Akira was originally published in 1988 in the United States through Epic comics which is a part of Marvel Comics. This was a colorized version that ran in 38-issues and ended in 1995. Steve Oliff was the one who colored the series and was hand picked out by Otomo himself (author and artist of AKIRA). Mr. Oliff even used computer coloring after persuading Marvel and it became the fist on going comic to ever get the computer coloring. It was fantastic coloring by him and was a marvel.
I got number 1436 of 1500 of volume Two. Number 780 of 1500 for volume Three.
Delays in the publication were caused by Otomo from retouching the artwork for the Japanese version and that is why there were delays in the end of the serialization for the Epic English version so it took a few years to publish those last 8 issues.
Marvel then planned to collect colorized versions as a 13-volume paperback series and teamed up with Grapitti Designs to release six limited-edition hardcover volumes but the collected editions ceased in 1993. Of the hard cover versions, there were only 1,500 made of each volume (1-5).This is the hardcover Volume 2
The final 3 paperbacks and the sixth hardcover never got published......Later on Dark Horse Comics picked it up (Titan Books in UK) and printed out six volumes in paperback version which are actually hard to find today. This publication was printed in black and white, not colored.
All information I used is from Wikipedia
Graphitti Designs logo on back inside of the dust cover
Back of book for Volume Two
I now have three of these hard covers, volume 2-4, I lost the bidding for the fifth one on there. I have volumes 2 and 5 of the dark horse and have the Barnes & Nobel version of volume one which is a hardcover but it is black and white. Volume six is a hard one to find but you can see it for buy it now on Ebay for $70 or so which is a lot for me.
I am happy that I have the few 1-38 Marvel Epic comic run in near mint condition. If you have not read Akira and just watched the movie you really should take the time. It is a fantastic series especially if you can see it in color. I love the art (as you can tell).
Collecting Akira things is a big hobby of mine and they are usually hard to find, especially these hardcover limited editions where only 1,500 were made of each hardcover volume.