At the New York Comic Con, Vertical Publishing announced two major new literary manga acquisitions, Osamu Tezuka’s one-volume The Book of Human Insects and Usamaru Furuya’s 3-volume No Longer Human.


One of a number of titles created by Tezuka in the 1970s that targeted the growing adult market for serious manga, The Book of Human Insects (Ningen Konchuki) will be released in a single 364-page volume in July of 2011 in time to debut at the San Diego Comic Con.  Vertical’s Ed Chavez told ICv2, “It’s set in the late 60s, early 70s and focuses on a young woman, fresh out of college, who is able to emulate almost anything around her.  She’s able to copy people’s art styles, copy people’s acting technique.  She’s a plagiarist, and kind of like a Black Widow, as people come in closer and closer, she ends up offing them.”  Chavez described the book as “very dark, and compact,” with lots of ties to other Tezuka works of the 1970s such as Apollo’s Song.


No Longer Human
The first volume of Usamaru Furuya’s 3-volume No Longer Human is due in September of 2011.  Chavez described No Longer Human as a manga adaptation of a famous semi-autobiographical novel by Osamu Dasai.  “Dasai was an important figure in Japan, both before the war and after it.  He also suffered from a tremendous amount of depression.  The book details his artistic background as he was going through college and his involvement with socialist anti-war movements.  It also deals with issues of suicide and obsessive tendencies.  It’s not exactly light reading, but it does pack a punch.”