A recently announced Star Wars artbook will feature illustrations from dozens of high profile manga artists.
American manga publisher and anime distributor VIZ Media announced on Twitter that it will distribute an upcoming Star Wars-themed artbook. Titled Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars, the book will be released sometime in Spring 2022 and will feature artwork from 45 different Japanese manga artists and illustrators. While all of the 45 artists have not been revealed yet, VIZ Media did confirm that Akira Himekawa, Taiyo Matsumoto and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko would be among the included artists.
Announcement: Explore the galaxy through the beautiful artwork of 45 outstanding Japanese manga artists and illustrators, including Akira Himekawa, Taiyo Matsumoto, and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars drops Spring 2022! pic.twitter.com/wyFCZ6IZSb— VIZ (@VIZMedia) July 9, 2021
Akira Himakawa is the pseudonym of two female mangaka known simply as Honda A and Nagano S. During nearly three decades, the two have collaborated on a number of manga, including the manga adaptations of the 2003 Astro Boy anime and the 1998 original anime series Nazca. Most famously, they have written several manga based on The Legend of Zelda video game series, beginning with The Ocarina of Time. Their manga based on Twilight Princess is still currently serializing. Himakawa is no stranger to illustrating Star Wars manga, as the two have previously collaborated with other manga artists on Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker.
A prolific and award-winning author, Taiyo Matsumoto has written many beloved and critically-acclaimed manga over his 30 year career. His most recognized work, the sports manga Ping Pong, has received an anime adaptation as well as a live action film, but Matsumoto has also published other award-winning, albeit less famous, manga. Matsumoto also wrote the Yakuza-themed manga Tekkonkinkreet (Black & White), which received an anime film adaptation, and No. 5, an apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. Currently, Matsumoto is illustrating the historical manga Mukashi no Hanashi (The Story of the Old Days).
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko has published several manga, most notably the sci-fi classic The Venus Wars and the experimental Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, but he is also largely known for his work within the anime industry, especially as a director and character designer. He was the director, writer, character designer and animation director for the sci-fi anime Crusher Joe, as well the anime adaptation of his own manga Arion. He also directed the mecha series Giant Gorg and the adaptation of his manga The Venus Wars. As a character designer, Yaushiko has been heavily involved in the Gundam franchise since the beginning, having designed characters for Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam I, Mobile Suit Gundam II: Soldiers of Sorrow, Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space, Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and more. While the extent of his contributions to the artbook have not yet been announced, Yasuhiko did illustrate the Star Wars: Tribute to Star Wars' cover art, pictured above.