Namco Bandai Games' ShiftyLook webcomic project announced at its panel at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday that manga creator Hitoshi Ariga (Big O, Mega Man Megamix, Megaman Gigamix) will be illustrating a webcomic adaptation of the classic video game franchise Klonoa. This is the first time ShiftyLook is using a Japanese manga artist for one of its webcomics, and ShiftyLook has provided ANN with exclusive art for the new series (see below).
Klonoa will be written by Jim Zub. It will premiere on the ShiftyLook website in August, and it will be updated on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Rob Pereyda, Producer and Editor-in-Chief of ShiftyLook, told ANN, "When we did the survey with ANN when we originally launched ShiftyLook back in March, we were pleasantly surprised to see just how popular Klonoa still is with anime fans. Their insatiable demand for more Klonoa content led us to the decision to develop a brand-new set of adventures in webcomic form. And it helps immensely that Jim Zub is a die-hard Klonoa fan."
Klonoa had ranked at #2 on ANN's poll in February with 18.84% of the votes. ShiftyLook also chose to adapt the Time Crisis video game into a webcomic based on ANN's poll.
Zub provided ANN with the following comment:
The first time I played Klonoa, I was blown away by its intricate balance of 2D gameplay in a beautiful D-rendered world. It really stuck with me as one of the best Playstation 1 Games I ever played. By the time Klonoa 2 was released, just over 10 years ago, I was well and truly hooked. Namco had Taken a great game and made it better in every way - art, Design, game play and story. I've been a big fan ever since. I Feel that Klonoa is right at the top with other great game mascot characters like Mario and Sonic.
Getting the chance to create a brand new adventure story for Klonoa with NAMCO BANDAI on ShiftyLook and being able to collaborate with legendary mangaka Hitoshi Ariga on it is an absolute dream come true. I love the source material and am working hard to ensure that Klonoa: Dream Traveller of Noctis Sol lives up to the legacy of this amazing franchise. I truly hope longtime fans of Klonoa and new readers alike dive in and enjoy.
Viz Media published Ariga's Big O manga, and Udon Entertainment published Ariga's three-volume Mega Man Megamix and the three-volume Megaman Gigamix manga in North America.
ShiftyLook also announced at its panel that it will create and stream two web animation series titled Bravoman: Cartoon of Unequalled Excellence and Mappy: The Beat. Additionally, the company will host webcomic adaptations for the 1980's vertical-scrolling arcade game Dragon Spirit and the 1990 arcade shooter game Golly! Ghost!.
Namco Bandai Games launched the ShiftyLook project earlier this year. The webcomics are available in English worldwide for free through web browsers as well as iOS and Android devices. The website currently publishes webcomics for Valkyrie, Rapid Thunder, Rocket Fox, Bravoman, Wonder Momo, The Five-Dimensional Adventures of Dirk Davies, Rapid Thunder, Alien Confidential, Scar, Xevious, Dig Dug, and Sky Kid.
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The art looks really good!