Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Retro Foreign: Japanese Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18 (1978)

In Japan, the equivalent to a comic book is called manga.  Manga is very popular in Japan and in other countries around the world.  It is not unheard of for certain manga publications to see circulation of over a million copies.  This was certainly true for Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18 from 1978.

Published by Kondasha in Japan, Weekly Shōnen Magazine is a anthology consisting of many different flavors of manga series.  Issue #18 - 23 contain the 6-part Marvel Comics movie adaption.  Issue #18, published on April 30, 1978, includes the Japanese translation of Marvel Star Wars #1.  Unlike the other series which are read from right to left, the Star Wars pages are read from left to right.  The pages are in black, white, and various shades of red.

Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18a - Kondasha, Japan (April 30, 1978)
Star Wars #1
While Marvel's Star Wars #1 cover is printed inside Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18 with the interior pages, the magazine's cover art is from the hardcover book club edition of the Star Wars novel.  Several characters from series inside this anthology are overlaid on the Star Wars art.

This magazine is extremely thick, containing hundreds of pages of manga stories.

Weekly Shōnen Magazine #18a - Kondasha, Japan (April 30, 1978)
spine
Star Wars was released in Japan on June 30, 1978, meaning this comic was published 2 months earlier than the movie's release.

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