title = Akiko

caption = Cover of TBP volume 2
schedule = monthly
format =
publisher = Sirius comics
date = Dec 1995 - Feb 2004
issues = 52
past_current_color = background:#c0c0c0
main_char_team = Akiko, Gax, Poog, Mr. Beeba, Spuckler
writers = Mark Crilley
artists = Mark Crilley
creators = Mark Crilley
subcat=Sirius Entertainment

Akiko is the name of a black and white American comic book series written and drawn by Mark Crilley and published by Sirius Entertainment. The comics have spawned a series of children's novels from "Random House".

The story has been described as a cross between "The Wizard of Oz" and "Star Wars" [Westfield Comics, " [http://westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=interview&LoadPageType=1&LoadPageNo=26&sc=3453117110841789414&U=1202407038415 Interview With Mark Crilley] "] , centering on the adventures of Akiko, a Japanese American girl, on and around the planet Smoo. She is accompanied by her alien friends, Mr. Beeba the well-read professor, the courageous but impulsive Spuckler, Gax the worn down, kindly robot, and Poog, the Toogian,floating, purple head.

Akiko was created while Crilley was living and teaching English in Japan in December 1992. [biography.jrank.org, " [http://biography.jrank.org/pages/28/Crilley-Mark-1966-Sidelights.html Mark Crilley (1966-) - Sidelights] "] It was inspired by both Japanese anime and manga as well as classic American comics such as Little Nemo and Calvin and Hobbes. Upon publication in the United States it did not become mainstream, but gained an audience nonetheless. [biography.jrank.org, " [http://biography.jrank.org/pages/28/Crilley-Mark-1966-Sidelights.html Mark Crilley (1966-) - Sidelights] "] Crilley describes his work as safe for children but written for adults [Westfield Comics, " [http://westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=interview&LoadPageType=1&LoadPageNo=26&sc=3453117110841789414&U=1202407038415 Interview With Mark Crilley] "] .

Akiko has been nominated in the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards over a dozen times since 1995. In 1998, Mark Crilley and Akiko were nominated for Best Serialized Story, Best Continuing Series, Best Title for Younger Readers, and Best Cover Artist. [ [http://www.comicsutra.com/cs/comics/awards/award_archive.htm] . "Comic Sutra", Industry awards, "Akiko" ?, ?.]

Characters in the group

* Akiko
* Mr. Beeba
* Spuckler Boach
* Gax
* Poog

Publishing history


* Akiko on the Planet Smoo (one-shot)
* The Menace of Alia Rellapor (issues 1-18) (Collected in Vol 1-3)
* The Story Tree (issues 19-25) (Collected in Vol 4)
* Bornstone's Elixir (issues 26-31) (Collected in Vol 5)
* Stranded in Komura (issues 32-34) (Collected in Vol 6)
* Moonshopping (issues 35-38) (Collected in Vol 6)
* The Battle of Boach's Keep (issues 40-47) (Collected in Vol 7)
* Flights of Fancy (a collection of backup and experimental stories from issues 1-46 - includes all of issue 39)Uncollected issues (not in any volume)
* Issues 48-49 - Robot Akiko
* Issue 50 - Anniversary Issue
* Issues 51-52 - Various fun storiesOther items:
* "Wizard Magazine" issue 86 (one short color story about a comic book convention)

Children's books

* Akiko on the Planet Smoo (March 2000)
* Akiko in the Sprubly Islands (September 2000)
* Akiko and the Great Wall of Trudd] (March 2001)
* Akiko in the Castle of Alia Rellapor (September 2001) (ends adaptations from comic)
* Akiko and the Intergalactic Zoo (April 2002) (original stories begin)
* Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000 (March 2003)
* Akiko and the Journey to Toog (September 2003)
* Akiko: The Training Master (February 2005)
* Akiko: Pieces of Gax (November 2006)
* Akiko and the Missing Misp (2008?)


