Sideburns and Scarves


Gundam The Origin: Vol 2 came  today and whoops accidentally opened right to this page.

ignore the artstand I swear it opened up to Char shower scene all on its own



Hooray!! They are here!! Gundam the ORIGIN vol 2 review copies have arrived!!

Expect to see these at cons in June and finally in stores at the end of the month.

Looking forward to seeing the fan photos for volume 2!!




Gundam is a beast with no beginning or end, and yet this is GUNDAM: THE ORIGIN.

I think I’ll make a lot of friends with this blog post.

Nah, you’re pretty much right on the mark with everything.

And really the annoying thing about the franchise is that there’s the potential for more works like Gundam 0080, but it’ll never happen because a series like that isn’t formulaic or mobile suit centric enough.

But didn’t 0080 introduce the Kampfer and those new Hygogg design? In general 0080 has some of my favorite Gundam mechanical designs and my favorite battle sequences, they are just short, which is really more realistic (well, bipedal mecha in general is not realistic but combat in an actual warzone isn’t typically something that lasts forever like in the movies)

ETA I feel like 0080 is a typical Gundam OVA that was well received by fans so I don’t see why there couldn’t be another UC series or OVA in that vein. I don’t think it needs to be formulaic or self-referential to be popular with fans, it’s just that UC fans will flock to anything UC-related no matter the quality.

And honestly Origin is not the exact same story as 0079, I hate when people say that. It’s like Yas took the existing mythos and expanded on it to tell a much more in-depth story with much more character development, expanding on the character’s lives and motivations. Not the same at all

One of the top reviews for the book on Amazon reads “This is one of your best chances to show bandai that we want Gundam in English. Even if they ignore the sales your worst case scenario is being stuck with this great book!”

I want nothing to do with the writer of that review.

Milo, though? You’ve fucking aced it.

EDIT: I totally agree, Childings. The Origin is an example of adaptation done right. It isn’t a random artist converting screencaps to comics; Yasuhiko owns this work with both his masterful technique and his authorial intent. It’s a rare sight, and frankly, the existence of The Origin is a fluke (I mean, look at Zeta Gundam Define, which probably looks like “Gundam: The Origin 2” to marketers, but is such a commercial and uninspired project).

Really, it’s not a matter of if a project with the sensitivity and perspective of 0080 or the personal touch and daring of The Origin could make money. They obviously can. But would 0080 make as much money now as Unicorn, which takes all the technical proficiency and puts it in a blender with excessive fanservice and toy-making potential (not only does Unicorn make new designs to appeal to the hardcore fans, but it makes old and obscure designs relevant again to make new toys out of them).

'Cause let's face it. The audience that more sophisticated Gundam works bring in won't be bringing too much money with them. While 0080 has my favorite mechanical designs of any Gundam, if I hadn’t seen it when I was 10 and already predisposed to having toys of my favorite mobile suits/involved in that aspect of fan culture, I don’t think I would watch that show and think, “I’m going to show my appreciation of these mechanical designs by building model kits of them”. Buying into that goes directly against one of the message of that story. (Yes, I do have an ethical debate with myself when I look at my GM Sniper II action figure.)

Welp, there’s my serious giant robot rant for the month.

The senior cartooning studio is now equipped with Gundam: The Origin!




There it is… The first copy of Gundam THE ORIGIN vol 1. Wow, it has been a long time coming, but in a few weeks the wait will finally be over. Expect to see these in stores soon with some nice store placement in key markets.

Now let the world know, Gundam fandom is as strong as ever! Like! Reblog!! Sieg Zeon!! It’s an F-ing Gundam manga!! And you readers helped make it happen!

Gundam the ORIGIN pt 1 ACTIVATION goes on sale March 26th! (Now shipping!)

ya did it


Remember, folks! Barnes & Noble increased their order by a ton to gauge in-store sales. If you don’t already have a preorder in, buying from a physical store will help guarantee that B&N will stock later volumes, increasing access to the series for new readers and uninitiated Gundam fans.

This book is a treasure for comics and mecha fans alike!


An insider’s look at our wet-proof of Gundam the Origin part 1. Yup that’s what the sheets look like before they are cut and bound.



BLOG POST: I’m curious. (note: this is a survey of sorts)


Hey Hey loyal Vertical readers, how are you all?

You know, I’m always curious to talk to others in the manga community who really love the medium. The most fun I ever get to have at conventions, professionally or otherwise, is when I get to completely nerd out with someone over anime and manga. nerdinging out like “Oh you like x I like x too!”, but nerding out like getting into near-screaming matched over which series, between Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, had more of a western influence. That kind of nerdy. I know we publish books that lend themselves to both discussion and people who really love all kinds of manga. From those who enjoy Tezuka’s thrillers like MW and Ayako, fans of Furuya’s dark works, and even those devoted to To Terra (if you exist, PLEASE RESPOND) fans of our titles are definitely the coolest around and I’d like to get to connect with you a bit. 

