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Kirby (not that one) returns to comics with Manga Mania

Kirby: Manga Mania
(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))

The pint-sized pink puffball Kirby is jumping from video games to manga - and making his English-language comics debut - with the appropriately titled Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))

"Kirby joins iconic arch-frenemy King Dedede and other characters Dark Matter, Jukid, Gooey, Chef Kawasaki, and more to venture out into the picturesque world of Dream Land," reads Viz's description of Kirby: Manga Mania. "Get stuck in a haunted hotel with Kirby, save King Dedede from a toy transformation, or get a glimpse of Dream Land in the 22nd century—just take a deep breath and hop in!"

Kirby: Manga Mania is a collection of the best manga stories of the character, which have until now never been officially been available in English.

"This is my first best-of collection. I selected the funniest stories out of the Kirby manga series' 25-volume run," says writer/artist Hirokazu Hikawa in the announcement. "I also drew the series' first brand-new chapter in 11 years, as well as some bonus comics. I hope you'll enjoy those too."

Here's a five-page preview of Kirby: Manga Mania:

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Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))

Kirby: Manga Mania preview

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Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))
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Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))
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Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))
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Kirby: Manga Mania

(Image credit: Hirokazu Hikawa (Viz Media))

Hikawa is best-known in Japan for his 25-volume Kirby run, titled Kirby of the Stars: The Story of Dedede in Pupupu. This is the first time any of this has been made available in English, after a canceled attempt by Viz over a decade ago.

If you're a comics fan like me, you might think/hope that Kirby is somehow based on comics' Jack Kirby, but I have to break the news to you… it's not. Kirby was named in honor of an American lawyer, John Kirby, who worked for Nintendo in the mid '80s.

Kirby: Manga Mania goes on sale on June 8.

Kirby fan, are you? Kirby Fighters 2 was added to the Nintendo eShop late last year.

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.