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Sirius Announces Akiko Special
By Brian Jacks


Sirius Entertainment has announced the April release of AKIKO #50, a special anniversary celebration of Mark Crilley’s popular series. Written and illustrated by Crilley, with a special back-up adventure provided by three talented AKIKO fans, the publisher says this 40-page spectacular promises to entertain audiences of all ages with tales of spunky fourth grader Akiko and her alien friends.

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Highly respected in the comics industry for his innovative approaches to sequential art, creator Mark Crilley plans to continue his experiments with visual storytelling in his fiftieth issue. “It’s been such a blast to work on AKIKO #50. I've devoted the top two-thirds of each spread to an ongoing story following Akiko’s crew and their misadventures in an alien marketplace. The bottom third of each spread is given over to little back-up strips, an entirely new one on every page. Each employs a different illustration style, and most of them are linked to the main story in some way. It's really like reading two issues at once: a ‘normal’ issue and a ‘back-up’ issue, both coexisting on the same pages, and even trading jokes back and forth with each other.”

In addition, for the anniversary celebration Mark Crilley has invited a talented trio of fans to contribute a 13-page back-up story, entitled ‘An Evening on the Moonguzzit Sea.’ “This is no mere exercise in fan fiction, though. These three guys, Matthew and Michael Armstrong, and Dan T. Davis, have created a polished, professional piece of work that is really an honor to share with AKIKO readers everywhere.”

Detroit native Mark Crilley created the story of Akiko and her intergalactic crew in 1992 during his employment as an English teacher in Japan. First published by Sirius Entertainment as a comic book in 1995, the AKIKO series has since earned Mark numerous award nominations (including over a dozen Eisner Award nominations), as well as a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Entertainment’ list in 1998. AKIKO has since achieved impressive mainstream success thanks to the release of Random House Children’s Books’ line of AKIKO hardcover novelizations, written and illustrated by Crilley.

“There are two new Random House AKIKO novels coming out in 2003: Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000 in March, and Akiko and the Journey to Toog in the fall. As AKIKO gains more and more fans in the children's book world, there is a stream of people following the trail back to the comics. It's a thrill to be able to deliver my fiftieth issue of the comic, even as I work my way toward expanding Akiko's horizons into the children's book world and beyond.”


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