Fantagraphics to publish manga

Published On March 10, 2010 | By Joe Gordon | Comics

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.”

a drunken dream Moto Hagio Fantagraphics

(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.

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

One Response to Fantagraphics to publish manga

  1. Steve says:

    “(although I suppose since Fanta used to publish Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo you could say they’ve published a manga series before)”

    Usagi Yojimbo is an ANTHROPOMORPHIC COMIC featuring samurai and other Japanese character types that is set in Japan and happens to be created by a 3rd generation Japanese-American cartoonist, it is not a manga (by any definition of the term).

    Here is just one of the many replies Stan Sakai has given to this question over the years….

    Interview: Stan Sakai: Down the Rabbit Hole with Usagi Yojimbo
    Published: April 5, 2001

    R.J. CARTER: So Usagi is written and drawn by a Japanese-American creator; it’s set in medieval Japan. Does that qualify it as manga?

    STAN SAKAI: I don’t believe it’s manga. The storytelling style is completely different from the Japanese style. In Western storytelling, there’s a beginning, middle and end. In Japanese storytelling, they concentrate so much on the middle, and sometimes the end is even unnecessary or not included in the storyline. I tend to write from a very European, or very Western, point of view and so I don’t believe I would consider it manga.