e-mail to Vertical


August 11, 2009
Heart-Shaped Box

Ah, the lunchbox... Few things are so nostalgic. Capable of warming the heart,  recharging the body, and inspiring jealousy in the minds of your peers, the simple bento (lunch box) when packed with love is the ultimate mini-treasure chest of taste and nutrition.

Culinary guru Kentaro Kobayashi can still remember the bento his mom packed for him years ago. Each bento was a complete meal filled with tasty and nutritional dishes, perfect for  growing bodies. Simple yet somewhat elegant, Mama Kobayashi’s bento never needed elaborate cutesy designs to make them taste or look better. Her recipes spoke for themselves.

In the latest installment of his Easy Japanese Cooking series, Kentaro’s Bento Love reminds today’s box lunch lovers that bento are made for eating! Each one of Kentaro’s hearty meals-in-a-box look great and taste even better, and best of all can be done in a manner of minutes. Featuring dozens of delectable entrees and more than twenty equally delightful side dishes, Bento Love promises big-time flavor and lots of love in each little package. So whether you are having chicken sukiyaki, crumbly curry, or Kentaro’s perfect cheeseburgers, everything tastes better when packed in a box!


July 28, 2009
Black Jack vs. The World

As long as you have the money nothing can keep mercenary surgeon Black Jack from treating what ails you. Not the police, not his lack of medical credentials, and definitely not little spats like feuds or wars. Once Black Jack takes an assignment his hands are yours, so only his death or an untimely  incarceration will prevent him from fulfilling his obligations.

In this latest collection, our scalpel-for-hire is up against the whole criminal justice system. First it’s Black Jack against the Japanese Medical Association in a no-holds barred face-off with lives on the line. Then when a murderer attempts suicide to escape a prison sentence, the law, with Black Jack’s skills, hand down two consecutive death sentences!! Finally the good doc does what he can to save a dying boy, but sometimes God is the only true judge, jury, and executioner.

With more than thirty years of service, Black Jack has provided health care and illegal wellness advice to clients worldwide. And for only $16.95 you too can get Black Jack’s hands-on lifetime consultation services. When Black Jack fights the law…readers win!


July 27, 2009
Vertical Vednesday—To The Light

Twenty years ago a strange phenomenon arose from the depths of the Japanese literary scene. A generation of young writers raised on the sci-fi, mystery, and fantasy epics of writers such as Hideyuki Kikuchi, Jiro Akagawa,  and Kaoru Kurimoto began cranking out a new form of juvenile fiction inspired by the fantastic worlds and dynamic relationships found in their favorite novels, manga, and anime. In contrast to traditional forms of genre fiction these light novels, briefly called “fast novels,” have always been quick lively reads filled with adventure and ambition, and because of their accessibility they quickly earned the attention of the Japanese TV and film industry.

Today, light novels are anything but light. A high percentage of Japan’s new wave of literary greats, including OtsuIchi, NishiOishin, and Ohtaro Maijoh, are now coming from the pages of pop fiction magazines such as Kodansha’s Pandora and Kadokawa’s the Sneaker. Their books are bringing new life and new perspectives to an industry that was reluctant towards change. And after two decades of literally fighting their way through the Japanese publishing scene, light novels are looking to take on the world with heavyweights like FAUST, the Haruhi series, and Another Death Note.

In the next edition of Vertical’s semimonthly book club, America’s J-Lit leaders will guide readers through a lifetime of light novels—from the early fantastic tales of Slayers and Lodoss Wars to the earth-shattering Kodansha BOX line—as we reveal why the next wave of Japanese pop-culture will soon take us into the light.

Location:Books Kinokuniya New York, 1073 Avenue of the Americas
Date: July 29, 2009 (Wednesday), 6:30pm-8:00pm
Special Guest in attendance... Roland Kelts, author of Japanimerica
Soft drinks and snacks will be provided.
Please RSVP by emailing ed@vertical-inc.com



July 26, 2009
Dororo Wins 2009 Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan

Against incredible odds Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo took down a monster and got an Eisner Award!! Facing competition from some of Japan’s greatest cartoonists and storytellers, Friday night Vertical, Inc. accepted the award on behalf of Tezuka in San Diego. Critics and indsutry members alike acknowledged Tezuka’s warring era adventure as a must-read and praised the book for its universal appeal. Finally, after years of searching, Hyakkimaru has found another missing piece— the recognition of the comics industry!

July 17, 2009
Preview Vertical’s New Health Care Reform Package

People around the world have followed OtaKing Toshio Okada’s footsteps by reading Sayonara, Mr. Fatty and are now preparing to take flight on their way to weight loss success. But what will you do once you do lose all that weight? A lifetime geek, Okada chose a program that he felt provided good results with few financial and health risks—walking.

