So I twittered excitedly when I heard the news, but just to follow up, I’m really happy that this:
…is coming to North America! Taiyo Matsumoto’s original graphic novel (a real rarity in Japan…) Go Go Monster! is a book I’ve personally been looking forward to seeing for years. Back in the day, a website I was visiting when I was researching Matsumoto put up the then-new television commercials (!) for this book, and it was the distillation of that desire for the unknown that I feel feeds a lot of what I love about manga. Youtube has one of the commercials:
I’ve had copies in my hand a couple of times, in Japan I decided another heavy hardcover book was probably a bad purchase and so I left it on the shelf when I was buying one of everything Matsumoto… Mostly because the book has been widely available in French-language translation for years now and we’ve had copies at the store pretty regularly. But I held out hope for an English edition, and lo! And Behold! We’ll all have a chance to pick it up this fall. I’ll try not to be obnoxious in recommending it.
Meanwhile! New work from Taiyo Matsumoto wasn’t the extent of Viz’s new license announcements. Most websites have run with the lead story–New Work From Rumiko Takahashi! I like Ms. Takahashi’s work a great deal, but seeing her work in English, at this point, is something of an inevitability. No, I was much more interested in seeing that Viz was going to be releasing this:
During my trip to Japan in 2007, I spent a lot of time digging through manga stores like Book-Off and Mandarake, and I visited pretty much every single bookstore we came across. A then-new release caught my eye in several of the stores, and–you guessed it!–it was Not Simple by Natsume Ono. Funnily enough, I actually bought it TWICE while I was there for two weeks, because everywhere I went I kept picking it up, being amazed by it, and then putting it back down… or so I thought. It’s a really interesting book, it reminds me a little bit of Sexy Voice and Robo which Viz published a few years back. The storytelling is superb, very easy to follow even in another language. I also found myself drawn to the art style, which uses heavy blacks and simple lines to communicate a wide range of body-language and emotions, it’s great. I also figured out that Ono also does yaoi and gay-themed work under the nom-de-plume “Basso”, and I bought up a bunch of that as well. Heh, I actually bought a couple of books of her work at the New York Book-Off this past weekend before I heard the good news. So despite having paged-through this one 3 or 4 times already, I’m pretty darned excited about really reading it for the first time.
So, in closing, it’s gonna be a good fall ’09.