'Highschool of the Dead' Artist Reflects on Author's Death

When it comes to manga, it's common for creative teams to be relatively static. One artist and their assistants will write and draw an entire manga together, or one person will write and another will draw with assistants, and so on. It's not like, say, Marvel of DC where creative teams come and go. That's at least part of the point Highschool of the Dead artist Shoji Sato seemingly wants to drive home: having one of those people die is a major blow.

An interview with the manga artist and the editor of their current work, Triage X, over at Comic Natalie includes comments addressing the death of Highschool of the Dead author Daisuke Sato. He passed away in March 2017 due to heart disease; the manga had gone on hiatus in 2011 due to the disease.

According to a translation on Anime News Network, Shoji Sato describes attempting to draw more Highschool of the Dead as "not easy" and said that "although it pains my heart, too, that the series went on hiatus, just thinking about Daisuke Satō makes me think that I cannot carelessly get involved in [Highschool of the Dead]."

Triage X's editor Kawanakajima was reportedly even more specific. "It's common overseas for comics and novels to be created by multiple collaborators," they said, according to ANN. "For example, the person who first wrote the Perry Rhodan novels has passed away, but the next generation of authors are continuing it. But for Highschool of the Dead, [Daisuke Sato] was the one and only, so I'd like overseas fans to understand that nobody else could write it easily."

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What do you think? Would you read a continuation of the series with a different author? Let us know in the comments!

Highschool of the Dead was created back in September 2006 under Monthly Dragon Age. The manga ran 2011, when it went on hiatus. The franchise will seemingly remain unfinished in light of Sato’s tragic passing. The writer worked with artist Shoji Sato, as previously mentioned. Madhouse Studio also made an anime adaptation of the horror-harem title back in September 2010. The 12-episode series covered the first four volumes of the manga, and a standalone OVA was also released by the company.