Monday, April 20, 2009


ANN and other sites are reporting that Asahi Shinbun recently announced the winners of the 13th Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, which honors the highest achievements each year in manga in Japan.

The grand prize was shared between two worthy and cool titles, Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga and A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

The coolest part? Suehiro Maruo's book, Panorama-tou Kidan (The Strange Tale of Panorama Island) won the New Artist Prize! CONGRATS, UNCLE MARUO!

As I've blogged about before (and any self-respecting Same Hat reader should know), the book is a ~300 page adaptation of a novella by Japanese detective fiction godfather, Edogawa Rampo. The story takes place at the end of the Taisho era, and follows an unsuccessful science fiction author with an uncanny resemblance to a former classmate/son of a rich industrialist family. When the industrialist's son dies, the author fakes his own death, digs up and hides the other man's body, then washes himself up starving on a beach in a town where the dead man's family lives. After some more intrigue and scheming, he proceeds to take redirect all of their money to build a mysterious pleasure palace island, and live like a sensual weirdo king. Crazy and amazing stuff!

I've read this book 4 or 5 times now, and I absolutely love it--- It's by far Maruo's most elegant and beautiful line work to date, and his pages coupled with Rampo's excellent (albeit crazy/abrupt at the end!) and twisted tale = TOTAL WIN.

In addition to the prestige and bump in book sales, "1 million yen (US$10,000) goes to the winner of the New Artist Prize. The prize will be awarded to the winners in person on June 5 in Tokyo. FRESH.


ejiki said...

congratulations mauro!

Azraelito said...

Incredible, today I am reading gichi gichi the kid!!

the maruo connection ajajajaja...

it is for kids, it doesnt have any gore or something strange!!

but it still has a lot of storytelling and interesting ideas!!

I hope to glenat, a publisher in spain to publish this thing these year!!

It looks pretty cool!!

is it worth the new book??

apart from that I got drifting life today and a manga called Toshikatsu Ue by Shigeyasu Takeno, in spanish is Relatos de un carbonero...

saludos as always from argentina..

Ryan S said...

@Baka: Hurray hurray

@Azraelito: What a nice coincidence :) That's a great book-- would be an interesting book to license and release in English. I wonder how people would like it?

Glenat is publishing Panorama-tou Kitan, I have heard that confirmed... They licensed the book last Fall :)

The new book is absolutely great, one of my favorites by Maruo. The ending is whack, but that's Rampo's fault, not Maruo. It's still an excellent (and beautiful!) book.

I don't know that Takeno book by the title... can you post a pic of the cover? :)

Saludos from hot-as-hell San Francisco (Spring heatwave!)

myrto said...

Cool news! I like Yoshinaga and Tatsumi, as well, so great! And I bought "Panorama-tou Kitan" during my trip to Tokyo, the art is as always top though less erogurro than Maruo usually is (I don't know Japanese so no comments about the story, just hoping that it will get translated to french or smt). But I have to ask isn't the "New Artist Prize" reserved for, well, *new* artists?

Ryan S said...

@myrto: That's great that you got the book too-- it's a good bunch winning the awards. I updated my post a little with plot details about the book.

It's less ero-guro manga, and more like proper "erotic-grotesque-nonsense" in the historical sense-- about modernity and body and sexual mores.

I have no idea why/how he is up for the "new artist" prize, but maybe it has something to do with the size of the book/print run?? i dunno. But good for him!

Anonymous said...

Nice that Maruo won, but in what world is he a "new artist"?

jimpac said...

Panorama Island is definitely high on my list of 'projects I am hoping Ryan Sands is currently working on for American indie publishers to publish later this year.'
Yeah, I know that list has a long ass title but y'all know you're thinking the same thing!

Ryan S said...

@Anonymous: I hear you, who knows what is going on there

@jimpac: No comment, dude.

So, what other titles are alsoon that list of stuff you hope I'm working on in secret? :B

Azraelito said...

first of all

the cover of the manga that I owed you!!

I hope to have more things of Maruo

I have Doctor Inugami, Gichi gichi the kid, Lunatic Lovers, Midori, Monstruos de color rosa( in english would be the monsters of the pink colour!!it is one of his first works, it is a collection of short stories including caligari!!) and la sonrisa del vampiro or laughing vampire!!

I also have comics underground japan that has a short story of him about a near future with the japanese winning over the united states in war!

apart from that I read in scan

Paranoia Star a nice Book and Ultra Gash inferno, the last one it is a rare gem of maruo and a difficult to find!!

that is all!!

Very nice his artbooks...

-exibition one and two really big masterpieces!!

-the one with kazuichi hanawa I only see the work of maruo, not all the things of hanawa!!

that is all!!

Now I finishes reading me and the devil blues of akira hiramoto!!Incredible author and storytelling!!

saludos from a cold argentina!!

It is autumm here..

Ryan S said...

@Azraelito: Thanks for the scan, dude! I don't know this book at all... gonna do some more digging around :)

Sounds like you are reading a lot of manga lately! I am about 3/4 the way through Tatsumi's autobiography... it's really incredible and dense and educational for me :) I haven't read Me & The Devil Blues, but everyone keeps recommending it.

That book of Maruo's is usually called, "Rose-Colored Monsters" in English... I actually don't have my copy of Ultra Gash Inferno in English anymore (bummer!) but I know Evan has one... it goes for like $80 or so on ebay, since it's so out of print.

In my opinion, it'd be interesting to see Gichi-Gichi Kid or his newer stuff out in English... I love a lot of his oldest books (Yume no Q-Saku, New Nationalist Kid) but I'd prefer to see his later works be what re-introduces him to English readers :) You Spanish, French and Italian speakers have it good.

jimpac said...

Gichi-Gichi Kid is another one on my list! :)
Mainly because I love Maruo's artwork but couldn't ever completely get into a lot of his Ero-Guro stuff (I also don't have my copy of Ultra Gash anymore, I lent it to a friend and it apparently got lost when his parents moved houses).
Other things that are on there would be a Tsuge collection, Hellstar Remina, more Hanakuma or some Takashi Nemoto and, finally, the remaining chapters of Even a monkey can draw manga! I was so upset when Viz stopped this title that I completely gave up reading comics for about 2 years or something!

Ryan S said...

@lucozademymotherpan: What's the point of all this? Posts on this blog (and comments by folks) make up like 1% of my day and maybe 5% of my interests. I don't get (or care to know) what makes you all hostile.

Thanks for spending 11 minutes on the site dicking around and coming up with the insightful comment.


Good times

elis said...

ultra gash inferno is only a ocidental compilation...