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Vinland Saga Contest – Win Original Art

VS_Contest_2

Let’s cut to the chase: We have three pieces of signed original art by “Vinland Saga” creator Makoto Yukimura.

 

They depict three characters from the series, Thorfinn, Thorkell, and Askeladd, and bear Mr. Yukimura’s signature, seal, and a personal message to his American readers. As incredible as this sounds, we are giving these away.

But to win one, you’ll first have to battle your way into a place among Askeladd’s elite Viking warriors!

join_askeladdHere’s how it will work:

  1. Create a character from the Viking Age. He or she could be a Viking, English, Welsh, a warrior, a blacksmith, a priest — anything! Write a one-paragraph description of your character that delves into her background, personality, and history. You can include an original drawing of your character if you want, but it’s certainly not required.
  2. We’ll take the best characters and create a bracket, pitting them against each other for the right to join Askeladd’s band! If you’re selected, you’ll receive your opponent’s character description, and you’ll have to write a few paragraphs describing how your character would defeat him. Does your character outwit her opponent? Intimidate him into submission? Or just pound him into the ground?
  3. After we’ve read both stories, we’ll choose the best one, and that character will advance. The brackets will converge on a final three-on-three showdown! The champion will get first pick of the drawings, the second place winner will receive second pick, and third place will get whichever drawing is left over. We’ll also compile all the battles of the top three into three epic Viking sagas, and post them on our site for everyone to read!

E-mail your entries to kodanshacomics@randomhouse.com (make sure any attachments are under 10 MB). Everyone who’s selected for the bracket will receive a free copy of Vinland Saga Book Four when it’s released in July.

Askeladd will be accepting applicants to join his band until July 11, and shortly after that the battles will begin!

Remake Viking history with us, and become a part of Vinland Saga!

And just in case you haven’t read Vinland Saga, now’s a great time to get started! From now until June 26, the Vinland Saga Book One ebook is on sale for just $4.99 on Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, and Kobo!

Rules:

  1. This contest is open to entrants with valid e-mail addresses worldwide, except where any part of the contest or these rules would be prohibited by law. Employees of Kodansha USA Publishing, Penguin Random House, or any parent or affiliate companies, as well as their spouses, family members, and any person in the same household, are not eligible to enter.
  2. All initial entries must be received by July 11, 2014. Kodansha USA Publishing is not responsible for entries lost for any reason.
  3. Each entrant may only enter once.
  4. By entering, you give Kodansha USA Publishing, Kodansha Ltd. and Penguin Random House permission to publish or use anything you submit (except your e-mail address and other contact information) in print, online, or in any other form, in perpetuity. If you’d like your entries to appear under a pseudonym, just ask.
  5. We will only use your e-mail address or other contact information to contact you regarding the contest. We will not use it for any other purpose or give it to anyone else.
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Vinland Saga Reviews & Runes

vinlandcopyThanks to everyone who’s picked up Vinland Saga Book One! We’ve received some fantastic feedback on the first volume. Acclaimed comics creator Faith Erin Hicks even sent us a blurb to be used on Book Two! Here’s what she wrote:

I was really excited to read this. I really enjoyed Planetes (which is sadly out of print) by the same author, and even tried to get Vinland Saga in French, thinking it’d never make its way over to the English market. Thankfully it did, and I wasn’t disappointed. Most of this volume (which is actually volumes 1 & 2, so extra value) is in flashback to the childhood of Thorfinn, and the knowledge of what happens in that flashback hangs over the entire book. The art is gorgeous, a combination of beautiful cartooning and realistic backgrounds. Yukimura is also a master of pacing, both in frenetic battle scenes and charged emotional moments.

I haven’t had a regular manga series to follow since 20th Century Boys wrapped up; I’m thrilled Vinland Saga lived up to my expectations, and I’m really looking forward to following it. Next volume is out in January.

If you’re not familiar with her work, Faith is an incredible artist whose most recent books are The Last of Us: American Dreams, based on the video game, and the awesome and hilarious Adventures of a Superhero Girl. Check them out!

