Manga collides with science fiction in yesterday's classic, Two Faces of Tomorrow!

Midway through the Twenty-first century, an integrated global computer network manages much of the world's affairs. A proposed major software upgrade—an artificial intelligence—will give the system an unprecedented degree of independent decision-making power, but serious questions are raised in regard to how much control can safely be given to a non-human intelligence. In order to more fully assess the system, a new space-station habitat—a world in miniature—is developed for deployment of the fully operational system, named Spartacus. This mini-world can then be “attacked” in a series of escalating tests to assess the system's responses and capabilities. If Spartacus gets out of hand, the system can be shut down and the station destroyed . . . unless Spartacus decides to take matters into its own hands and take the fight to Earth.

Two Faces of Tomorrow features story by James P. Hogan and art by Yukinobu Hoshino. It is available now for a retail price of $19.95.

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ISBN: 1-59307-563-4

Star-studded cast commemorates one hundred issues of comics' favorite samurai bunny in Usagi Yojimbo #100!

Stan Sakai's biggest admirers—who also happen to be some of the hottest names in comics—come together to celebrate one hundred issues of Usagi Yojimbo at Dark Horse!

Featuring eight extra story pages for a total of thirty-two, Usagi Yojimbo #100 is structured as a good-natured roast of both Usagi and Stan, kicking off with an opening by publisher Mike Richardson and artist Rick Geary before launching into unforgettable contributions from Frank Miller, Jeff Smith, Sergio Aragonés, Guy Davis, Mark Evanier, Scott Shaw, Jamie S. Rich, and Andi Watson—not to mention Stan Sakai himself!

This extra-special issue is the ultimate introduction to the world of the rabbit ronin and his inimitable creator, a perfect entry point for anyone who ever wondered why the adventures of this long-eared hero have been among the most acclaimed all-ages comics for over two decades!

Usagi Yojimbo #100 features story by Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragones, Guy Davis, Mark Evanier, Frank Miller, Jamie S. Rich, Mike Richardson and Jeff Smith, and art by Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragones, Guy Davis, Rick Geary, Frank Miller, Scott Shaw, Jeff Smith and Andi Watson. It arrives on sale January 31 with a retail price of $3.50.

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Rod Espinoza's The Courageous Princess is a fairy tale classic perfect for all-ages!

Once upon a time, a greedy dragon kidnapped a beloved princess . . . but if you think she just waited around for some charming prince to rescue her, you're in for a surprise!

Princess Mabelrose may not be the fairest of the land, but she has enough brains and bravery to fend for herself in a fantasy world of danger and adventure! From a mighty dragon with an army of trolls, to a tyrant tiger king, Mabelrose meets each challenge with courage and pluck, her bravery winning her the help and friendship of many of the people, creatures, and magical beings she encounters in her quest to find her way home.

"Courageous Princess evokes the work of Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) and the spirit of the old Disney films” says Dark Horse Senior Editor Randy Stradley. “Princess Mabelrose is a classic heoine in the best sense of the word. She meets every new challenge with determination and compassion, and her pluck and kindness carry her through situations where a strong arm and a good sword would not. Rod Espinosa has created a character and a world that is equally appealing to adults and children."

The Courageous Princess features story and art by Rod Espinosa. It arrives on sale March 7 with a retail price of $9.95.

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ISBN: 1-59307-719-X