Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Over the past week, I was reminded about two upcoming books by a friend at D&Q and Same Hat reader Adam that I wanted to share here. Below are the details gathered from Amazon, and I'll continue to add links/images as I come across them.

(BTW, if you haven't seen Adam's manga review blog Complelely Futile, I strongly encourage you to check it. It's a bit light on visual stimulus but full of insightful reviews and essays on various untranslated manga).

Anyway, time to get stoked about the Fall!

1. GENKAKU PICASSO by Usumaru Furuya

Details here from the listing on Amazon
# Paperback: 256 pages
# Release: VIZ, November 2, 2010

Product Description
Hikari Hamura, nicknamed Picasso because of his natural artistic abilities, survived a horrible accident, but his friend Chiaki wasn't so lucky. Suddenly, Chiaki appears in front of him and tells him in order to keep living he must help the people around him. Can Hikari save people with his sketchbook and a 2B pencil?

About the Author
Furuya debuted as a manga artist in an avant-garde comics magazine called Garo in 1994. Since then, his manga have appeared in Young Sunday and other major weekly magazines. His work has also been published in English in VIZ's PULP magazine and Secret Comics Japan. VIZ published his book Short Cuts in 2003.

2. A SINGLE MATCH (Red Kimono) by Oji Suzuki

Details here from the listing on Amazon
# Paperback: 240 pages
# Release: Drawn & Quarterly, October 12, 2010

[This book was originally scheduled for a March 2010 release, under the title Red Kimono. My original post]

Product Description
In this collection of hauntingly elliptical short stories, Oji Suzuki explores memory, relationships, and loss with a loose narrative style, filling each tale with a sense of unfulfilled longing. He plumbs the dissolute depths of human psychology, literally bathing his characters in expansive shadows that paradoxically reveal as much as they obscure. A young man catches a cold after being soaked in the rain and is tended to by his grandmother. He drifts, dreaming of a train trip with an older brother he doesn’t have. A traveling salesman comes across a boy lying in the middle of the road and stops to have a cigarette and tell a story that sifts through memories of faces and places before settling back on the boy and pretending to not look at the stars. A young woman walks along the river with her bicycle and a friend who is nothing more than a disembodied head—discussing past times together, memories they have of each other.

About the Author
Although he touches on many of the same themes as his contemporaries in the field of postwar alternative manga—Yoshihiro Tsuge (L’Homme Sans Talent) and Seiichi Hayashi (Red Coloured Elegy)—Suzuki uses an ever shifting narrative approach and dashes of surrealist humor to distinguish his work from that of his peers.

Oji Suzuki was born in 1949 in Nagoya, Japan. He moved to Tokyo in 1967 and within two years his first short stories were published in the avant-garde Japanese comics magazine Garo. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s at least ten collections of his short stories were published. Suzuki has produced short films and has written and drawn children’s books.

From the French edition:


Andrew said...

oh yeah! can't wait!

jimpac said...

Definitely stoked about the Oji Suzuki book. I've also heard that D&Q are going to release another Imiri Sakabashira book but probably not until early next year, can't recall where I heard that though...

I love Short Cuts, and what was published of Palepoli in Secret Comics Japan, but I'm not sure if Genkaku Picasso is as up my street... Still cool to see Furuya getting more exposure. Shame Viz couldn't swoop on the rights to 51 Ways to Save Her as that sounded like the stronger of the two titles.

Anonymous said...

I never understood why people are so hyped about 51 Ways... It's one of his most conventional series. Why don't they just go ahead and license Pai instead? At least that series has boobs and all.

Gengaku Picasso was published in Jump SQ for crying out loud (probably the only reason why VIZ went for it).

Azraelito said...

Genkaku Picasso is incredible. I cant wait for that. I read it by scan and it is wonderful.

Saludos as always!!

Ryan S said...

@jimpac: The Suzuki one is the one I probably will get more out of overall, I think. I've been reading about Suzuki for a while in different places but never read an actual manga by him (have I? I can't remember ever doing so).

I heard that they are planning another Sakabashira book, but I wonder if that is still on considering how weak the sales seemed? Dunno.

@anonymous: Yeah, I am not sure either. I haven't read either series so I'm a bit agnostic and uneducated so far. On my shelf here I have Lychee Hikari Club, Plastic Girl, & Palepoli-- and from those three books alone Furuya is in the pantheon of importance in my mind. But yeah, these both (along with Suicide Club) don't hit me in terms of narrative; I'm curious pretty much entirely because it's Furuya .

jimpac said...

A bit of internet snooping now shows the release date for the next Sakabashira book as January 2012. For reasons that you mention, I'm not holding my breath...
Real shame, though, as I think The Box Man is awesome! It's a completely different kettle of fish in comparison to D&Q's other mangas. I'd like to know what other people thought of it and why it sold so little? Have you read it?

alive said...

thanks for the heads up one both those titles.

By the way, is Picasso still publishing in Japan? How long is it?

I was actually thinking of getting Oji Suzuki's bleu transparent (http://www.amazon.fr/Bleu-transparent-Oji-Suzuki/dp/2020850680/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278522664&sr=8-1), but know i'm not really sure if I should get it or not.

Adam said...

Here's a review of the first two chapters of Genkaku Picasso which explains its strange and rather convoluted premise more fully. (http://manganotanime.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/genkaku-picasso-ch-1-2-by-usamaru-furuya/#more-89) It's a rather negative review, and it pretty much aligns with my feelings after reading those same chapters. (Though I don't agree that having an unlikable protagonist is necessarily a flaw.)

Adam said...

@ryan: I haven't read Lychee Hikari Club, but Plastic Girl is brilliant. If it were published here, it would definitely blow a lot of minds. But to get the full scope of Furuya's genius, you need to read The Music of Marie, and "Book of the Moon" from Garden (a collection of shorter works). The rest of "Garden" is very good too, apart from an early experimental story which doesn't come off.

Right now I'm reading Furuya's Innosan Shounen Juujigen (The Children's Crusade), which I think is still ongoing in Japan, and so far it's also very good. I'm hoping to post something about it in a couple of weeks, if I get my act together.

And thanks for the kind words about my blog! I'm hoping to eventually fix the lack of "visual stimulus," once I figure out how to use a scanner and post images.

Oli said...

The french scan is rom a different Suzuki manga (Kok├╗ monogatari- Vaste le ciel //ed. Picquier). But the Red Kimono is better...
The french translation is a bit weird, but the original texts by Suzuki are quite weird already... Anyway, it's the best thing I've read from 60s Garo along with Tsuge stuff this far ! Lucky you !

alive said...

@Oji: I so want to get Tsuge for a long time, but it's so expensive I've been postponing it forever.

If I only had some extra money :)

Daphnis P. said...

Oh and the best Furuya stuff I've read was Palepoli, of course !

Root said...

New Usumaru Furuya is always a good thing. But where is my Tokyo Flowchart vol.1 Viz?

Daphnis P. said...

Oh, and I just uploaded on page of the great palepoli on kaidankamera.blogspot.com ;)
(there's a new tsuge too)