Akiko on the Planet Smoo, the first comic in the series, was published in December 1995. Since then, 52 issues of the comic have been published. The story in which Akiko rescues the prince (featured in the first eighteen issues) was originally meant to be a reversal of the traditional fairy tale in terms of the gender roles, but Crilley said that, later, "...the whole Prince-rescuing plot became little more than a pretext for a long and obstacle-packed journey. I wanted Akiko to start out as quite weak, but have her acquire strength over time." [cite web |url=http://www.ultrazine.org/ultraparole/crilley/crilley_english.htm#1 |title=The Power of Imagination: Interview with Mark Crilley |accessdate=2008-09-10 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date= |work= |publisher=Ultrazine ]

When Crilley originally shopped his comic around, Sirius Entertainment belelived it could work as an adult series, despite its child-safe tone. Crilley later expressed some surprise at Akiko's relative success. "The people in the comics world expect grittiness, a certain amount of violence, certainly a lot of bang for their buck, and it's kind of a surprise that it has been so warmly embraced by the critical establishment," he stated. [Westfield Comics, " [http://westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=interview&LoadPageType=1&LoadPageNo=26&sc=3453117110841789414&U=1202407038415 Interview With Mark Crilley] "] . Despite much of the comic having been partially inspired by children's stories such as The Wizard of Oz, he believes that the dialogue strikes a chord in both adults and children, as with the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

At the suggestion of his fans, Crilley created a series of issues which takes place on Earth. He had Akiko's friends from Smoo crash land in rural Japan, and he thus hoped to possibly enlighten some readers about Japanese culture. [Westfield Comics, " [http://westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=interview&LoadPageType=1&LoadPageNo=26&sc=3453117110841789414&U=1202407038415 Interview With Mark Crilley] "] .

The last issue of Akiko came was published in March 2002. On Mark Crilley's blog, he stated that the comic has gone out of production because it hasn't made enough money. He continues to write novels in the Akiko book series, however, with the tenth and final novel due out sometime in the near future. He has recently created a new book series about extraterrestrials, "Billy Clikk", and a manga series, "Miki Falls".

The Children's Books

The first four books borrow their storylines from the comics, (detailing Akiko and her team's quest to rescue Prince Froptoppit from the sorceress Alia Rellapor), while the others introduce original plot lines). Beginning with "Akiko: The Training Master", Akiko is somewhat older and drawn to resemble a teenager rather than a child. Some reviewers referred to the books as a fun adventures apropiate for younger readers, with some describing them as being free of gender and racial bias. [biography.jrank.org, " [http://biography.jrank.org/pages/28/Crilley-Mark-1966-Sidelights.html Mark Crilley (1966-) - Sidelights] "]


The first book, Akiko on the Planet Smoo, begins when 10-year-old Akiko is removed from her timid existence on Earth and brought to Planet Smoo because King Froptoppitt believes she can help save his son. Akiko is extremely reluctant, but is introduced to her fellow questers (Mr.Beeba, Poog, Spuckler Boach and Gax). They set out. The next three books continue their journey, which is full of arguments, mishaps, and exotic alien places, creatures, characters, and food. Eventually, they reach Alia Rellapor's castle. The next three books contain further adventures ("Akiko and the Alpha Centauri 5000" being centered around Spuckler while "Akiko and the Journey to Toog" focuses on Poog's backstory) but Akiko always begins and ends the novel on Earth. In "Akiko: The Training Master" Akiko is older. She and her friends journey to a special academy in order to become official guardians of the Planet Smoo.



* [http://users.rcn.com/aardy/comics/awards/index.html Comic Book Awards Almanac]
* [http://www.markcrilley.com/ Mark Crilley's official site]
* [http://biography.jrank.org/pages/28/Crilley-Mark-1966-Sidelights.html Biography of Mark Crilley at jrank.org]
* [http://westfieldcomics.com/store.cgi?LoadPage=interview&LoadPageType=1&LoadPageNo=26&sc=3453117110841789414&U=1202407038415 An Interview With Mark Crilley at Westfieldcomics.com]

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