Chang Sheng’s Oldman Manga Receives English Adaptation

Distributor eigoMANGA has acquired the English adaptation rights to Oldman.

Oldman, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed series created by Taiwanese author and illustrator Chang Sheng (of the thriller manga Nine Lives Man), will be published as a multi-volume graphic novel manga series in English. The original series was published by the Taiwan-based Tongli Publishing. A new listing from Barnes & Noble indicates that it is currently available for pre-order. The English version of Oldman: Part 1 runs 176 pages and will retail for $10.95. It is expected to be available from retailers on Nov. 8, 2021.

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"The beautiful artwork and elegant story-making of Chang-Sheng’s Oldman propelled it into award-winning national fame," reads the Barnes & Noble description. "Now, this iconic comic is ready for the global audience it deserves." Oldman has been well received since its release, winning multiple awards including the International Manga Award in Japan, as well as the Golden Comic Award for Best Shonen Manga.

The dark fairytale story concerns a beautiful queen who rules her country as a despot with total control. Unmarried and without an heir, she repeatedly adopts orphans as a way to prove that even commoners can reign as kings. Still, something sinister lurks beneath the surface, with the queen showing no signs of aging, while her orphans continue to go missing. The sole individual aware of her secret is a court magician known only as Oldman, who was arrested and thrown in the dungeon prior to the start of the series.

Staging his escape, Oldman appears to step through the bars of his cell and vanish as if by magic, cleverly misleading the guards. He rescues a neighboring prisoner, an outlaw sword maiden who has had her arms and legs amputated. Upon taking her to a brilliant doctor who fits her with mechanical limbs, Oldman and the sword maiden vow to take revenge on the queen that wronged them, all the while evading the queen's army as the dictator launches a desperate campaign to keep her secret hidden.

Sheng, who lives out of Taipei, cites early encounters with comic books as formative.  He studied drawing and oil painting at the Fu-Hsin Trade and Arts school, and speaks of being deeply influenced by the works of Yukinobu Hoshino (of the 2001 Nights manga series and the more recent Professor Munakata's British Museum Adventure). Sheng's art style has received attention for its high level of detail and commitment to realism, which has been described as "video game-like."