VIZ Media has announced it has acquired the North American publishing rights to Naoki Urasawa’s post-Cold War crime series Master Keaton, which has never been released in English before.  The 12-volume series is scheduled to launch in December under the VIZ Signature imprint.
Master Keaton was created and drawn by Naoki Urasawa, with story coproduction by with Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki.  It was serialized in Big Comic Original from 1988 -1994, and contained 144 chapters.  While the manga was never translated into English, the anime and OVA series were dubbed and released to the U.S. market by Pioneer Entertainment/Geneon in 2003 -2004.
The detective drama revolves around Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, an archeology professor and part-time insurance investigator.  A former member of the SAS, Master Keaton also studied archeology at Oxford, and uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, fight villains and seek out the truth.  The story is rated 'T+' for older teens, and has an MSRP of $19.99.  Each volume will include 18 pages of full color artwork.  Viz will also release the new translation in the UK and Australia.
VIZ will also be releasing new omnibus editions of Naoki Urasawa’s classic psychological/ medical crime manga Monster this year (see "VIZ 2014 Releases"), which is currently in development for an HBO series (see "Del Toro on 'Monster'").  VIZ also won an Eisner in 2013 for their U.S. edition of Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (see "'Building Stories,' 'Saga,' 'Hawkeye' Come Up Big at the Eisners").