Furari May Finally Appear in June
Fanfare/Ponent Mon puts out some great, unusual manga, from an exploration of the Japanese prison system (Doing Time) to the contemplative works of Jiro Taniguchi (The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood). It was their publishing the works of Taniguchi that made me realize how skilled something so simple could be. Not that that describes his art style — it’s insanely detailed, as you can see from the preview pages at the publisher’s website. No, that’s a statement about how quiet his stories seem, but how much they reward deep introspection.
His newest work to be translated is Furari. It sounds a little like an historical Walking Man:
Inspired by an historical figure, Tadataka Ino (1745–1818), Taniguchi invites us to join this unnamed but appealing and picturesque figure as he strolls through the various districts of Edo, the ancient Tokyo, with its thousand little pleasures. Now retired from business he surveys, measures, draws and takes notes whilst giving free rein to his taste for simple poetry and his inexhaustible capacity for wonder.
I’m laughing at my calling it “newest”, since plans to release this book have been ongoing since at least August 2014 (and probably the summer before). That’s when I first placed an Amazon order for it, and since then, the author has passed away. You can’t preorder it at that online store any more, by the way, given the delays, but that should change as the publisher updates the information and gets closer to release.
Anyway, now it’s once again available for order through comic shops with Diamond code MAR17 1819. It’s due out at the end of June at a suggested price of $25 for a hardcover. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.