We all take walking for granted but simply put, it is one of the easiest ways to improve fitness. As KIMIKO, author and international wellness guru, found out, by walking properly you can look better, feel stronger, and change your overall outlook on life. So once you’ve gone into weight control orbit, why not shoot for the stars and try Walking Your Way to a Better Life? Like Okada’s diet memoir, which advocated the use of just pen and paper and a cerebrum, KIMIKO’s book is all about making a habit of something that doesn’t cost you: the use of your two legs.

Take your first step by reading this free preview.

Oh, and if for some reason you haven't bought Okada's fantastic book yet… this preview ought to spur you on!


July 14, 2009
A Diet for the Rest of Us

Lifestyle changes tend to be difficult. There are costs for memberships, treatment plans, and equipment. Time needs to be set aside to make these changes work. More often than not, people have to sacrifice to see results. And even then, without will-power and support many diet plans, excerise programs, or money management systems tend to fail at the first sign of weakness.

Toshio Okada, the original OtaKing (King of Geeks) and founder of the world-renowned animation studio GAINAX, tried every other way to change his life and nothing worked. In his case, he would lose weight for a short while and in a short time it would all just come back, hurting his pride, health, and income. Then using his god-given geek-skills he literally built a better diet plan. No time to go to the gym. No worries! Want to continue to enjoy your favorite meals? Go ahead! With his plan, as long as you use your brains and can afford a pen and notepad, you will be guaranteed to lose weight, save money, and live a happier, healthier life.

Ever since the dawn of humanity geeks have searched for ways to level the playing field in the eternal war between “brains vs brawn.” By reading Sayonara, Mr. Fatty you too can take command of your own geek kingdom, and never have to say no to a hamburger again!


June 23, 2009
It’s a Men’s World!

Men, pasta, laksa… Whatever you call them, noodles are the ultimate comfort food. For centuries mothers have been preparing these starchy treats for their families in steaming bowls of broth or cheesy casseroles. Rumors say Marco Polo was so moved after experiencing what was then Asia’s best-kept secret that he had to take some home with him. Today Kentaro Kobayashi has collected some of the best this 4000-year-old delight has to offer in his new book Noodle Comfort.

In the second book of his Easy Japanese Cooking series, Kentaro guides foodies on a culinary world tour, covering everything from pho and soba to linguine and gnocchi. A world of flavor, Old and New, come together in this collection of 50 mouth-watering simple recipes sure to tickle taste buds and warm hearts.

Times are tough and money is scarce. We already have so much to strain our noodles over already. Why worry about dinner, too? Pick up a copy of Kentaro’s Noodle Comfort today and reacquaint yourself with an old-world dish with a long tradition of taste and comfort. Your brain, and stomach, will thank you later.


July 8, 2009
Vertical Vednesday—A Sporting Chance

In the pantheon of manga there is one genre that sets itself apart from the rest—sports. One of the oldest genres and arguably the most beloved, sports manga is often referred to as the champion of genres by editors and artists alike. Yet, despite its many accolades and international respect, sports titles have not yet hit a homerun with North American readers.

Sports titles like Tomorrow’s Joe and Aim for the Ace helped lay down a foundation for Japanese pop culture back in the 60’s and 70’s. More than a decade later, Captain Tsubasa introduced manga to Europe and Latin America. And yet to this very day, many a sports manga contender has attempted to reach the Major Leagues of Comic-dom only to be relegated to playing a specialist role on bookshelves across America.

This Vednesday night Vertical’s own ballers will take to the field to pitch innings of unbeatable manga wisdom. Tackling everything from national pastimes to the new emergence of competitive eating comics, we will make a case as to why sports manga should be the undisputed world heavyweight comics champion!

Location:Books Kinokuniya New York, 1073 Avenue of the Americas
Date: June 8, 2009 (Wednesday), 6:25pm-8:00pm
Drinks and snacks will be provided.
Please RSVP by emailing ed@vertical-inc.com



June 23, 2009
Vertical Vednesday—Yanki-Doodle Dandy

What do Yanki and Yankees have in common? Clearly there is a collective sense of passion for community and brotherhood that cannot be measured by numerical means. Many Japanese Yanki and 18th Century American patriots also have been known for their hair as much as their willingness to take to arms…But that is where the similarities end.

Modern day Yanki are a mix of old-skool rebel charm and toughness wrapped in hip-hop threads and punk-rock bling. Being a Yanki is as much about the attitude as it is the outfit, and after being sent to reform school by PTAs and mass media for more than a decade these fictional thugs for life are once again taking the J-Pop scene by storm.

In the latest edition of Vertical Vednesday our Japanese pop-culture themed book club will carefully take on the world of Yanki in manga, prose and film. From the bad boys of Be-Bop High School to Hiroshi Takahashi’s modern day rebels without a clue, Yanki have repeatedly shown why nice guys always finish last.

