Bat-Manga: the lost Japanese Batman comics of 1966


13 Responses to “Bat-Manga: the lost Japanese Batman comics of 1966”

  1. astromonster says:

    Jiro Kuwata is a prodigy of the first manga age. American kids watched his anime series 8 Man on TV in 1965– and this creation has been considered an influence on Robocop. Kuwata’s earlier manga series “Phantom Detective” (Maboroshi Tantei) also has some resonance with Batman. I’ve been wanting a collection like this for years—and yes, I’d take this over the Miller works anyday.

  2. word_virus says:

    Now how can I get any page from this book poster-sized?

  3. holtt says:

    This must be one of those robocory posts

  4. LB says:


    Actually, reprinted from copies borrowed from Shonen King, the original publisher.

    (I went to Chip Kidd’s lecture at MoCCA Art Festival, where he talked about the book. Great stuff.)

  5. fibreoptik says:


  6. mujadaddy says:

    Yeah… the pictures are always the best part of a Batman book


  7. markbellis says:

    #10 – If they didn’t save the original artwork, and just worked from printed copies, they probably were stored in their attic, but they could have had them in their basement as well. These were promotional material for the Fuji TV broadcasts of the series. It’s pure hype to call it a “secret (Americans don’t know about it, therefore it is secret?) history” or “lost”.
    More like something you’d find in a Japanese version of this site: , where they have a lot of the same short run TV tie-in comics.
    The quality of the printing certainly is a lot better than 60s era DC comics, but that’s not saying a lot!

  8. markbellis says:

    “lost for decades, but they have resurfaced now, recovered from private collections” – How about: “Out of print for years and reprinted from copies from somebody’s attic” ?

  9. Jorgebob says:

    Kuwata Jiro was one of my favorite artists when I was growing up in Japan. As Astromonster mentions, 8-Man and Maboroshi Tantei were also done by Kuwata. His drawing style was so dynamic and cinematic that when I first saw the Frank Miller Daredevils, I immediately thought of Kuwata’s work. Maboroshi Tantei, like Tetsuwan Atomu and Tetsujin 28-Go was broadcast as live-action TV in the early ’60s.

    There are many undiscovered Japanese comics that were excellent such as Saizensen (The Front Lines), about Japanese-American GIs in WW II and Dick Tantei (Detective Dick, get it?) about a Hawaiian-born Japanese cop, if I remember correctly. (It was over 40 years ago)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ijust found out about his book, WOW! I’m a big fan of Jiro Kuwata, MANGA, and his work, since 8-man…..

  11. TroyJ15 says:

    That is quite awesome. This over the Miller BatMAn compilation though? Hm, well if DK Strikes Again and All BaTMan and Robin are in there…

  12. Anonymous says:

    Just want to know; did you get a preview? Since this just came out yesterday, and you are publishing from the past…

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