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Category >> manga

Now in stock: Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakonew releasesmanga 5 Jul 2011 1:06 AM

Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son Vol. 1
by Shimura Takako

208-page black & white/color 7" x 9.5" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-416-0

See Previews / Order Now

The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Written and drawn by one of today’s most critically acclaimed creators of manga, Shimura portrays Shuishi and Yoshino’s very private journey with affection, sensitivity, gentle humor, and unmistakable flair and grace. Volume one introduces our two protagonists and the friends and family whose lives intersect with their own. Yoshino is rudely reminded of her sex by immature boys whose budding interest in girls takes clumsily cruel forms. Shuichi’s secret is discovered by Saori, a perceptive and eccentric classmate. And it is Saori who suggests that the fifth graders put on a production of The Rose of Versailles for the farewell ceremony for the sixth graders — with boys playing the roles of women, and girls playing the roles of men.

Wandering Son is a sophisticated work of literary manga translated with rare skill and sensitivity by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako + A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio

Exclusive Savings: Order Wandering Son Vol. 1 together with A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio — the first two books in our manga line — and save 20% off the combined cover price!

Daily OCD: 6/29/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoShimura TakakoRoy CranereviewsmangaLou ReedJim WoodringDave McKeanDaily OCDCaptain Easy21 29 Jun 2011 6:54 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "...[Wandering Son] is absolutely fantastic and deserves every one of the awards it will doubtless win. ...[I]t’s an honest look at what Shu and Yoshino are going through. There’s no magic pool, no funny crossdressing, no easy solution to the dilemma that these two face. What I also like about the series is that its secondary characters are often just as interesting as the main pair: they’re all in fifth grade, after all, when everyone is struggling with their identities and the consequences thereof. Shu and Yoshino just get the worst of it." – Ted Anderson, The Hub (YALSA)

Congress of the Animals

Review: "Woodring’s someone whose work demands repeated reads. For longtime fans, Congress of the Animals is another puzzle piece in Woodring’s complicated world of art. For newcomers, it’s likely going to be the first enjoyable step of discovering that world and Woodring’s back catalogue." – Nick Dean, Skyscraper Magazine

Plug: Seattle Weekly's Brian Miller recommends Jim Woodring's appearance at Elliott Bay Book Company tomorrow evening and says of Congress of the Animals, "Frank's adventures take place in a kind of Byzantine fun-house phantasmagoria of windows-slash-orifices, faces without faces, and extruded intestines. The spirit is like Disney meets Hieronymus Bosch, a comic surrealism in which Frank undergoes an exile and return from his beloved home."

Plug: Gurldoggie also spotlights Jim Woodring's upcoming appearance

Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips Vol. 2 (1936-1937)

Review: "In this selection [Captain Easy, Soldier of Fortune Vol. 2] Roy Crane’s irrepressible humour comes perfectly into focus and this enchanting serial abounds with breezy light-hearted banter, hilarious situations and outright farce... This superb hardback and colossal second collection is the perfect means of discovering or rediscovering Crane’s rip-snorting, pulse-pounding, exotically racy adventure trailblazer. The huge pages in this volume... provide the perfect stage to absorb and enjoy the classic tale-telling of a master raconteur. This is storytelling of impeccable quality: unforgettable, spectacular and utterly irresistible. These tales rank alongside the best of Hergé, Tezuka, Toth and Kirby and unarguably fed the imaginations of them all as he still does for today’s comics creators." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

The Raven

Interview: At New York magazine's Vulture blog, Jennifer Vineyard talks to Lou Reed about adapting Edgar Allen Poe for The Raven (among other topics): "Do you know what it’s like to try to rewrite one of the most famous poems in the history of the world? It’s a can’t-win situation. No one is ever going to say that the rewrite is better than the original. That’s not going to happen."

Celluloid [Pre-Order]

Interview: At the Suicide Girls website, Alex Dueben talks to Dave McKean about his new book Celluloid: "It’s always a bit strange doing something that is exclusively about sex and putting it out for people to look at. There are people who are bound to draw some sort of parallel between you as an individual and the stuff you’re putting in the book, which is not necessarily there to be drawn, but people do. So I tried to keep my identity out of it as much as possible."