Location:Books Kinokuniya New York, 1073 Avenue of the Americas
Date: June 24, 2009 (Wednesday), 6:30-8:00~
Drinks and snacks will be provided.
Please RSVP by emailing ed@vertical-inc.com



June 9, 2009
No Cat = No Happy

Ever live with a cat before? While they might not be man’s best friend, the furry little balls of fun have won over the hearts and homes of people worldwide to often become more than just friends…they are now family. And like a sibling or cousin-once-removed they are equally capable of providing warmth and affection as well as guile and wickedness. No one knows what motivates a cat’s finicky heart, but a cat-owner’s heart is overflowing with love and respect for their feline companions.

In Mariko Koike’s The Cat in the Coffin the Naoki Award winner introduces readers to a household that revolves around its cat. So when kitty meets a tragic end, life in this once spirited home falls apart as one by one darkness consumes its occupants.

Everyone knows cat love is an unconditional yet painfully one-sided kind of love, so go give your tabby a hug and then go buy a copy of The Cat in the Coffin. You will never think twice about cleaning out the litter box again


June 5, 2009
Caravan of Cute Continues on the West Coast

With Camel taking care of everything kawaii in Japan, Snakie and Mr. Snake led the rest of the Aranzi Caravan crew up the West Coast to wrap up their U.S. tour with a trip to the City by the Bay, San Francisco. Starting this Saturday, June 6th, the Aranzi Aranzo Caravan will set camp at Books Kinokuniya located in the Kinokuniya Building in San Francisco’s Japantown, where they will once again have one-of-a-kind displays and unique wares to sell.

This will be your last chance to experience the Caravan before it heads back home to Japan. Kinokuniya will be stocked will all your favorite Aranzi titles, so come experience the cute crafts and goodies first hand.

Check out photos from Snakie’s recent adventures in LA and NYC.


May 26, 2009
Knocking Out Take-Out, One Recipe at a Time

There was a time when the name Chen Kenichi struck fear in the kitchens of chefs worldwide. As the longest-serving Iron Chef, no other cook in the history of Kitchen Stadium has fought in as many battles. And nearly a decade after the Iron Chef participated in his last battle his consecutive win streak still stands at fourteen.

Iron Chef Chen may no longer be competing on international television, but in the many kitchens of his Shisen Hanten restaurants he continues to wage war against Chinese cuisine’s greatest rival—take-out.

In his first English language cookbook Iron Chef Chen’s Knockout Chinese the Master of Mapo takes on fast food, Styrofoam containers, and MSG with an unbeatable combination of familiar ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes guaranteed to score a KO with gourmands and casual diners alike. With Knockout Chinese anyone can have Kitchen Stadium-quality food every night of the week without fear of taste pretenders.


May 26, 2009
Health Care for the Manga Generation

In these difficult economic times people are cutting back on their expenses. The cost of food is up. Tuition fees have been increasing at a rate faster than inflation. Medical costs are still out of control. But one thing remains constant—Black Jack.

Volume 5 of Osamu Tezuka’s original brand of manga health care is now available for the affordable price of $16.95. That’s at least 20% lower than the co-pay for most PPO’s! There is no monthly premium for this plan and each story is self-contained. So Black Jack readers can have access to fourteen of Tezuka’s most entertaining stories without worrying about a long-term commitment. Best of all, with each installment of the Black Jack plan readers are provided a wide range of services including: cosmetic surgery, cardiology, respiratory medicine, pediatric care, and transplantation surgery. As an added bonus, readers of Volume 5 will also get full anesthesia and acupuncture coverage at no additional cost.

Check out what others are saying about Black Jack.
Get yourself some peace of mind by securing your copy of Black Jack, Volume 5 today!


May 13, 2009
Web Sources Confirm Global Outbreak of Donburi Mania!

While much of the mainstream media seems to have contracted a seasonal flu, a growing number of journalists appear to be coming down with a mouth-watering strain of Donburi Mania.

According to The Daily Yomiuri’s Tom Baker, Donburi Mania can be traced back to the Tokyo kitchen of best-selling author Kentaro Kobayashi. Notes Baker, “Early this week, six of Kentaro‘s cookbooks were listed in the top 100 best-selling cookbooks on amazon.co.jp…Now he is going international. Donburi Mania, the first volume in his ‘Easy Japanese Cooking’ series, was recently published by Vertical, Inc.”

Across the globe in the United Kingdom the Mostly Food Journal makes a point of how easily foodies can catch this culinary fever, stating, “It couldn’t be simpler. No exotic equipment needed and more importantly…no special skills. I’ll be eating my way through each of Kentaro Kobayashi’s tempting recipes.”

Back in the U.S. a vaccine is nowhere in sight. Kobayashi’s wickedly good, simple recipes have people reconsidering going out (for dinner). About the surge of self-imposed quarantines Bookotron says, “You could easily and very cheaply cook three meals a week out of this and probably not receive any complaints. Prepare for compliments instead. In hard use, over a couple of weeks, Donburi Mania has proved to be a sturdy, excellent cookbook. It’s well worth your money and time, and I look forward to the remaining volumes in the series.”

