The limited edition single volume of the long-running manga One Piece is being billed as the longest book in existence.
At 21,450 pages, it is physically impossible to read, making this book less and more figurative.
Priced at â¬1,900 (Â£1,640), the book is not credited to Eichiro Oda, author and artist of One Piece, which has been featured in the Japanese magazine Shnen Jump every week since 1997. Ilan Manouch, the multidisciplinary artist who produced the limited edition volume, titled ONEPIECE.
Manouch printed the Japanese digital version of One Piece and tied it together, treating the comic not as a book but as “sculptural material”, according to the book/artwork. French publisher JBE,
A JBE spokesperson told the Guardian that OnePiece is an “unreadable sculpture that takes the shape of a book â the largest ever in page number and spine width â that embodies the ecosystem of comics circulating online. ” Whatever it’s classified, there certainly appears to be a market for the OnePiece â the limited edition of 50 copies sold out within days of its September 7 release.
According to his publisher, Manouch’s piece came about due to “the abundance of available online content and the massive digitization of the comics industry”, which “challenges the cutting edge of comics craftsmanship”. “Ilan Manauch’s ONEPIECE proposes to shift the understanding of digital comics from a qualitative examination of the formal possibilities of digital comics to a quantitative re-evaluation of ‘comics as Big Data’.”
JBE described comics as “dual commodities”, with “use value” for readers and “exchange value” for collectors. In creating a book you can’t read, Manouch apparently wanted to highlight the way comics exist both as a form of fiction and literature. It’s a principle that the comics industry has already embraced â a company, CGCOffers a service where it grades customers’ comics and encloses them in protective plastic.
When asked whether Eiichiro Oda was involved in or consulted about the creation of OnePiece, and if there were any copyright considerations, a JBE spokesperson said: “This piece is based on Manouch’s work around the ecosystem of comics. About, here as a sculptor who uses online dissemination as the source material, not reading copyrighted material.” The publisher believes that there can be no copyright infringement, as it is physically impossible to read the book.
Keita Murano, a member of the international rights staff at Shueisha, the Japanese publisher of Oda’s manga, confirmed that his company had not been consulted about the JBE book. They said: “The product you mention is not official. We don’t allow them. Our licensee in France, which publishes One Piece, is the publisher Glenat.”
Eiichiro Oda may not be receiving any royalties from Onepiece’s publications, but his comic series has made him the richest manga creator of all time, with an estimated net worth of around $200 million. His original One Piece manga is listed by the Guinness Book of Records as having the most copies published for a single comic book series by a single author, with over 416 million copies printed to date.
ONEPIECE Sculpture sales aren’t the first time the art world has raked in a lot of money from the world of comics – pop artist Roy Lichtenstein built a career on it, his monumental canvases copied directly from existing comics: Wham! (1963), picked up from a panel in last year’s DC’s All-American Men of War, while on a depiction of another DC comic in issue 105 of Sleeping Girlâwhich last sold 10 years ago for $44.8 million was based. girls romance,