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Profile: Time Out Chicago's Jonathan Kinkley profiles local boy Wilfred Santiago: "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is a lovingly written and superbly illustrated biography of the baseball legend.... Stylistically, he considers himself something of a chameleon, tackling each challenge with a new visual approach. 'Actors change accents to play different characters,' says the artist, 'and I have the same graphic flexibility to interpret different kinds of stories.'"

Daily OCD: 6/24/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoShannon WheelerreviewsmangaLorenzo MattottiLewis TrondheimJim WoodringJacques TardiDaily OCD 27 Jun 2011 6:33 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1

Review: "Gender-bending is nothing new in manga, but it's rare to see the transgender sexual identity issues depicted in a realistic way, rather just as a plot gimmick. With her spare, elegant art and slice-of-life storytelling, Shimura resists the urge to use sensationalism, to tell her sweet and sensitive, albeit unusual, coming-of-age tale.... Just as Shimura treats her two tween characters with respect, so does Fantagraphics' hardcover edition of this story. By presenting Shimura's simple, yet elegant artwork in a larger page format and reproducing her lovely color pages on thick, creamy paper, Fantagraphics has showcased this story in a very special way. The translation is also worth noting, for finding a happy medium between conversational English and maintaining the Japanese setting of this story. Wandering Son is a refreshing example of a graphic novel that gives readers a glimpse of a life rarely seen and a story rarely told. Worth a read, and worth sharing." – Deb Aoki, About.com — Manga

Review: "In Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jacques Tardi present an unrelenting and unforgiving French noir graphic novel by two masters of the genre. As straight as a shotgun’s barrel and as tight as a bullet, the story bulldozes over people and ethics to an ending that is as merciless as the protagonists themselves. Highly recommended." – Bart Croonenborghs, Broken Frontier

Approximate Continuum Comics

Review: "If you’re not familiar with Trondheim’s cartooning (and hoo-boy, you should be), he blends funny-animal body-types with breezily convincing cityscapes to create an imminently readable and visually gorgeous narrative. Trondheim is one of the easiest cartoonists to read, and one of the most satisfying to experience. Approximate Continuum Comics wanders far and wide among topics and settings, but the whole book also tells one long tale about a period in its creator’s life, and by the time you’re done with it you feel you’ve spent some very worthwhile time with a great storyteller. Because you have." – Alan David Doane, Trouble with Comics

Stigmata [Pre-Order - with Special Offer]

Review: "In their graphic novel Stigmata, Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti have created an exceptional example of a successful collaboration of art and text. Stigmata, which tells the story of a man suddenly afflicted with the eponymous phenomenon, is rendered entirely in astonishingly frenetic, swirling line work. Mattotti has hidden a world of grotesqueries under a smokescreen of pen and ink, and through his perfectly restrained, gritty parable, Piersanti shapes that world into a contemplative and captivating read." – Jeff Alford, About.com

Review: "For a reader who knows little or nothing about religious tradition outside the caricatures created through self-promoters of the strident and extreme, by those who abuse their faith and others under the cloak of religion, or by the media this story [Stigmata] may very well intrigue, horrify, and maybe even move. It is not a doctrinaire work; it is a human one." – Grant Barber, Three Percent (University of Rochester)

Congress of the Animals

Interview: At The Comics Journal, Nicole Rudick talks to Jim Woodring: "I had the story before I knew I was going to do it as a hundred-page comic, and those Frank stories kind of write themselves. I set out to gather material for them and when I have enough of it, and it’s the right kind of stuff that fits together in such a way, it makes a whole that works. So I didn’t really set out to write Congress of the Animals as a personal story, but once I had the story in hand and I realized that it was that personal — I had that in mind all the time I was drawing it and that influenced some of the visuals, the factory, for example, and the faceless men."

