by Jeremy Konrad
Saturday at the VIZ Media Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past panel, they detailed what it took to bring back into print one of the most sought after Zelda stories of all-time: the old manga retelling of A Link to the Past by legendary creator Shotaro Ishinomori. Previously this story was only published in Nintendo Power magazine in 1992 over many issues of the magazine.
Ishinomori is more of the most iconic and decorated manga creators around. He holds the record for most comics published by one author, which is a towering achievement. His other works besides Zelda include Cyborg 009, Kikaider, Kamen Rider, and Skull Man, among many, many more. His art style is incredibly detailed, with bright, vibrant colors and incredible line work that just leaps off the page. His style was a natural fit to bring this Zelda story to the masses, and it does not disappoint.
Since there was ever only one collection of this story, that itself was only available to Nintendo Power subscribers, it has been years and terribly difficult to obtain a copy, with them selling for over $100 on the secondary market. VIZ worked for years to get the publishing rights, even pointing out that the book (which came out about 2 months ago) was given approval to be republished four SDCC ago. They painstakingly remastered all of the art work, and even reworked the cover to feature one of the more iconic panels of the manga of Link's sword stuck in a stone covered in moss, a very striking image. It is the first time this adaptation has been available in over two decades, and the new edition looks spectacular. They are already on their third printing.
They also highlighted their very successful box set of ten manga's highlighting some of the other stories in the Zelda cannon, which are also highly entertaining but nowhere near as special and iconic as Ishinomori's version.
Hopefully someday they will also reprint the classic Mario and Starfox stories as well, but for now this shall suffice.
Jeremy Konrad has played almost every Zelda game, and is the Senior Star Wars Correspondent for Bleeding Cool. Lets talk Zelda on Twitter @jeremyohio