Butterflies ominously proliferate as children whisper rumors of a mysterious creature lurking in the tunnel behind the school. To appease its wrath, they decide to offer it a sacrifice — a human one. But this is only the beginning of Nijigahara Holograph, which takes place in two separate timelines and involves the suicidal Amahiko; Kohta, the lovestruck bully; their teacher Miss Sakaki, whose heavily bandaged face remains a mystery; and many more brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, teachers, aggressors and victims who are all inextricably linked to one another. Ten years later, all will have to face what they've done or suffered through — and maybe the end of the world.
Nijigahara Holograph — complex, challenging, and elliptical — was named one of the most anticipated new manga at Comic-Con International: San Diego. Hailed as a voice of the current generation in Japan, Inio Asano, whose Solanin was nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards (and was made into a feature film), delves into David Lynchian territory with this psychological horror story.
"Inio Asano is one of the best new manga creators, hands down." – Shaenon Garrity, About.com
"Inio Asano is one of the great emerging voices in manga… [Nijigahara Holograph] is guaranteed to be one of the books of the year, and should help cement Asano's reputation." – ComicsAlliance
"Asano is so young, and [his] ability to talk about human nature, and the distress of becoming an adult is equally painful and beautiful. [He] is in my opinion one of the best and more moving storytellers working nowadays." – Emma Rios (Pretty Deadly)
Even as butterflies ominously proliferate in town, the rumor of a mysterious creature lurking in the tunnel behind the school spreads among the children. When the body of Arié Kimura's mother is found by this tunnel's entrance, next to apparently human traces, the legend seems to be confirmed. Is the end of the world coming? In order to appease the wrath of the beast, the children decide to offer it a sacrifice: The unfortunate Arié, whom they believe to be the cause of the curse, is shoved into a well that leads to the Nijigahara tunnel — an act that in turns pushes Komatsuzaki, the budding thug who has carried a torch for Arié for a while already, entirely over the edge.
But this is only the beginning of the complex, challenging, obliquely told Nijigahara Holograph, which takes place in two separate timelines and involves the suicidal Suzuki; Higure, his stalkerish would-be girlfriend; their teacher Miss Sakaki, whose heavily bandaged face remains a mystery; and many more — brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, teachers, aggressors and victims who are all inextricably linked to one another and all will eventually — ten years later — have to live with what they’ve done or suffered through.
Asano, whose Solanin was nominated for the 2009 Eisner and Harvey comics awards (and which was made into a feature film in 2010), delves into disturbing territory with this Lynchian horror story, told in his unnervingly crisp and detailed panels.
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Wandering Son Vol. 7 (coming Summer 2014) or Vols. 7 & 8 (coming Winter 2014/2015) to your order for just $19.99 each, a savings of at least $5 off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product page to make your selection.
Shimura Takako’s sensitive and charming series about two middle-schoolers wrestling with their gender identities continues.
In Volume 6 of Wandering Son, our protagonists are riffing on the play Romeo and Juliet for the school festival. Nitori-kun, the boy who wants to be a girl, and Chiba-san, the girl who has a crush on him, co-wrote the script (in Vol. 5), but Chiba-san has an agenda. She wants to play Romeo, with Nitori-kun in the role of Juliet. But Nitori-kun wants Takatsuki-san, the girl who wants to be a boy, to play Romeo. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men... casting is to be decided by fate, with names drawn randomly.
Big sis Maho plans a trip to the beach with her boyfriend, but her parents send Nitori-kun along as an unwilling chaperone. Faced with unwanted changes to their growing bodies, Takatsuki-san discovers the wonders of “breast binders,” while Nitori-kun considers bras.
Inio Asano's Solanin was one of the most acclaimed manga to reach our shores in the previous decade (and a feature film back home in Japan), and anticipation is high for our English edition of Asano's Nijigahara Holograph (translated by Matt Thorn). Our advance copies arrived last week and Jen and Kristy got into a tug-of-war over who got the first one. There should be an adequate quantity of copies of this complex, gripping psychological/supernatural thriller to go around in February, but why risk it? Pre-order your copy now.
