Two new Louvre Museum comic editions released in Japanese

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Two new Japanese versions of titles in a comic-art project commissioned by the Louvre Museum were released in May, Shogakukan-Shueisha Production Co. (ShoPro) and Shueisha Inc. said.

“The Museum Vaults: Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert,” by “bande dessinee” (BD) artist Marc-Antoine Mathieu, was released May 20 by ShoPro, while “Rohan at the Louvre” by manga artist Hirohiko Araki came out May 27 from Shueisha.

French comics, called BD, are not yet widely known in Japan. “The Museum Vaults” and other translated editions from the renowned Louvre Museum offer a rare chance for Japanese readers to enjoy BD.
In November 2010, ShoPro released “Glacial Period” by Nicolas de Crecy.

And a year earlier, the museum invited four BD artists and Araki to create a story about the museum. The finished works were displayed at the Louvre Museum and the Musee de la bande dessinee in Angouleme, France.

The project also attracted attention in Japan, as Araki, creator of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure,” took part.

The comics were also featured at the “BD and Manga Meets Louvre: French and Japanese Artists in the Museum” exhibition at the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

“The Museum Vaults” is set in a museum whose true name has been forgotten, but that has been called by many different names. To dig out the truth, art expert Eudeus Volumer and his assistant Leonard enter the building and begin to explore its gigantic underground vaults.

Included at the end of the comic is a list of other works by the author, as well as a commentary on the history of the Louvre Museum by art historian Hisako Koike.

ShoPro has published Japanese translations of American and BD comics, such as “Watchmen” and “L’Incal,” and is considered the core publisher in this field.

“Rohan at the Louvre” features Rohan Kishibe, one of the characters from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.”

For more information about ShoPro offerings, visit (http://books.shopro.co.jp/comic/overseas/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.