Oil & Water by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler

Commentary: This week's guest contributor to Robot 6's "What Are You Reading?" feature is Oil & Water artist Shannon Wheeler

Plug (Video): Harvard Book Store's Ryan Mita recommends The Arctic Marauder by Jacques Tardi

This just in: Moto Hagio is adorable
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto HagioMatt Thornmangaawardsarbitrary cuteness 10 Jun 2011 4:01 PM

Moto Hagio and Matt Thorn

Matt Thorn, editor/translator of our manga books, tweeted: "Me with Moto Hagio at tonight's Japan Cartoonist Association award ceremony, where Hagio was a recipient." Hooray! (And love the new hairstyle!)

But here is the pièce de résistance: "A photo I took earlier tonight of Moto Hagio in cat ears. No, seriously. Not Photoshopped." Excuse me while I go DIE FROM CUTENESS.

Moto Hagio - photo by Matt Thorn

Shimura Takako's new story Awajima Hyakkei
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under webcomicsShimura Takakomanga 9 Jun 2011 2:35 AM

Awajima Hyakkei - Shimura Takako

Wandering Son creator Shimura Takako has just begun a new series titled Awajima Hyakkei (One Hundred Views of Awajima), serialized at the web manga site Pocopoco. I can't read it but it sure looks pretty! Wandering Son translator and editor of our manga line Matt Thorn introduces the series and provides some context and outspoken commentary that you won't want to miss on his blog.

Daily OCD: 6/6/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsMichael KuppermanmangaJasonDaily OCD 6 Jun 2011 7:29 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Review: "The creator [of Wandering Son], Shimura Takako, is a well-established manga artist recognized for her LBGT focus, certainly not your usual manga fare. In the series’ debut-in-English, Shimura treats both protagonists’  journeys of self-discovery with gentle honesty; her characters are wide-eyed and adorable, uncertain and searching." – Terry Hong, BookDragon (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program)

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "...I was pretty intrigued to see how Jason’s illustration would work with someone else’s writing. The short answer is that it works amazingly well.... The Isle of 100,000 Graves is an inventive and original tale, filled to the brim with absurd and hilarious dialogue, delivered with impeccable timing by Fabien Vehlmann. The story is brought to life with wonderful artwork by Jason, and eye popping colours by Hubert. I can’t recommend this book highly enough, I don’t think I’ve laughed this much at a comic in years!" – Edward Kaye, Hypergeek

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

Plug: Comic Book Resources' Greg Burgas takes note of a couple of our upcoming releases as seen in the current issue of Previews

Daily OCD: 5/27/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura TakakoreviewsmangaJim WoodringJasonDaily OCD 27 May 2011 6:49 PM

Online Commentary & Diversions returns after a rare link-free day yesterday:

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Review: "I’ve read many gentle, nostalgic manga about school and growing up, and in many ways Wandering Son is not so different from the best of them... On another level, the very fact that it can be so quiet and casual and natural, and say all the things that it says, makes it a deeply impressive work. What Wandering Son says, above all, is that the kids are alright. Maybe they don’t believe it themselves right now. But they’ll make it through." – Shaenon Garrity, The Comics Journal

I Killed Adolf Hitler - Jason

Feature: One of our most frequently asked questions from fans is where to start with Jason. He has so many great books you can't really go wrong with any of them, but Robot 6's Chris Mautner offers some solid recommendations in his latest "Comics College" guide.

Rubik

Investigation: Brian Cronin of Comic Book Resources gets to the bottom of a burning question: Did Jim Woodring design Rubik the Amazing Cube?

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Shimura Takakonew releasesMoto Hagiomanga 25 May 2011 3:39 AM

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako

Wandering Son Vol. 1
by Shimura Takako

208-page black & white/color 7" x 9.5" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-416-0

Ships in: June 2011 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates. But they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. Written and drawn by one of today’s most critically acclaimed creators of manga, Shimura portrays Shuishi and Yoshino’s very private journey with affection, sensitivity, gentle humor, and unmistakable flair and grace. Volume one introduces our two protagonists and the friends and family whose lives intersect with their own. Yoshino is rudely reminded of her sex by immature boys whose budding interest in girls takes clumsily cruel forms. Shuichi’s secret is discovered by Saori, a perceptive and eccentric classmate. And it is Saori who suggests that the fifth graders put on a production of The Rose of Versailles for the farewell ceremony for the sixth graders — with boys playing the roles of women, and girls playing the roles of men.