Even the seasoned food journalists at Ochef.com agree Donburi Mania recipes may be the genesis of a new evolution in cooking instruction, “The book offers simple, fast food, with good flavor, and some personality that is lacking in more than a few of today’s cookbooks.”

As the pandemic reaches critical mass Vertical recommends picking up a volume to build up resiliency, and your pantry, for the next wave of Kentaro Kobayashi’s killer cookbooks.


May 4, 2009
Vertical Hires New Marketing Director

Not long ago new Marketing Director Ed Chavez was a humble salaryman-in-training learning the ins-and-outs of editing in the offices of Tokyo-based publishing giant Kodansha, Ltd. Now back home in America, he is in the NYC working with the most provocative catalogs of J-Pop culture around. A former journalist and blogger, Ed has long been regarded by the media as a man of manga, but a love for all things print is what led him to Vertical. Where else could a bibliophile like Ed work closely on Osamu Tezuka in the morning, Iron Chef Chen Kenichi for lunch, and Beat Takeshi before punching out at night? The answer was obvious to Mr. Chavez—only Vertical.


April 28, 2009
Taking Puzzles to a Higher Level

Don’t let the title of our latest logic puzzle book fool you. O’Ekaki Heaven, our newest collection from the God of Puzzles, will not be very forgiving. Based on a series of religious motifs, these handcrafted puzzles could turn the toughest of puzzlers to prayer. Buddha, Christ, Ganesha, Orion, and even the God of Puzzles himself, Tetsuya Nishio, make cameos to guide fans towards gaming Nirvana. Even with more than a hundred puzzles to solve Vertical does not guarantee enlightenment, but we do believe at least a few of them will leave you talking in tongues. Via con dios!


April 14, 2009
Chicken Toppings for the Cash-Strapped Soul

The wait is over! Here comes Donburi Mania, the first installment of charismatic Chef Kentaro’s Easy Japanese Cooking series and Vertical’s first-ever cookbook! Named after the bowl in which they’re traditionally served, donburi are “over rice” meals topped with anything that suits your mood. In this book you’ll find traditional donburi recipes along with inventive new conceptions, as well as a grand assortment of soups and sides. The best part? The recipes are as wallet-friendly as they are hunger-satisfying.

The Tokyo Mango blog says “Donburi Mania is a fun Japanese cookbook… I really want to make a killer oyakodon and I kinda wanna try the Melty Cheesy Meat Sauce Donburi.” Also check out this rave review!

If you’ve been a fan of our literary fare’s unique blending of quality and visceral satisfaction, then you gotta taste this one.


March 24, 2009
The Devil Strolls Into Town!

Sudoku Hell, the latest and greatest in logic-based torture, is here! Infernal taskmaster Tetsuya Nishio is delivering us into evil with these new puzzles; hours of sinful play to keep us warm from the seemingly never-ending chill this season. His latest installment features all the notorious fun of his other puzzles with some added tricks and twists to keep you pulling your hair out. After you’ve finished torturing yourself with Nishio’s addendum of purgatorial pleasure, be on the lookout for his next surprise, O’Ekaki Heaven, out on the stands April 28th.

March 17, 2009
Lucky Day for the Doctor

Most of the American public is enjoying a beer on this beautiful St. Patty’s Day, and Doctor Black Jack is cutting a rug into town to help celebrate. Black Jack, Vol. 4 goes on sale today, and with any luck you’ll get to pick up your copy before it’s sold out! In this edition, you’ll be tearing up over each page with tender, heartwarming moments of friendship and love; and of course there are the insane scenarios of surgery that only our beloved recluse can perform. Black Jack even shows his sensitive side when an unrequited love sends him a favor. Pinoko continues to pour affection, and the doctor’s cup runs over when an unexpected detour turns into a quest for lost love.

Check out the reviews for this phenomenal series here.

March 13, 2009
East Meets West

This Saturday, the Aranzi Caravan finally arrives in America!

Kicking off their U.S. tour, the Aranzi team is heading over to New York City. Fully stocked with books and crafts you can purchase, the tour starts off at Kinokuniya Books in Manhattan and remains on display until April 13th. After that, the Caravan moves to the West Coast, so if you can't get to New York, you'll still have a chance to see them! And for this Saturday (Mar. 14) only, you don't want to miss out on an opportunity to see Ms. Kinuyo Saito; maybe she'll even tell you what new project she's working on!

Kinokuniya Books is ready and stocked with your favorite Aranzi titles, but they've hauled in some special goodies as well! Now you can have all the fun of Aranzi without the long ride to Japan!

We have a few photos of the New York City Caravan. Be sure to stop by!

