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Japan publisher to launch manga project with over 50 artists on life in COVID-19 era

A comic strip from Tetsuya Chiba's short manga "Aku-dama" is seen in this image provided by Kodansha Ltd.

TOKYO -- Publishing giant Kodansha Ltd. announced on May 22 it would launch a project with over 50 manga artists to depict daily life during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Short manga strips for the "Manga Day to Day" project will be available to read for free on Kodansha's manga website Comic Days at and a dedicated Twitter account (both in Japanese) starting on June 15.

Manga artists will produce one comic strip a day for the project, depicting how everyday life has been since April 1 this year.

In a related project, Kodansha has over 50 writers turning out novels for readers who stick to responsible social distancing during the coronavirus crisis. That project is already underway at the publisher's art news website Tree.

Tetsuya Chiba, known for his illustration of the popular "Ashita no Joe" manga series, produced the first manga "Aku-dama" (Demon soul), a humorous comic showing a manga artist struggling to depict the new coronavirus as a fictional character. The short manga can already be accessed on the project Twitter account.

Kodansha plans on publishing the manga strips in book form in early 2021. A company representative said, "People's daily lives are suddenly changing, and they (the manga strips) will not only tell today's readers about the changes in day-to-day life, but will inform future generations over the next 100 or 200 years."

(Japanese original by Noboru Hirose, Cultural News Department)

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