• Japanese 20th anniversary

    28 July 2021

    This incredible drawing is the work of a fan called Mine Akatsuki, who drew it to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first Cirque Du Freak book in Japan on the 10th of July 2001. It features characters from lots of different books that I've published in Japan (and other countries) over the years since. From left to right, those books.series, are -- The City trilogy, Hagurosan, Cirque Du Freak, The Demonata, Koyasan.


    I must admit, I hadn't clocked the anniversary myself, but I'm so pleased that it was brought to my attention -- and in such an amazing way! I had no idea, when the first book was published in Japan, that the series would become a runaway success there. The first book had a very modest first print run, but the reaction from readers far exceeded expectations, and subsequent books were printed in huge numbers, and topped overall bestseller charts -- no mean feat in a country where book sales are among the highest in all the world!


    Over the last 20 years, Cirque Du Freak has grown and grown in the USA and UK, to the point where sales are right up there with the Japanese numbers, and the books performed spectaularly in lots of other countries too, such as Hungary and Taiwan, but Japan was where they first went stellar, and where a very young and innocent Darren Shan was first treated like a genuine star -- I'll always remember arriving early to my first ever event there, to find a few hundred fans who had turned up in addition to the three hundred with tickets, not to meet me, just to watch the event from afar! Since I was early, I asked if it would be possible to mingle with the 300 who had tickets, so that they could have their photo taken with me (there wasn't going to be time for that later). After a hushed, serious conversation, a security guard was summoned to tell me it would be too dangerous -- there might be a crush and people could die!!! I'd never run into THAT problem at any of my events in any other country, where sometimes the members of staff outnumbered the fans in attendance! (In the end, we managed to safely arrange for the fans to come have their photos taken, and no lives were lost!)


    Happy, special times. I'll always have an extra soft spot in my heart for the Shansters of Japan, so this is an anniversary -- and an anniversary drawing -- that means an awful lot to me. Thanks again, Mine Akatsuki, for reminding me about it, and treating us all to this wonderful memorial drawing.




    Since I'm talking about Japan, where the Cirque Du Freak manga was first created and published, I'll quickly remind you all that Volume 3 of the English language edition of the Cirque Du Freak manga OMNIBUS (Books 5 and 6) went on sale yesterday. You should be able to buy it in your local manga stockist, but if you prefer to buy online, here are a few handy links.


    YEN PRESS -- these are the publishers, and their page includes direct buying links to Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and some other stores in the USA. https://yenpress.com/9781975321550/cirque-du-freak-the-manga-vol-3/


    AMAZON UK -- there's currently a 20% discount as I write this! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cirque-Du-Freak-Manga-Omnibus/dp/1975321553/


    COMIXOLOGY -- if you prefer to buy the manga as eBooks, the volumes are also being republished digitally, NOT as omnibus editions, but as individual books, with Books 5 and 6 going on sale at the same time as the physical omnibus edition of Volume 3. https://www.comixology.com/Cirque-Du-Freak-The-Manga/comics-series/153309


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