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Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is going international with the launch of Skybound Japan

The new division is launching with a TV adaptation of the 2019 comic Heart Attack

Skybound Japan
Image credit: Skybound/Popverse

As the success of the animated Invincible and the live-action (and myriad) Walking Dead TV shows have demonstrated, Robert Kirkman is not afraid of translating Skybound’s comic book successes into other media — which makes the fact that Skybound has just opened a new Japanese division all the more fascinating.

Skybound Entertainment has officially announced the launch of Skybound Japan, a new division focused on “expanding Skybound’s international presence and fostering creative collaborations focusing on Japanese IP within the Japanese entertainment industry,” according to the company. The move comes almost a year after Skybound opened the company for private investment.

The new division — Skybound’s second international expansion, following Skybound North in Vancouver, Canada — is the outgrowth of Skybound’s longstanding interest in the Japanese market, which has included both an investment in Remow, an anime distributor created by Japanese publisher Shueisha, as well as a partnership with Fuji TV, one of the biggest television networks in the country. It’ll be headed up by Ash Nukui, formerly of Bandai Namco Group and producer of The Snffer and Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac.

It should be noted that this isn't Skybound's first entry into this market; in 2011, the company signed a deal with The Moving Images Company for a plan titled Skybound Asia, which would distribute the company's comic books throughout Asia.

The announcement of Skybound Japan was paired with the announcement of the division’s first project: a television adaptation of Heart Attack, the Skybound comic series by Shawn Kittelsen and Eric Zawadzki, which will be produced in collaboration with Fuji TV. It’s a sign that Skybound Japan is hitting the ground running, and likely the first in a series of similar adaptations… which makes us wonder: how soon before we hear about Walking Dead anime plans?

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