Today, manga readers are mourning the loss of an iconic talent as Jiro Kuwata has passed away. The artist brought to life series like Phantom Detective before earning international fame with his acclaimed Batman manga. Kuawata's publisher Akita Shoten confirmed the news for fans today, and tributes are pouring in for the mangaka on social media. He was 85 years old.
Manga and comic lovers will know Kuwata best for his work with Batman; However, the artist got his start in the industry back in the 1950s with Phantom Detective before co-creating 8 Man for Weekly Shonen Magazine. A decade would pass with these original titles before Kuwata was tasked with serializing a Batman manga for Shonen King.
His run began on the heels of Adam West's Batman TV show, and Japan was ready to meet the Gotham hero. Batman began publication in 1966, and it ran for just a year. However, DC Comics resurrected the manga back in 2014 when he translated the so-called Batmanga into English for digital readers.
There is no way Kuwata could have known what his work with Batman would become, but it has since become a beloved niche in the fandom. Similar to Japanese Spider-Man, the Batmanga has only grown in popularity as International readers have discovered it online. The manga's once-small fandom has grown into a global one, but Kuwata did not let that success go to his head. His humble attitude has only endeared him to fans more so, and they are determined to honor his Batmanga legacy in the years to come.