Fantagraphics has announced that they will launch a manga imprint in September of this year.
The books will read right to left (unflipped), in the “authentic” fashion, but they will be hardcovers. Translator and editor Matt Thorn lists the stories that will be included in the Hagio book and praises the line as “drop-dead gorgeous and boast[ing] the finest production values”. That makes me wonder how much the books will cost, but no price information has yet been released, although Amazon information suggests somewhere from $19.99 – $24.99. They’ve been working on this project for at least four years, so I’m expecting great things.
The second release, scheduled for December, will be Wandering Son, the first volume in an ongoing series (10 volumes so far) by Shimura Takako exploring transgender issues. As described by the publisher, “these 5th graders struggle with only not puberty, but also severe identity issues; Shichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy.” Sounds like fascinating material.
Christopher Butcher has more information and analysis.