March 3, 2009
Guin Hits the Small Screen

Just when you thought you’d seen it all… The Guin Saga is coming to television! Covering the first few volumes of the series, the animated Guin Saga will be broadcast across Japan in April. The trailer is available for viewing on the official website and also can be seen on YouTube. While the series is in Japanese right now, it'll probably only be a matter of time before someone brings it stateside!

February 17, 2009
Calling in “Too Cute to Work!”

You may have to call in sick this week. Aranzi Aronzo is melting our hearts and warming up February with their latest release, Baby Stuff, in stores today! The cute-inclined duo is back for what might be their cutest book ever. Aranzi and babies: how can they lose? 17 entirely new crafts geared toward making life a little easier for baby and parents! Filled with easy-to-make crafts like bibs, finger puppets, and mobiles, Baby Stuff is sure to pacify even the novice crafters! As usual, the team has simple instructions and full color pictures that will leave you squealing, “Oh my god, it’s sooo cute!”

Check out what the crafting world is saying about the latest Aranzi release.

February 10, 2009
Comic-Con Sweeps Through

Three days of dazzling cosplay, panels, interviews, and massive amounts of attendees, New York Comic-Con was a blast. Vertical’s panel on Friday night was attended by our favorites, and we were thrilled to give away two signed copies of Keiko Takemiya’s To Terra… Vol. 1 and a grand prize of volumes 1 and 2 of Black Jack. Saturday our table was hit with a fever of people; thank goodness we brought our own nurse along! Resident Nurse Megumi wants to remind one and all to be safe, and to check out our site for more entertaining things to come.

We all had a great time at the show and were thrilled to talk with our beloved reviewers and fans alike. We know it's been a rough winter for many and we appreciate everyone coming out and showing us so much love! We can't wait to see you all again, and hope everyone had a great Con.

February 4, 2009
’Tis the Season… for COMIC-CON!

This Friday marks the beginning of the three full days of non-stop manga and anime at NEW YORK COMIC-CON. Vertical will be there in the main hall at booth number 1626 so be sure to stop by on Saturday and Sunday. We'll be arriving late on Friday due to schedule conflicts but we'll be there in time for our 6:00 panel in room 1A22. There will be a giveaway at the end of the panel so be sure to check it, but if you can't make it, there will be more free stuff at the booth! We hope to see you all in your best cosplay at the show!

January 20, 2009
Could Her Luck Finally Change?

As the inaugural bashes around the country dwindle down, 44th President Barack Obama must step up and do serious damage control. Among those awaiting attention is the ever-so-patient mother of Megumi Yokota. Abducted on her way home from school in 1977 and never heard from since, Megumi Yokota is one of 13 Japanese citizens who were robbed of their freedoms and rights by a dangerous totalitarian regime. If alive, Megumi Yokota is still prisoner of North Korea’s espionage plans, which included kidnapping citizens from other countries to train its spies.

North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter is Sakie Yokota’s heartbreaking memoir of life since the fateful day of her daughter’s disappearance. It vividly describes her panic and helplessness during the first weeks, and provides detailed reports of each new event in her daughter’s case. A mother’s bond to her child can never be broken, and Sakie Yokota is a perfect example of that bond. After 30 years of searching for her daughter, Sakie Yokota is still waiting.

January 20, 2009
Three Times a Charm!

The latest in Tezuka love comes from the third volume of Black Jack! In this volume, our favorite doctor pushes the limits of medicine: saving a long-abandoned infant; finding the cause of a literally shrinking population; even operating on himself! And Black Jack has more than just medical problems to contend with—he continues to ward off the romantic advances of his faithful sidekick Pinoko, and meets his match when the equally shadowy Doctor Kiriko arrives to treat one of Black Jack’s patients.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the Black Jack page to see what the critics are saying, or to preview stories from the first three volumes!

January 16, 2009
Vote for Dororo and Black Jack!

The polls are up and running at About.com’s Best Manga of 2008. There is one main page with all the categories, and we are pleased to spread the word that Dororo and Black Jack have been nominated in the Classic Reissue Group! Not only that, Black Jack has also been nominated for Best Manga of 2008. So tell your friends, and everyone else you come across, to go vote for their favorites of 2008 on About.com᾿s Manga Polls. It’s up to the readers to decide who’s the best of 2008!

Dororo and Black Jack in the Classic Reissue Poll
2008 Best Manga Poll

December 16, 2008
Toyota Teaches the How? of Decision-Making

In tough economic times it’s not uncommon to see businesses going under due to poor management decisions; sound business decisions and effective corporate culture provides a strong foundation, no matter what size the business is. In The Toyota Leaders: An Executive Guide, car industry expert Masaaki Sato delves into the established management of Toyota and examines how their unique corporate culture provides a foundation for a strong business. Mr. Sato reveals the behind-the-scenes to Toyota’s rise to number 1 and explains the How? so many businesses search for during hard times.

