Tuesday, 1 July 2014
What's Michael?. Written and illustrated by Makoto Kobayashi. published by Eclipse Books (Eclipse International) with translation by Dana Lewis & Toren Smith of Studio Proteus, Sold as a single issue Graphic Album (about 110 pages), March 1990 . Originally serialized in Comic Morning Magazine and published by Kodansha Ltd. From 1985 to 1990 (Nine Volumes were published over this time.
“ The cat comic that exploded onto the bestseller lists in Japan is now available in America”
AWHAT'S MICHAEL? Is a collection short stories set in a multiverse about Michael the cat, and his interactions with food providers\owners as well as in an anthropomorphic Cat Vs Dogs world.
Toren Smith of Studio Proteus, said “it's a very funny comic.”
“WHAT'S MICHAEL? Explores the foilbies and follies of cat-fanciers, and cats, from every walk of life.!”
Toren Smith was asked by Eclipse International to try and get the rights WHAT'S MICHAEL? From Kodansha Ltd. he very sceptical as they where a huge company and that they already had a relationship with a major American Comic-book publisher, Marvel. But they turned out to be very approachable and professional.
[Note: on the inside page of the Album there is printed “Special thanks to Kodansha liaison Yuda Ando.”]
At the time it was a big gamble for Eclipse and Studio Proteus to sell though a chain of book stores in the USA a funny comic-book about a cat, when one of those book store chains only bought 50 copies initially, then only a few months later ordered 500! So volume was also in the running, and all before these cute cats on the internet too!
[Note: The above information about Studio Proteus involvement was gleaned from an Interview published in Issue 22 of 'The Rose' July 1990, Anime Hasshin's club-zine – Lorraine Savage interviewed Toren Smith.]
[Note: it took some considerable time to pinpoint the month of this album's printing.]