Wandering Son is a sophisticated work of literary manga translated with rare skill and sensitivity by veteran translator and comics scholar Matt Thorn.

Download a 20-page PDF excerpt of the entire first chapter (3.3 MB).

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Wandering Son Vol. 1 by Shimura Takako + A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio

Exclusive Savings: Order Wandering Son Vol. 1 together with A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio — the first two books in our manga line — and save 20% off the combined cover price!

Daily OCD: 5/6-5/10/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under reviewsPrince ValiantPeter BaggeMoto HagioMickey MousemangaLeslie SteinJoyce FarmerJoe SaccoJoe DalyHal FosterGilbert HernandezGahan WilsonFrank SantoroFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCD 11 May 2011 12:59 AM

Catching up on our Online Commentary & Diversions:

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley

Review: "...Fantagraphics Books’ new Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: “Race to Death Valley” contains all you need to know to revel in the very different, deeply pleasurable work of [Floyd] Gottfredson. Working with one of the most famous — and most anodyne — cartoon characters in the world, Gottfredson turned the grinning, goody-goody Mouse into a plucky, even reckless adventurer, his smile transformed from a people-pleasing smirk into a challenge to the world.... Gottfredson drew Mickey with a nosy snout and the bright eyes of an adrenalin junkie. The mouse’s diminutive size inspired Gottfredson to have the character attempt daredevil races, leaping stunts, and develop a flurry-fisted fighting style.... This beautiful volume gives the Great Rodent his humanity." – Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

Review: "Fantagraphics does a very smart thing with [Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 1], packing it full of historical materials to set the story for the comic strip. Having David Gerstein edit it is, of course, the smartest thing they could have done.... Simply put, it's the most extensive collection of 'extras' I've ever seen in one of these comic strip reprint series to date.... Reproductions are as great as you could ever hope for from material that's 80 years old and originally printed in the inkiest of newspapers you could imagine.... It's a kick to see this more interesting version of Mickey running around, saying and doing politically incorrect things. It's amazing to see how much detail an artist could pack into a small series of panels like this. But, most of all, it's a whole lot of fun." – Augie De Blieck Jr., Comic Book Resources

Review: "This is, first of all, superb material.... Way back when, [Mickey Mouse] had a continuity and some darn good stories, illustrated with dynamic and expressive art. It was everything you could have wanted a newspaper strip to be, including being quite funny at times...and even suspenseful. The book itself is perfect and by that I mean I can't think of a single way it could have been improved. The reproduction is sharp. The editorial material fills you in nicely about the history of the strip, plus there are articles that discuss its merits and significance. The volume itself is handsome and will look good on your shelf." – Mark Evanier

Plug: "You can download 19 pages from Fantagraphics' upcoming Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson now. I'm looking forward to this book, the first volume in a complete reprinting of Gottfredson's work on the Mouse." – Pop Culture Safari

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse - Free Comic Book Day 2011

Plugs: Some great press mentions for our Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Free Comic Book Day comic, including the AP's Matt Moore and Whitney Matheson of USA Today Pop Candy, who says "This is sort of what FCBD is about, isn't it? Fantagraphics presents Floyd Gottfredson's amazing old Mickey strips from 1935 that are still entertaining today. Perfect for all ages..." The Wright Opinion's Brendan Wright says "The line work is beautiful and fluid, with plenty of panels that are funny to look at without reading the words. Thorough as always with this type of project, Fantagraphics has provided both an intro by David Gerstein an an appreciation of Gottfredson by classic Disney animator and official Disney Legend Floyd Norman."

