One Piece Published as ONEPIECE, A Single Comic 21,450 Pages Long
JBE Books has published fifty editions of what it calls the largest book in the world, one volume containing every issue of the manga One Piece. In, you know, one piece. Called ONEPIECE and credited to artist Ilan Manouach rather than the comic book creator Eiichiro Oda, the complete editions are numbered and signed by Manouach as if it were a a completely separate piece of art to the comic book. Which, given that it is too big to actually read, might seem justified to some.
In total it is 21,450 long. In comparison that is four complete Cerebus or Savage Dragons. Its pages are 12cm x 18.5cm x 80 cm, it is 16.5kg in weight and have been sold (it is now sold out) for $1900 each, plus shipping.
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda and his studio has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump manga magazine since July 1997 and lasted 23 consecutive years, serialized in 102 volumes, with the Guinness World Records for the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author, with over 516.5 million copies in circulation across 61 countries and regions worldwide.
Digital comics are at the pulsating center of a global, entertainment industry. Online participatory culture and the medium's new networked possibilities have intensified the nature of comics beyond the scope of professional, established expertise with new and disruptive forms of entrepreneurial fan culture. Readers scan, translate and distribute online their favorite manga series. ONEPIECE is a product of this expanded digital production belt.
The profusion of available online content and the rampant digitization of the comics industry, challenges the state-of-the-art of comics craftsmanship. Ilan Manouach's ONEPIECE proposes to shift the understanding of digital comics from a qualitative examination of the formal possibilities of digital comics to a quantitative reappraisal of "comics as Big Data". ONEPIECE initiates a "computational turn" in comics contributing to the formation of new areas of practice, expanding the ever-growing artistic toolbox allowing artists to think comics in different scales and temporalities.
Comics are dual objects. They have a use value–for readers– and an exchange value for collectors. Although these two functions are not operating along a clear-cut divide, they sometimes run opposite to each other. ONEPIECE intensifies this duality as it can only be contemplated as a material instantiation of digital comics' very own media-saturated digital ecosystem. ONEPIECE exists only as an object of pure speculation.
ONEPIECE by Ilan Manouach used a Japanese digital edition from the online archiving ecosystem of the manga as sculptural material. He has also created Tintin Akei Kongo, a translated version of the controversial Tintin In The Congo in lingala, an official Congolese language. He compiled Peanuts minus Schulz: Distributed Labor as a Compositional Practice, a conceptual comic which brings together a selection of comic strips home-brewed by over one thousand deskilled microworkers from twenty different countries commissioned through digital labor services. He created Katz, an exact copy of the French edition of Maus, with the difference that the mouse characters had been redrawn as cats. Yes, that's what I thought. He is also the director of Futures of Comics, an international research program that "explores how comics are undergoing historic mutations in the midst of increasingly financialized, globalized technological affordances" and works at what is called a pirate/librarian for the Conceptual Comics Collections at Ubuweb and Monoskop, is an appointed expert in experimental comics for the Belgian government for its national public funding program (CCAP)
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