A new magazine will run manga series by cartoonists from around the world featuring characters created by manga legend Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989).

Tezuka Mix will be launched April 30 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Tezuka's birth.

The highlight is a new series based on the story of the classic film “Roman Holiday,” but which incorporates Tezuka’s “Princess Knight.”

Illustrated by Mauricio de Sousa, 82, Brazil’s beloved cartoonist who had a close friendship with Tezuka, the series will be published as a comic book in Japan and Brazil after it finishes its run.

More than a dozen artists and authors from Japan, France and elsewhere are joining the project. From Japan, Hiroyuki Takei will be running a new manga based on “Astro Boy,” while Kotobuki Shiriagari will start a parody of “Ambassador Magma.”

Each title will be a self-contained episode series.

The new magazine will be released by Micromagazine Publishing Co. with the help of Tokyo-based Tezuka Productions Co.

There will also be a column series on manga by entrepreneur Takafumi Horie.

The new series by de Sousa is titled “Princess Night (Princess Knight × Roman Holiday)” in an apparent tribute to Tezuka’s manga whose original Japanese title is “Ribbon no Kishi” (Knight of ribbons).

The first episode will be published in the inaugural issue. The 30-page-per-episode series will run bimonthly, bringing the total number of pages for the six-episode series to 180.

The classic U.S. film “Roman Holiday,” released in 1953, centers around Princess Ann, who goes off to Rome incognito while on a state visit to the city and falls in love with a newspaper reporter.

Meanwhile, Tezuka’s “Princess Knight," which started its serialization in 1953, is about villain-fighting Princess Sapphire, who ends up having both boy and girl hearts because of a trick played on her by an angel named Tink.

Developed by Tezuka Productions, the new story sees Princess Ann as the reincarnation of Princess Sapphire. Angel Tink and devil Hekate are engaged in a battle over Princess Ann.

The unique project all started when staffers at Tezuka Productions realized that Ann and Sapphire had similar vibes and that it might be interesting to entwine the two stories.

De Sousa, whom the production company decided to ask to provide illustrations for the new series, is a nationally recognized cartoonist referred to as the “Disney of Brazil.” A fan of Tezuka, he had a close friendship with the legendary manga artist before his death.

De Sousa made the acquaintance of Tezuka when the Japanese author visited Brazil in 1984. The two artists became so close that they visited each other’s homes and studios and exchanged opinions.

They also had promised to make a peace-seeking adventure movie together. When de Sousa visited Japan in 1989, Tezuka, who was being treated for terminal cancer at a hospital, came to see the Brazilian cartoonist at his hotel and talked with him for two hours.

Tezuka told him that he regretted incorporating somewhat violent content in his early works, before telling his friend to continue to send positive messages without changing his style, the company added.

Tezuka passed away several weeks later.

To fulfill their promise, de Sousa created a story in which characters from his cartoon “Monica’s Gang” and Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” and other works join hands to protect the rainforest in Amazon from illegal logging that leads to the environmental destruction of the Earth.

This time around, Tezuka Productions approached de Sousa and commissioned him to provide the illustrations for the latest collaboration. Although the company is in charge of creating dialogue, the series will also feature de Sousa’s characters.

“If we were to ask someone to draw Tezuka’s illustrations, it would have to be Mr. de Sousa,” Masato Ishiwata, 56, manager of the creative department at Tezuka Productions, said. “Because it is ‘Roman Holiday,’ we are eyeing the global market.”

“Tezuka was a big star for me and a great friend in his last years,” de Sousa told The Asahi Shimbun over the phone.

“Tezuka still lives in the hearts of people because he had given his whole heart and soul to create his works. I feel like I am working with Tezuka as if I had forgotten that time has passed while working on the new project.”