Isle of 100,000 Graves

Review: "For Isle of 100,000 Graves, the cartoonist Jason works with a writer, Fabien Vehlmann, for what is at least the first time in his strong North American publishing run. It's a fun collaboration over which to muse because it's hard to tell exactly what Vehlmann brings to the table. The writer has grasped onto Jason's use of deadpan humor and wistful character moments to an uncanny degree.... Because of this deliberate care in both building their personalities and working from them in terms of how they react to certain story moments, both leads come across as incredibly endearing. A story-ending plot twist almost gets lost in a by-that-point hilarious one-liner about the methods used in bringing it about." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Eye of the Majestic Creature

Review: "Underground-influenced comics fall into certain patterns — idiosyncratic art, rambling tales of daily life, copious use of mood-altering substances — but [Leslie] Stein makes hers [Eye of the Majestic Creature] fresh with the addition of a talking guitar.... Stein’s style is very readable, with sparse linework and a lead character that resembles a more tripped-out Little Orphan Annie, with huge blank buttons for eyes. Stein’s settings and other characters show more detail, especially in the complex stippling, demonstrating her outward focus.... Her world is full, even if it’s one that’s a bit off-kilter..." – Publishers Weekly

Hate Annual #9

Review: "Peter Bagge continues the saga of Lisa and Buddy Bradley and their son Harold in Hate Annual #9.... Peter Bagge has always made you care for these characters no matter what crazy problems they had. He has this rare gift of getting his readers to empathize with the drawings on the page and realizing them as real people.... Bagge shows us a very human side to the characters he creates and mirrors life in a sometimes painful way.... As we live our lives, we can look at these pages and see a little bit of ourselves in the drawn panels. This is what makes this series, and all previous ones, stand the test of time and remain a great read. Rating: 8.5" – The Comic Book Critic

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch continues serializing the transcript of Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversation with Peter Bagge: "I started drawing Buddy in 1980, when he was a member of The Bradleys. He was always 10 years younger than me. He started out as an adolescent — not always exactly 10 years. That’s on purpose, because that 10 years gives me space. When you’re going through a crisis or a rough time, it’s not funny, but 10 years later, you can look at the whole situation more objectively and find the humor in it."

Dungeon Quest, Book 2

Review: "[Joe Daly's] latest, award-winning, on-going project Dungeon Quest is a delightful combination of nerdy discipline and pharmaceutical excess... Happily marrying the sensibilities of post-grunge, teenaged waste-lads... with the meticulous and finicky obsessions of role-playing gamers and the raw thrill of primal myths, this captivating and wittily indulgent yarn is enchantingly rendered in solid, blocky friendly black and white and garnished with lashings of smart-ass attitude. Strength: vulgar. Intelligence: witty. Dexterity: compelling. Mana: absolutely. Status: unmissable." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

Palestine [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Plug: Rehmat's World looks at Joe Sacco's Palestine

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons [Bonus Exclusive Signed Print]

Interview: The Daily Cross Hatch begins serializing another of Brian Heater's MoCCA panel conversations, this time with Gahan Wilson: "The people who do horror stories and grim stuff are remarkably sweet people.... It was very odd. Why are horror writers like this? And it suddenly occurred to me — of course, what horror writers are writing about is the vulnerability of themselves and their readers and everybody and how fragile everything is.... They’re experts at being scared. If they weren’t experts at being scared, they wouldn’t write about being scared and scare other people."

Moto Hagio

Interview: If you read Japanese, enjoy excerpts from a conversation between Moto Hagio and her colleague Ryoko Yamagishi from Otome Continue Vol. 6 presented at Poco Poco

Joyce Farmer

Feature: All this week, the "Cartoonist's Diary" column at The Comics Journal is written by Joyce Farmer

Yeah!

Feature: Eye of the Majestic Creature creator Leslie Stein is the guest contributor in the latest installment of "What Are You Reading?" at Robot 6. Among her picks: Yeah! by Peter Bagge & Gilbert Hernandez: "Gilbert’s illustrations are excellent and Bagge’s writing is funny, as per usual."

TCJ.com

Craft: Frank Santoro's new "Layout Workbook" at TCJ.com examines some Hal Foster Prince Valiant pages

Moto Hagio wins Japan Cartoonist Award
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Moto Hagiomangaawards 11 May 2011 12:20 AM

Moto Hagio signing A Drunken Dream and Other Stories - Fantagraphics at Comic-Con 2010

Anime News Network reports that Moto Hagio (shown above at Comic-Con International last year) has received the 2011 Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award from the Japan Cartoonists Association of manga creators as part of their 40th annual Japan Cartoonist Awards. The honor is in recognition of her entire body of work, praised in the announcement as "revolutionary" and "of high quality." Congratulations!