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First look at Peach Momoko, Akira Himekawa, and tokitotokoro's art for Unico: Awakening

The re-imagining of a classic chapter in Ozamu Tezuka's Unico gets closer to print

Unico: Awakening print by Peach Momoko
Image credit: Peach Momoko

Return to (or visit for the first time) the classic world of Osamu Tezuka's Unico in a new original graphic novel called Unico: Awakening. This 162-page OGN manga by writer Samuel Sattin and artists Gurihiru (Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano) is a deeper exploration of the 'Cat and the Broomstick' chapter of Tezuka's original Unico manga series, expanding on some of the roles of those original characters, and also connecting it deeper with the broader continuity of Unico.

"Most people in the US know of Osamu Tezuka as the creator of Astro Boy, but the true span of his work is immense," says Unico: Awakening writer Samuel Sattin. "Unico is an example of a character created by the God of Manga that has endured throughout the years, remembered for his story’s balance of hope and darkness, and the big, complex ideas hung on the shoulders of a small unicorn."

A Kickstarter is currently underway to raise pre-orders for Unico: Awakening, and its already exceeded its $50,000 goal with still days until its June 2 cut-off.

"To work on this has been one of the singular most meaningful experiences in my life, and all of us are so thankful and grateful for your support," says Sattin. "The artists contributing prints and artifacts to this project truly embody the imaginative spirit of the project."

Popverse is debuting a first look at several of those Kickstarter rewards prints.

Here is the print by Akira Himekawa (The Legend of Zelda), along with some process art for it:

And here is three prints by Demon Days' Peach Momoko, along with their concept art for all three as well.

And lastly is two prints (and the concept art) by tokitotokoro (For a Good Man):

Unico is a classic story of a young unicorn who is cursed by the Greek gods for wanting to inspire humans with hope and positivity. This curse pushes Unico across space and time, jaunting from era to era - with his memory erased at each jump. At each stop, the Greek gods attempt to finish him once and for all, but its only for Unico's pluckiness (and some help from the Spirit of the West Wind) that he, so far, manages to keep one step ahead of them.

“Unico has the power to make a person happy when they are loved,” said Gurihiru. “I would like to share with others the kindness and strength of Unico, which will never change even as the times change.”

Unico: Awakening goes on sale in June 2023.

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Chris Arrant avatar
Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)
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