Dirk at Journalista confirms that Fantagraphics, one of the homes of quality comics publishing in our book, is to publish a manga line (although I suppose since Fanta used to publish Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo you could say they’ve published a manga series before). From Dirk’s post on Journalista: “For the past four years or so, manga scholar and translator Matt Thorn, Gary Groth and I have been working on a manga line for Fantagraphics, which Matt will edit. The first two releases will be a collection of short stories by shojo-manga godmother Moto Hagio (entitled A Drunken Dream and Other Stories) and the first volume of Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son, a tale of transgendered youth.”
(promotional art for A Drunken Dream & Other Stories by Moto Hagio, to be published by Fantagraphics)
Fantagraphics has more details on the first two books – which will be published as hardbacks in the right to left manga style – on their site and also announces that Moto Hagio will be making her first visit to the US to be a special guest at Comic-Con International this year. I have to say manga is still one area of comics which I simply don’t know a lot about – I’ve read and enjoyed some well known titles like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, dabbled in some others that seemed to cover unusual subject matters like With the Light, but it’s still a whole, diverse area I’m sadly not over-familiar with (then again none of us can read everything! But I do try!); I’ve probably got more anime in my film collection than manga on my bookshelves. We know Fanta as champions of quality comics work from around the world, so if they are putting their name to a new line then I’m interested; I suspect that this line, like other high quality manga publications such as the work from Fanfare/Ponent Mon or Vertical Inc could be a good way of encouraging those of us with little manga reading under our belt to pick them up and give them a go.