Mangaka Naoki Urasawa is taking home the 20th Erlangen International Comic Salon’s Max und Moritz Lifetime Achievement Award. Comic Salon explained:
“The Max und Moritz Award is the most important award for graphic literature in the German-speaking area. It is awarded biannually in the course of the International Comic Salon by an independent jury of professionals, appointed by the city of Erlangen, and has played a decisive role for the artistic and social recognition of comic art for around 40 years.”
This is the first time a Japanese creator has received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The actual Comic Salon event will take place next month, June 16-19, and on the 17th Urasawa will receive his award.
In the past, he was awarded the Best International Comic award from The Comic Salon. That was in 2014 for his manga Billy Bat. But receiving a lifetime achievement award is a whole new ballgame.
The Comic Salon wrote this about Urasawa:
“‘Monster’, ‘20th Century Boys’, ‘Pluto’, ‘Billy Bat’ – Naoki Urasawa’s bibliography reads like a list of the best, most racy and successful manga epics of the last decades. Nothing indicated this career when Naoki Urasawa graduated in economics in 1982 and received a job offer from a toy manufacturer. He turned it down, because he wanted to seek his fortune in manga first. Urasawa has probably never regretted this decision: he is a superstar with a total worldwide circulation of over 100 million books.”
One of his manga, Monster, takes place in Germany. VIZ Media publishes the English version, and gave this description of the first volume:
“Everyone faces uncertainty at some point in their lives. Even a brilliant surgeon like Kenzo Tenma is no exception. But there’s no way he could have known that his decision to stop chasing professional success and instead concentrate on his oath to save peoples’ lives would result in the birth of an abomination. The questions of good and evil now take on a terrifyingly real dimension.
Years later, in Germany during the tumultuous post-reunification period, middle-aged childless couples are being killed one after another. The serial killer’s identity is known. The reasons why he kills are not. Dr. Tenma sets out on a journey to find the killer’s twin sister, who may hold some clues to solving the enigma of the ‘Monster.’”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin. She is also the author of its upcoming sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.