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THE BLOG AT THE CROSSROADS


Article: PG Previews February 2014

Posted: December 1, 2013

Manga make a big impression within my recommendations for February 2014 thanks to translations of great, accessible single volumes by Moyoco Anno, about her famous husband and their life together, by Jiro Taniguchi about an Edo-period map-maker, and by Inio Asano in an unsettling psychodrama. As an unapologetic Kirbyphile, I have picked two volumes here which celebrate ‘The King’. I also suggest you look into two less-famous American underground comix creators who get some overdue acclaim - the quirky comedienne M.K. Brown and Bobby London, who helmed the daily Popeye newspaper strip.

If I had to pick just one essential purchase this month, it would have to be Just So Happens by Japanese-born, British-based author Fumio Obata. This beautiful and tender debut grew out of his 4-page entry to the Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize a few years ago. It didn’t win but it was a finalist, as all of us judges instantly spotted the talent and seed within it. So now it has been carefully nurtured and expanded by him and the Jonathan Cape editorial team into a stunning graphic novel, fusing elements of manga and bandes dessinées into a unique new voice. I’ve read it and I suspect it will be one of my comics of next year. Read my PG Previews here…

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