A thorough study of the individuals who shaped a once-derided manufacturer into a preeminent worldwide producer, The Toyota Leaders: An Executive Guide is a must-read for anyone in a management role, whether or not in the auto industry.

December 16, 2008
The Shark is Back!

Back on the streets and in the stores, Arimasa Osawa’s acclaimed Shinjuku Shark sequel goes on sale today. The second installment, The Poison Ape, takes us even deeper into the dark, seedy underworld of Shinjuku. The yakuza is protecting a wanted man—a Taiwanese mafia leader who pissed off the wrong hired gunman. Now the elite killer has entered Japan and is hitting the streets of Shinjuku, picking off anyone who gets in the way of his target. Detective Samejima needs to find the hitman and stop him before he turns the streets of Shinjuku into a bloodbath of revenge.

Check out what everyone is saying about the Shark.

November 17, 2008
Quick, Call a Doctor!

The highly-anticipated second volume of Black Jack hits stands tomorrow with an already overwhelmingly positive response from the reviewers! Vertical is presenting the world’s most celebrated doctor in 17 distinct volumes, along with 3 special hardcover editions each featuring a long-unreleased story from the vaults of Tezuka Productions. Volume 2 is packed with juicy new stories, from the origins of Black Jack’s scars to a tender friendship between the doctor and a killer whale. But you don’t have to take our word for it; check out the list of reviewers who are in love with Black Jack:

Volume 2 reviews at PopCultureShock and Advanced Media Network.
Volume 1 reviews at About.com, Publishers Weekly, and The Comics Reporter

And if that doesn’t satisfy your stomach for the solitary surgeon’s adventures, we also have a free preview from Volume 3 available at the Black Jack page!

October 28, 2008
Samurai and Ninjas and Geisha… Oh, my!

The Blade of the Courtesans, Keiichiro Ryu’s epic historic fiction is on sale today. Set in Japan’s Edo Period, this tale of a samurai—trained by the legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto—protecting the pleasure quarters of old Tokyo, is filled with taut sword-fighting scenes, transcendant sexual encounters, and deep explorations of Japan’s verdant history. It’s a rich, exciting, yet complex drama, ideal for readers who enjoy a little more substance, and sports a beautifully designed hardcover, adorned with sepia photos of historic samurai and geisha. The perfect seasonal gift or great to curl up with on a cold winter’s night. And we’ve provided you with a tantalizing tidbit to whet your appetite until you get your hands on a copy of your own.

October 24, 2008
Historic Roundtable Discusses The Guin Saga

Following Vertical’s completion of the English translation of the initial five-volume arc of The Guin Saga—the world’s longest-running fantasy series with 120+ best-selling volumes and counting in Japan—the company hosted a gathering of industry commentators to discuss the epic saga. In August 2008, Genji Press proprietor Serdar Yegulalp and Ninja Consultants Erin Finnegan and Noah Fulmor joined Vertical Editorial Director Yani Mentzas in a fascinating examination of not only the momentous first arc, “The Marches Episode”, but also the series as a whole; its prolific author; the film industry’s interest in the property; its influences and others it has inspired; American fantasy vs. British fantasy; Japanese publishing; and Guin’s future in The States. And that’s only a fraction of the epochal discourse. A transcription of the roundtable is now available for free on the Guin homepage and in podcast form at Ninja Consultants Show #64. You don’t have to be a fan of the leopard-masked warrior, either. Fans of Japanese literature; the inner workings of publishing; and both fantasy and science fiction will find something of interest in this momentous meeting.

October 21, 2008
Horrific Cautionary Tale about Nuclear Energy, On Sale Today

Given the renewed interest in alternative energy resources, A Slow Death: 83 Days of Radiation Sickness is a sobering reminder of the dangers of nuclear power and man’s relative ignorance in harnessing the power of the atom. After the worst nuclear accident in Japanese history, the country’s public broadcaster NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) documented the step-by-step deterioration and intense medical treatment of one of the workers. The resulting documentary aired in 2001 and subsequently won the Gold Nymph Award, the highest honor at the 42nd Monte Carlo Television Festival in 2002. This book is the print version of that celebrated film and includes an afterword that updates the narrative. The book also features color photos, which are not for the faint of heart, and raises provocative questions about the medical ethics of life-prolonging treatment and the value of human life in a world replete with advanced technology.

October 14, 2008
Massive Attack of Cute

Fans of cute rejoice! The Complete Aranzi Hour is here, a compendium of Brobdingnagian proportions. This voluminous paperback contains 256 full-color pages filled with so-cute-it-hurts comic skits, photo adventures, puzzles, games and more, starring the whimsical and irresistible Aranzi Aronzo characters. The variety show in a book begins with a singing salutation by Sprite; White Rabbit and Brown Bunny discuss the virtues of having strawberries at snack time; Bad Guy and Liar continue their Spy vs. Spy one-ups-manship; the auspicious meeting between Panda and Mechani-Panda is chronicled; and Bad Guy gives his life advice. There’s also a songbook, a game board; the characters show off their art skills and discuss their dreams; and the book features several appearances by a certain ho-ho-holiday hero. So grab some cocoa and curl up with cute this season with The Complete Aranzi Hour!

