It's September 3, which means Wikia's collaborative writing project, The Masters of Animanga, is officially off and running. Originally announced in July, the project brings amateur writers and artists together with manga and anime luminaries, and the fun starts with Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki's "Red Bat."
Okazaki's creation will serve as inspiration for contributors, who are free to write stories in and build upon the world he and executive producers Hiroaki Ikegami and Masao Maruyama (Ninja Scroll, Trigun) presented. Original artwork is also encouraged as part of the creative process.
Here's some art Okazaki created as a jumping off point:
Some info on the world of Red Bat:
It’s the year 2020 in New York City. Humans and vampires coexist. But due to “hygienic concerns,” vampires have stopped sucking live human blood and started receiving vaccinations in order to consume artificially engineered blood. As such, vampires are not treated as “monsters,” but as a “new species.” In fact, their physical abilities are no different from humans.
Red Bat is a monster corporation that provides artificially engineered blood for vampires throughout the world. Their drink comes in blood type flavors (A+, B+, etc.). Only vampires can taste the difference – to humans, it’s all “water that stinks of iron.”
“Vanarchists” are an extremist radical party based in America that advocates the doctrine of human supremacy. The Black Bats Party (BBP) is a vampire vigilante corps formed to protect vampires from Vanarchists.
Contributions to the story itself are already underway over at the project page, so head on over and read the rules if you plan on adding your own flavor to the narrative.
As previously reported, The Masters of Animanga includes the talent and guidance of Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub, Wounded Man), Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy), Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai), and Sin'Ichi Hiromoto (Hells Angels, art for the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi manga), who will curate fully rendered illustrations and brief character descriptions for the community. It comes to a close on September 27, and those involved will attend an interactive panel at New York Comic-Con in October to discuss the development of the stories as the project progressed.