Written by: Carl Horn
Source: Originally published in the Viz standard edition of Neon Genesis Evangelion Vol. 8
Dated: March 2004
Between September of 1997 and October of 2002, Volumes One through Seven of Neon Genesis Evangelion made their first appearance in English not as graphic novels like this one, but as individual monthly comic books (containing one or two "Stages" worth of story per issue). This book, Volume Eight, is, however, making its first appearance in English as a complete graphic novel. Over the next few months, you'll see Volumes Two through Seven of Evangelion coming out on the shelves. But we didn't want to wait any longer to do Volume Eight, considering the many readers who followed Eva based on its "first life" as a comic book.
The new, bookstore-chain market for manga which has arisen over the past two years is a fantastic development, as it's introducing more people than ever here to Japanese comics. But if you're just getting into manga, remember that bookstores can only carry so much—after all, every publisher is fighting for that shelf space,. not just graphic novel publishers. That's why if you're interested in finding a wider selection, you should also try and check out the specialists at your local comic book store. No doubt a lot of them are run like that guy's on The Simpsons; but there are also a lot which are friendly and helpful to new customers—and it tends to be those same kind of stores which have always supported manga, and still do so strongly today. Hopefully there's one like that in your area.
Now's the time, then, to give thanks to the many fans who first discovered Evangelion as a comic book, and especially to all those who wrote into the monthly comic's column, "Misato's Fan Service Center," MFSC, with its fantastic letters, fan art, comics, and even mix CDs (of music to listent to Eva by) was a great forum to discuss this extraordinary series—everything from events such as Columbine or 9/11, to the likely progress of a date with Rei or the prospects of the South Park kids as Eva pilots.
A special shout-out to three overseas fans with whom I'll now not get the chance to chat in MFSC—one from Northern Ireland, Mr. Colin Tate; and two from England, Ms, Louise Doherty (thank you for all the wonderful airmail), and Ms. Maria Violentano; a.k.a. Mia, a.k.a. Neely_Pritt, kicking it old skool, aiiight? Mia-kun, I hope you're not too upset over Ritsuko-sempai this volume—these days, every time I hear Coldplay's "The Scientist" I think of her.