This is sort of an impromptu survey. It may seem like a company survey trying to get feedback, but it’s honestly just me, the intern, wanting to know more about our readers and why they read! If you’d be willing to answer all or a few of these questions, either here or in the facebook comments section, I would be really delighted! Remember kids, encouraging discussion is awesome. Now, there are only a few questions, and you can elaborate as much as little as you’d like!

1. Which Vertical titles are your favorite and why?

2. If you had to choose just one Tezuka title to be stranded on a deserted island with, what would it be? 

3. Who’s sexier? Onizuka, Black Jack, or Amuro Ray.

4. When did you start reading manga full well knowing it was manga, and what titles did you first fall in love with?

5. Do you read novels at all?


6. What sort of blog posts would you be likely to read about?

To everyone who posted, and to everyone who simply took the time to read this, thank you very much for your support 

1. Which Vertical titles are your favorite and why?

Gundam: The Origin, Black Jack, and To Terra
  • Gundam: The Origin is everything I could ask for in a comic. Although it’s an adaptation, it’s not by some self-indulgent fan. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko adds a depthful new perspective, both as someone with an intimate relationship with the source material and as an underrated comics genius, making the journey through familiar territory more than worth it. As a story, the original Gundam resonates with me in a very special way and builds a strong setting that’s hard to stop thinking about. While the themes of the series were in response to Japanese youth movements of the ’70s, the ideas of accepting the responsibilities of adulthood and the passion of youth getting manipulated by older generations are universally relevant. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko is one of my biggest inspirations as a cartoonist, and it excites me so much to see this work get such wonderful treatment. Even if you don’t like giant robots, everyone should be reading this.
  • Black Jack is a fantastic and thrilling episodic comic. Tezuka manages to put together brief but exciting stories that still have room for social messages. Black Jack is a complex character whose identity and ethics build up with every chapter;  although he can solve most medical cases with ease, the reader sticks around for the “how” and “why” behind his scalpel. Black Jack may be a “dark” character, but Tezuka rarely wallows in the melodrama of his background.
  • To Terra is beautifully drawn and sensitive science fiction. Keiko Takemiya has been one of my more surprising influences as a studying cartoonist, and I must thank Keith Mayerson for introducing me to her work.

2. If you had to choose just one Tezuka title to be stranded on a deserted island with, what would it be?

Black Jack, of course. There are tons of volumes, and it can be enjoyed in bite-sized chunks, making it the perfect book to have by your side when you’re locked up in the studio or on a deserted island.

3. Who’s sexier? Onizuka, Black Jack, or Amuro Ray Char Aznable

Amuro’s a cutie, but there’s a reason Char appears on more promotional material than Gundam's protagonist. If he were on the list, it'd be a tie between Black Jack and Char.

4. When did you start reading manga full well knowing it was manga, and what titles did you first fall in love with?

I started reading in 2001 (I was 10), and Kazuhisa Kondo’s adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam was my first (pretty sure each volume was $16 bucks or something, so Vertical’s print of The Origin is a steal). I read a lot of bad Gundam spin-off manga throughout middle school, as well as anything with an ’80s scifi aesthetic. When I was a little older, I really got into Hellsing and Saikano; apocalypse really resonates with you when you’re going through puberty.

5. Do you read novels at all?

A recent favorite read is Junot Díaz’s The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I really dig magical realism and science fiction (and not a single person was surprised), including Haruki Murakami, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick.

6. What sort of blog posts would you be likely to read about?

I really like posts about the production process and just behind-the-scenes information and anecdotes. I find publishing fascinating, especially as a self-publisher. I’d also like to see more stuff about The Origin directed at non-Gundam/non-mecha fans, since I feel it’s a work that deserves to break through the stigma surrounding the mecha genre and the Gundam franchise. (But that’s more of a short-term marketing thing, I guess.)


Man, I really like these covers for Gundam the ORIGIN. Mmm, foil!!! (Deluxe Edition cover from Kadokawa Books)

What do you think? Should we follow this pattern for our English Edition?!

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

I’m so excited about this (and you should be too!)


For the mecha fans out there who are desperately waiting for Spring.


(preorder volumes 1 and 2 now!!)

Just wanna rub my face all over those Yasuhiko pages.

Expect a long post soon about how important it is to preorder this book and get it in the hands of cartoonists and non-Gundam fans.