Reviews have also poured in from across the Web. Here’s a quick sampling:

“I can’t imagine my life being complete without having read this… Gripping doesn’t begin to describe Vinland Saga. 5 stars.” – ICv2 (Full review)

“A deeply engrossing book. Part shounen adventure, part historical drama, it strives to explain the past while allowing its readers to live it… If you have any interest at all in Vikings, the Medieval period, or pirates, this is not a series you want to miss. Grade A-.” – Anime News Network (Full review)

“[Yukimura] has quickly become one of my favorite manga writer-artists… The potential for character development is excellent and I’m completely invested in the story and setting. Highly recommended. Grade A+.” – Fandom Post (Full review)

“While there’s plenty of adventure and action in Vinland Saga, what stands out to me more are the human elements that Yukimura focuses on so well.” – Manga Report (Full review)

“For those who love Berserk, you’ll love this too… This is not going to be a cheery romp, but it’s gripping stuff, and incredibly hard to put down… Worth the long wait.” – A Case Suitable for Treatment (Full review)

“I didn’t think that I had any interest in Viking tales, but now I’m upset with myself for reading it so quickly since it will be a while before volume 2 is available. Don’t hesitate—if you like a good story, pick this one up.” – Reflecting Lights (Full review)

Sounds pretty unanimous to me! So if you’ve been hesitating, now is the perfect time to pick up Book One in print or digital on Kindle, Nook, or iBookstore!

ownershiptagBut if you’ve already got your copy, you might have noticed something on the last page. It’s a circular design with a knotted snake in the center and what looks like writing around the edges. Next to it was a Web address. If you punched in that address, you got a fun introduction to one of our Vinland Saga Easter eggs!

Yes, those letters are runes, and yes, we left a space for you to add your name to the book in the ancient Norse script, just like a Viking would! We’ve already had a few takers, including one for whom this brought back major memories.

Around 10-11 years ago when I was in Primary School (Elementary to you, I think) part of my school’s history curriculum was on the Vikings and it was something that I was very fond of and quite fascinated with back then.

I was taken on a school trip to a museum here in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England which I had all but forgotten about until I looked at your ‘rune table’. I was suddenly flooded with memories of that day, specifically when we were shown/taught how to write our names using said runes. I remember trying over and over again to make it look perfect and I actually found myself doing the same before I wrote it in the book tonight. I also remember how proud I was with myself showing my work to my mother when I got home and that night and many nights after I was constantly stringing together sentences using the same system, so there’s probably boat loads (eyyy!) of scribbles of mine buried away somewhere.

I feel so ridiculously happy with all of the things I’m suddenly remembering and I have goosebumps like a mofo. It’s little things like this which make me that much happier about buying manga, so thank you, thank you, thank you x 1,000,000 for what you do and now I’m even more excited to own the rest of Vinland Saga!

So yes, here is my attempt! Competition or not I just think it’s bloody brilliant.

runecircle

We agree, and we’ll be sending you a free copy of Vinland Saga Book Two!

Now that the tag’s out of the bag, we’re hoping to see a lot more attempts (e-mail them to kodanshacomics@randomhouse.com). But don’t worry, we’re not giving it all away – this isn’t the only extra hidden in the book design. There are more out there for the particularly adventurous… and if you’re reading a manga about Vikings, you’d better be adventurous!

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Spring 2014 Internship Opening

Random House Publisher Services is seeking a spring intern to assist with the Kodansha Comics manga program. The intern will receive a well-rounded introduction to publishing, including work in editorial, production, marketing/sales processes, and social media. Some responsibilities will include proofreading/editing, database management, art review, data entry, and schedule tracking. There will be numerous administrative duties as well. Students who are familiar with MS Office, FileMaker Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Acrobat Pro are preferred. Familiarity with Japanese is helpful, but not required. An interest in manga or comics is required (applications that do not address this will be discarded). This is a non-paid internship. You must be able to receive credit from your school in order to apply for this position. This is an onsite internship in New York City.

 

Please send your resume and cover letter to kodanshacomics[at]randomhouse[dot]com. Application deadline is December 20th.

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