by Ed Sizemore
Welcome, everyone, to the official start of the Jiro Taniguchi Manga Moveable Feast, beginning today and continuing until midnight Saturday, March 24 (East Coast time zone). Various members of the manga community will be posting reviews and thoughts on Jiro Taniguchi, and we’ll be keeping an archive of those posts here at Manga Worth Reading.
I’ve already given a brief biography of Taniguchi in my call to participation in the MMF. However, I did leave out one important piece of information. Taniguchi was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in France last year.
We’ve been fortunate for this MMF in having two news stories about Taniguchi this month. The first was Taniguchi getting an asteroid named after him by the Saji Astro Park observatory located in his home town of Tottori City.
The second news item is an interview with Taniguchi regarding how the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami impacted him. The tragedy had him doubt wether he should continue on as a manga artist. The story is by Karyn Poupee of the Agence France-Presse. It’s been picked up by Yahoo, Japan Today, and Asia One. You can read it here.
(Personal aside on Poupee’s story. It’s heartbreaking in this day and age to see a reporter still drag out this old stereotype for a manga piece. “His subject matter also stands in stark contrast to the usual fare of high school romance or sometimes violent pornography consumed by some of Japan’s manga fans.” The only flaw in an otherwise fine story.)
It seems only natural that our MMF be international in scope. After all, this is a Japanese comics creator heavily influenced by French comics. We have a review of The Walking Man by JE in the Philippines coming up tomorrow. Russell in England gives us reviews of The Walking Man and A Distant Neighborhood. Representing Ireland, Phillip contributes reviews of The Quest for the Missing Girl and The Walking Man. Back here in the USA, Kate Dacey gives us reviews of Hotel Harbor View and The Times of Botchan.
There are so many great reviews of Taniguchi that I can’t talk about each individually. So I hope the following authors will forgive me for just providing links to their reviews.
Deb Aoki: The Walking Man, The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories
Kevin Church: A Distant Neighborhood
Kate Dacey: A Zoo in Winter, The Summit of the Gods Volume 1
Shaenon Garrity: The Summit of the Gods Volume 1
Alex Hoffman: A Zoo in Winter
Terry Hong: The Times of Botchan Volume 1, The Times of Botchan Volume 2, The Quest for the Missing Girl
Jason Thompson: The Walking Man
Ng Suat Tong: The Times of Botchan Part 1, The Times of Botchan Part 2
Linda Yau: The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood