The “all-in-one” One Piece printing by French publisher JBE Books, according to a Shueisha spokesperson who spoke to The Guardian on Tuesday, was not approved.
Shueisha’s foreign rights division employee Keita Murano said: “The item… is not authorized. We don’t provide them authorization. The publisher Glénat is our licensee in France and they are the ones that put out One Piece.”
JBE Books published the first 102 volumes of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga as a single bound book earlier this month, totaling 21,540 pages. It is physically impossible to read the book, a publisher spokeswoman claims, thus there is no copyright violation.
Onepiece, a limited-edition 50-print run, is being offered as an avant-garde work of art (note the missing space). Ilan Manouach, the creator of the piece, calls it “the materialization of a media-saturated ecology.” Each print is 1,900 euros (or 1,893 US dollars) in price.
The structure of the novel serves as a critique of internet fan culture and piracy. “Online participatory culture and the medium’s new networked capabilities have heightened the nature of comics beyond the bounds of professional, established expertise with new and disruptive forms of entrepreneurial fan culture,” claims the publisher. The most popular manga series are scanned, translated, and distributed online. This increased digital manufacturing belt produces ONEPIECE. The ONEPIECE book intends to “transform the understanding of digital comics from a qualitative investigation of the formal possibilities of digital comics to a quantitative rethink of ‘comics as Big Data’.
Remixes of important comics are what Manouach is renowned for. His comic book, Katz, which is a reimagining of Art Spiegelman’s Maus in French with the protagonists shown as cats rather than mice, is one of his most divisive works. Manouach agreed to remove the copies at the publisher’s request when they accused the book of copyright violation in 2012.
The ONEPIECE book is 12 x 18.5 x 80 centimeters in size, with an 80-centimeter spine (31.5 inches). It comes as a single volume, or literally one piece, enclosed in a dark slipcase. Each copy has a unique number and Manouach’s signature. The JBE Books website states that despite being originally announced two weeks ago, it is already sold out.
On July 19, 1997, Eiichiro Oda started the One Piece manga’s serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. 490 million copies of the manga were in circulation globally as of July 2021. A Guinness World Record for “the most copies issued for the same comic book series by a single author” was achieved in 2015 by the manga, which received the 41st Japan Cartoonist Awards in 2012.