The September 2021 issue of Shueisha’s Saikyō Jump magazine kicked off a “Dragon Ball Super Gallery” series in commemoration of the Dragon Ball franchise’s upcoming 40th anniversary. The celebration aims to have different artists all contribute their own spin on the original 42 tankōbon covers, with the images and an accompanying comment published as the magazine’s back cover.
Following the previous seventeen entries, this month’s February 2023 issue brings us Kentarō Yabuki (Black Cat, To Love Ru) and their take on the series’ 31st volume cover:
I first got into comics by looking at Dragon Ball, studying how to split pages into panels and having fun drawing the adventures of Goku and the gang on my notebook when I was in elementary school. Who would’ve thought that I would be able to enjoy a new comic with Goku’s adventures even in my forties?… And to top it off, that I would be allowed to contribute a drawing of the Artificial Humans that I like so much to this project? I really want to go back and tell all of this to my younger self. Toriyama-sensei, congratulations on Dragon Ball‘s 40th anniversary!
Yabuki has a fascinating and extensive history with Dragon Ball, extending all the way back to 1995 where he won the “Cool Prize” award for his fan fusion contest submission of “Gohanks”… when he was fifteen years old!
Saikyō Jump is currently a monthly magazine published in Japan by Shueisha under the “Jump” line of magazines. The magazine began as a quarterly publication in 2012, went monthly in 2013, went bimonthly in late-2014, and returned to a monthly format in 2021 (including a digital release for the first time). The magazine’s focus is spin-off and supplementary manga series aimed at a young audience, while also including game promotions, news coverage, and more. The magazine currently serializes content such as Yoshitaka Nagayama’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultra God Mission!!!! manga series, Yūji Kasai’s Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Avatars!! manga series, and the Dragon Ball GT Anime Comic. For calendar year 2019, Shueisha reported Saikyō Jump‘s circulation down at 130,000, with readership as 58.5% upper elementary school, 28% lower middle school, 11% middle school, and 2.5% high school or older.