Robot 6

Fantagraphics releases details of new manga line [Updated]

Wandering Son

Wandering Son, Vol. 1

After brief acknowledgment on Monday afternoon, Fantagraphics Books now has officially announced its new manga line, which will debut in September with a collection of short stories by Moto Hagio, considered the mother of modern shojo.

News of the imprint, reportedly in development for four years, trickled out over the weekend after listings for the first two titles appeared early on The unnamed line, produced through a deal with Japanese publisher Shogakukan, will be edited by manga scholar and translator Matt Thorn. Each book will be released in hardcover and retain the original right-to-left manga format.

The debut title, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, collects 10 of Hagio’s literary short stories created between 1970 and 2007 (Thorn provides a list of the stories on his blog). In support of the book, Hagio will appear as a special guest at Comic-Con International in July.

“If I hadn’t encountered Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas (1974) at the tender age of 21-ish,” Thorn writes, “I would never have ended up on this peculiar career path.”

A Drunken Dream will be followed in December by the first volume of Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son, a multi-volume series about two fifth-grade friends — a boy who wants to be a girl, and a girl who wants to be a boy.

“Let me just say that fans of Anne of Green Gables or The Rose of Versailles should get some special thrills from it, with every succeeding thrill ‘thrillier than the last’,” Thorn writes.

Simon Jones and Christopher Butcher provide context and commentary on the announcement.

Update: Dirk Deppey comments at length about the line he helped to shepherd.



tales of brave ulysses

March 9, 2010 at 6:12 am

You know what would be really great? If Fantagraphics actually got around to publishing their Roy Crane reprint series before announcing a new line!!!

Four years of work to bring this to fruition? Holy crap! Talk about a long process. I hope it’s successful enough to make it worth the wait for the folks involved.

It would be nice if such things weren’t always “New Lines”, but just an announcement of a series. Unless the series interconnect in a shared universe, brands are pretty darn irrelevant to me as a reader.

This is fantastic news. I have been hunting far and wide for translations of Hagio Moto’s work, which is amazing comics. And Matt Thorn has produced some of my favorite English volumes of quality Japanese manga. This is going to be fantastic.

Your typical reader here is not going to care, because they’re firmly locked into the same-old shit diet as always, but there’s a whole lot of folks like me who are going to be doing backflips over this. There’s so much manga out there that isn’t Naruto that never makes it to the States. This is wonderful news for American comics readers.

WORD on that Roy Crane comment, and throw in more Prince Valiant too! But this IS great news.

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