The manga industry has just gone through two major losses. As if the passing of Lupin III manga-ka Kazukiho Kato (aka Monkey Punch), we have now learned that the legendary Kazuo Koike, who worked on the well-known Lone Wolf & Cub series has also died. Simply put, these are two huge losses for the manga industry and is up there with losing Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the same year.
Koike’s family confirmed that he passed away on his Twitter, thanking fans for their love and support of his work. Here’s what the message was translated to:
"Kazuo Koike, who had been hospitalized for a long time, and passed away on April 17th due to pneumonia. Many people love Kazuo Koike and his works, and we thank you very much from our hearts. The funeral was attended only by relatives. Thank you very much for everything."
It’s not just manga that the writer is known for since he also worked on a number of Marvel projects. According to Newsarama, he worked on a Japanese-exclusive Hulk: The Manga and has also illustrated a story in X-Men Unlimited #50, with help from C.B. Cebulski. Koike also created several other notable mangas, including Crying Freeman (with Ryoichi Ikegami), Lady Snowblood (with Kazuo Kamimura), and Hanappe Bazooka (with Goseki Kojima).
Fans who want to honor Koike can pick up several of the Lone Wolf & Cub series that is being translated and released by Dark Horse Comics. Condolences to his friends and family.