Top Cow and Bandai Entertainment will publish the Wichblade manga series in two different formats in 2007, with Top Cow set to publish the series in full-color American comic book format starting in February, and Bandai set to publish the series in black and white manga digest editions later in the year (see 'Bandai to Publish 'Witchblade Takeru').


The companies are working together to bring the Witchblade manga story to American audiences by having it available in two formats in order to appeal to both readers of American comics and manga fans who prefer an authentic presentation.


Top Cow's Witchblade Manga #1 launches with a double-issue (40 pages), which will sell for the regular issue price of $2.99.  


Top Cow is overseeing the translation, flipping art to read left to right, coloring the original black and white material, and will distribute the books.  Top Cow's Filip Sablik, VP Marketing and Sales told ICv2 that the reformatting has, 'the full blessing of the original artist and the original Japanese publisher' (Champion Red).


The series introduces Witchblade bearer Takeru and, while not based on the Gonzo anime series, was written by Witchblade anime script writer, Kobayashi Yasuko.  Interior art for the series is by Sumita Kazasa with covers for issue #1 by Yasuko, Christian Gossett and the Gonzo studio.


Top Cow and Bandai have announced other joint publishing projects recently, including manga versions of Top Cow's Tomb Raider and Witchblade (see 'Bandai to Publish Top Cow Titles').