On Monday, Oct. 21, in Beverly Hills, Calif., fans of a Japanese manga (a comic or graphic novel) were playing a blind-tasting wine game app to win bottles of ultra-rare Bordeaux and Burgundies while sampling a Waygu Philly cheesesteak from noted chef José Andrés. The previous day, a separate pack of fans had done the same thing while enjoying Thomas Keller’s lobster mac ’n’ cheese in California’s Napa Valley.
Cheering them on were the Japanese creators of Kami no Shizuku, or Drops of God, created by brother and sister Shin and Yuko Kibayashi, under the pseudonym Tadashi Agi, and drawn by artist Shu Okimoto. The authors were celebrating the debut of all 44 volumes of their smash hit manga in English translation. Amazon’s digital comics division, ComiXology Originals, and partner-publisher Kodansha have just released the first 11; the rest will appear over the coming year—along with a new, online wine club whose offerings reflect the authors’ tastes and wine philosophy.