If you visit the main page of the Kickstarter, you'll also see that Art Spiegelman has donated several (11 total) different prints, all signed by the cartoonist himself. Here is one such beauty listed as SPIEGELMAN 10: a wrap around cover from a Boris Vian book, Vercoquin and the Plankton. Circa 1982 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #11: Vian 8 "A Snake for Everyone (librettos, songs and scenes), signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1985 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #9: Vian 6 I Wouldn't Want to Croak and Other Poems, signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1985 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #8: Vian 5 Dead Men All Have the Same Skin signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1980 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #7: Vian 4 "The Commissar and the Green Panther, signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1984 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #6: Vian 3. Hundred Sonnets, wrap around cover from a Boris Vian volume, signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1989 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #5: "Vian 2" proof for Vian's collected short stories volume1, signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1986 7 3/4 x 11" ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #4: "Mood Indigo" wrap around cover from a Boris Vian volumes, published in Germany, signed by Spiegelman. Circa 1986 ($80)
SPIEGELMAN #3: Printers proofs of wrap-around cover to Paul Auster's New York Trilogy novels signed by Spiegelman, size approximately 18 3/4" x 9 1/4" 2006. ($100)
SPIEGELMAN #2: Artist proofs 2 color print, circa 1994. Size approximately 18 1/2" x 21" ($150)
SPIEGELMAN #1: Signed AP offset print from the 2010 Sollies Ville comics festival, size 19 3/4"x27 1/2" ($250) 3 available
We continue to thank you for your generosity and hope to see just a little more in these last few days of the Kickstarter.
Shimura Takako’s sensitive and charming series about two middle- schoolers wrestling with their gender identities continues.
Nitori Shuichi, the boy who wants to be a girl, and Takatsuki Yoshino, the girl who wants to be a boy, continue navigating the infatuations, jealousies, and embarrassments of preteen relationships during their first year of junior high.
Chiba-san won’t make up with Takatsuki-san, and no one can get over his or her crush. Takatsuki-san envies Chizuru-san’s boldness for showing up to school in a boy’s uniform, and begrudgingly shops for a bra. Nitori-kun and Mako (who also identifies as a girl) decide to record their voices to preserve them before they change. And: what’s up with the newbie teacher? There’s another gender-bending play in the works?!
Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the GLBT community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification as they slowly realize that maybe they aren't who they were meant to be.
In this latest volume, love is in the air. It's in the trees and on the streets. It's hanging on the walls and piled in great heaps on the floor. Or is it really love? These sixth and seventh graders don't really know. But something is definitely amiss. They can't sleep, and when they do sleep they have strange dreams. They get angry and cry for no reason. They blush and grin like idiots for no reason. And it isn't even spring. But the standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A.
And now it seems a good third of the alphabet is in love with our shy protagonist, Nitori-kun. But the flip-side of love is jealousy, and hate. The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug — even characters whose names you can't remember — Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsuki-san, and Chiba-san. Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school…
Wandering Son fans will be happy to know that we're catching up on our release schedule and Volume 5 is off to the printer now for release in August (barring any calamities), just 3 months after Volume 4, which is due later this month after a slight delay.
Which gender-specific uniform is a gender-questioning teen to wear to the junior-high entrance ceremony? Can new and old friendships survive romantic jealousy? These and other questions are addressed with uncommon insight in this volume of Shimura Takako's delightful, acclaimed dramedy.
"...[L]ike the best coming-of-age stories — comics or otherwise — Wandering Son is meticulously accurate in its details, but universal in its emotions. Gay or not, readers shouldn't find it too difficult to identify with kids who feel like their bodies and their friends are equally culpable in the worst kind of betrayal, preventing them from realizing the potential they see in themselves." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
We'll have more sneak peeks for you in the weeks to come; you can pre-order the volume right now. And it's not too late to get in on our 3-volume subscription, which gets you Vols. 4-6 with a smart discount and free shipping, with each volume sent to you as soon as they are released!