October 3, 2008
Anime Festival Rocks The Big Apple

Everyone agrees; the recent New York Anime Festival was awesome! Exceeding last year’s rousing debut, this year’s affair featured more celebrities, panels, movies, parties and cool stuff. Vertical was frequented by attendees, both stalwart fans and curious newbies who wisely heeded the industry buzz to stop by and check out firsthand the best translated Japanese literature the industry has to offer. The premiere of Manga God Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, Volume 1 highlighted the three-day event. Marketing Manager Stephen Vrattos nearly lost a finger trying to stock the table fast enough to keep up with the demand by eager fans. One lucky attendee at the Vertical Panel on Friday evening won an exclusive Black Jack Volume 1 Diamond Hardcover Edition. Even Doctor Black Jack himself—accompanied by his diminutive ward Pinoko—made an appearance on Saturday (portrayed by Vertical fans Boris and Sunny) with the good doctor making a solo appearance on Sunday (portrayed by Vertical intern Elan Bosworth). Vertical wants to thank everyone for stopping by and looks forward to seeing you at next year’s festival.

September 30, 2008
The Tease is Over

The key to unlocking the secrets to sexual nirvana is now available. Slow Sex Secrets: Lessons from the Master Masseur goes on sale today. Grab a copy and your partner, and plan on taking a few days off; you’re going to be too exhausted to leave the confines of your bedroom once you crack the spine to the book that has taken Japan by sexual storm. And sexpert Adam Tokunaga’s concise treatise on lovemaking seems to be sweeping over America as well; the book’s already gone back to press! Don’t risk being unable to get your hands on a copy. Better yet, buy two, so regardless of whose pad you crash in, the ultimate lessons of love will always be at your fingertips.

September 23, 2008
Black Jack 1 Is Here!

The wait is over. The most anticipated manga of 2008 has arrived. Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, Volume 1 is available today. Sporting a provocative cover by Vertical Art Director Peter Mendelsund that’s part cubism, part Hieronymus Bosch, that hearkens to a surgical procedure in progress, the high-quality trade paperback features 12 stories starring the titular scalpel-for-hire. Vertical is presenting Tezuka’s legendary character as he had originally intended in a deluxe collection planned just before his untimely death in 1989. What better way to celebrate the Godfather of Manga’s 80th birthday than by inaugurating the release of one of his greatest achievements? This peerless medical drama mixes action, mystery, intrigue, suspense, and adventure with a touch of humor. There’s a reason why it is Tezuka’s most popular work amongst adults in Japan. It’s that good. The perfect remedy for manga malaise: Black Jack!

September 19, 2008
Anime-zing chance to win a Diamond Exclusive Hardcover Black Jack 1!

Although a relative newbie to the anime convention circuit, the New York Anime Festival is quickly becoming one of the premiere anime shows in the country. This year’s celebration takes place Friday, September 26-28, 2008, at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center and promises to be even bigger and more exciting than last year’s epic debut. Japanese artist extraordinaire Yoshitaka Amano will be among the unbelievable guests, along with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, voice actress Rie Tanaka, author Hideyuki Kikuchi, and fashion designer Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, Japan's premier Lolita fashion brand, who’ll be sending designers Miho Satoh and Masumi Kanoh. And, of course, topping the heap of exhibitors will be Vertical, Inc. Marketing Manager Stephen Vrattos will be in attendance selling the much-anticipated Black Jack Volume 1, as well as the company’s other manga and literary offerings, all at special show prices. He’ll also be handing out assorted gewgaws and whatnots to the ravenous crowd. And don’t miss Vertical’s panel Friday, 6:45–7:45pm, where Monsieur Vrattos will be joined by Editorial Director Ioannis Mentzas to discuss future projects from the nation’s most vaunted publisher of Japanese literature. As if that weren’t reason enough to attend, one lucky panel attendee will win a copy of the Diamond Exclusive Special Hardcover Black Jack Volume 1. Fans must fill out an entry at the Vertical booth and then be present at the Vertical panel later that evening in order to win. See you there!

September 16, 2008
Once Is Not Enough

Taking up the baton from its mind-boggling success in Japan, sexpert Adam Tokunaga’s Slow Sex Secrets: Lessons from the Master Masseur has already gone into its second printing before the book’s first printing has even shipped. Seems the public cannot wait for this titillating tome that teaches intercourse tenderfoots the tricks to transcend traditional lovemaking techniques. And who can blame them? Certified in Los Angeles, Tokunaga developed his unique style of pleasuring a woman using massage by hands-on study with more than a thousand women. Mastering his approach is sure to elevate anyone’s game in the erotic arena and bring a satisfied smile to the most frigid of fräuleins. Sporting a tasteful, yet tantalizing, cover ringed with a fluorescent pink vertical flock obi against a black and white photo, Slow Sex Secrets makes a fine bedside addition to anyone wanting to maximize their sexual potential.

