Continuing with my news catch-up this week, one of the biggest stirs in the manga blogosphere recently is news that Fantagraphics is preparing to release books from a newly announced line of manga titles.
The company, who’s no stranger to publishing comics with gems such as Peanuts and Usagi Yojimbo under their belt, officially announced the line-up this past Wednesday. Their focus seems to be on less ‘manga-mainstream’ targeted titles, including the ever-apparently-risky classic shoujo.
“The first book, entitled A Drunken Dream, is a collection of literary short stories by Hagio falling into multiple genres, created between 1971-2007. This tome travels through several of Hagio’s most revolutionary and poignant tales that span over the years of her lush career.
In December 2010 comes one of the defining transgendered-centric manga, Wandering Son. Shimura Takako’s ongoing series follows two young friends, Shuichi and Yoshino. These 5th graders struggle not only with puberty, but also severe identity issues; Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy. The two find solace in their mutual confusion and help each other cope with their gender frustration while embarking on the complicated journey of growing up.”
These books aren’t Fantagraphics first foray into manga, having already released a couple relevant books including Tori Miki’s Anywhere But Here. This is the first time they’ve announced an actual line-up and there’s already lots of anticipation for what chances this could give more obscure titles when it comes to seeing a release in North America.
Knowing the quality of the books Fantagraphics releases, and really eager to own an English edition of Wandering Son, I’d say this is pretty great news. No complaints about another publisher bringing us more manga (especially one already so well established) and their choices are both bold and intriguing. Best of luck to them!