September 12, 2008
Vertical Hires New Editor!

Editorial ninja Maya Rosewood hails from the northern climes of New Hampshire. Not much is known about her early years, but recent confidential reports leaked to the press seem to indicate that she stopped in Connecticut—where she graduated from the University of Hartford—before proceeding to The Big Apple. Her deft translating skills caught the attention of the Vertical, Inc. poo-bahs who wasted no time in employing her for the all-important task of translating the final two volumes of the company's magnum opus Buddha, after which she once again disappeared, only to fortuitously—some might say, “conveniently”—emerge at the doors of Vertical when they needed her editorial skills most.

September 9, 2008
Come Celebrate Books with Us in the Park

The Big Apple’s bazaar for bibliophiles, New York Is Book Country returns this fall for a one-day event to celebrate the printed page. Vertical, Inc. will be there exhibiting at Booth # 43 along with dozens of other publishers large and small offering deals on hundreds of books; giving away bookmarks, bags, and other assorted freebies; presenting author signings and readings; and just gushing about that thing we love so much: books! Overseeing the Vertical booth will be Marketing Manager Stephen Vrattos who will be giving out free Black Jack promotional comics and oodles of other cool must-have items. Even more amazing, he will have advance copies of arguably the most anticipated book of the year, Black Jack, Volume 1, available at a special show price (Supplies are limited). In fact, all the Vertical offerings will be available at ridiculous show discounts. The one-day event will take place rain or shine on Sunday, September 21, 2008, in Central Park down the lovely Literary Walk and along The Mall leading up to the Naumberg Bandshell. There’ll be music, food and of course copious amounts of great reading. Don’t miss it!

September 5, 2008
You're Doing it Wrong

In its ongoing efforts to share the breadth of literary entertainment and knowledge that Japanese publishing has to offer, Vertical is releasing Adam Tokunaga’s best-selling sex manual Slow Sex Secrets: Lessons from the Master Masseur. Trained and certified in Los Angeles, California, Tokunaga applied his massage technique and expertise to sexual fulfillment and, through intimate study with more than a thousand women, formulated the ultimate plan for pleasurable sex. His book was a word-of-mouth bestseller in Japan and gained international notoriety from the media. More than just the definitive how-to sex tome, Slow Sex Secrets is also a highly enjoyable read, written in the hyperbolic style for which Tokunaga is famous. The book won’t be available until September 30, 2008, but making you and your loved one wait would be cruel, so Vertical is offering a FREE PREVIEW to get you started on your journey to sexual nirvana. No need to thank us; we’ll hear the screams.

August 26, 2008
Promenade of the Gods Is Here!

We’ve tickled your taste buds, but the main course has finally arrived. Koji Suzuki’s first major work since Loop, the final book in the world-renowned Ring trilogy, is now on sale. Promenade of the Gods is a mystery in the same way that Ring is, with an underlying aura of foreboding that will have you white-knuckling the book cover as you savor every page. What would possess a man to abruptly leave his wife in the midst of a television variety show? How is his disappearance connected to that of the show’s famous hostess? And what role does the long-dead leader of an obscure religious cult have to play? Suzuki will have you second-guessing until the final paragraph. Wrap up your summer reading on a high note with one of the most famous writers in the world of fiction doing what he does best: leave his readers blissfully reeling!

August 26, 2008
Critics’ Darling Dororo Takes a Bow

The third and final volume of Osamu Tezuka’s tour de force about an errant swordsman’s quest for the demons who’ve stolen his body parts and his pintsized pilfering partner is now on sale. Four months since volume one’s debut and the raves for this lesser known work of the venerable manga master continue. Shaennon Garrity of OtakuUSA calls the series one of “Tezuka’s best,” and further lauds that “This is the wandering-swordsman epic by which all wandering-swordsman epics should be judged.” John Thomas of Mecha Mecha Media calls this “the summer of Dororo,” and urges everyone to pick up the series. Blythe Boyer of Bookslut “definitely recommends Dororo,” calling it “an endearing introduction to the father of manga.” Julia from Manga Maniac Café gave Volume 2 an A–. And Serdar Yegulalp of Advanced Media Network gave Dororo its much-vaunted Platinum Award and summed up his feelings thusly: “Tezuka is as essential, as insightful, and as rollickingly fun as manga gets. This is where it all came from, and maybe also where it’s all going.” Dororo, Volume 3 is now available and the series is the perfect appetizer for Black Jack, which debuts next month.

See more news...