Synopses & Reviews
Fantagraphics Books' first volume of manga is a collection of short stories by one of Japan's most influential and critically lauded comics innovators. Moto Hagio has been reinventing shojo manga (Japanese comics marketed at 10-18 year-old girls) since 1969. Unconstrained by boundaries of genre, she has sculpted a career characterized by intellectual curiosity, psychological authenticity, and an aesthetic sense that has often been at odds with a shojo manga mainstream littered with Sailor Moon knockoffs and sub-Harlequin-romance clichés. Now, for the first time in English, we offer a Hagio primer, a selection of short stories spanning four decades of groundbreaking work -- 1971-2007 -- by an artist who is working at the peak of her creative powers. In "Autumn Journey" (1971), a boy's pilgrimage to the home of his favorite author has more meaning than either the author or his daughter can imagine. In "Marié, Ten Years Later" (1977), two estranged friends learn too late how their actions had destroyed the balance of a perfect triad of intimacy. In "A Drunken Dream" (1980), two scientists--one a hermaphrodite, the other a tribal priest--meet on a space station orbiting Io; but they have met before and are destined to meet again. In "Iguana Girl" (1991), a girl who appears to her mother and herself to be a hideous anthropoid iguana struggles to overcome her mother's rejection and find happiness ... but her mother has a secret. Learn for yourself why the creator of ! (adapted into an anime) and has influenced the careers of countless other creators, both within and outside the manga industry, and continues to garner international critical praise and appeal to readers across ages and generations.
"Along with manga giants Keiko Takemiya and Riyoko Ikeda, and other notable female creators known as the Fabulous '49ers who pioneered the shojo revolution, Hagio forever changed the landscape of comics for girls and started a creative industry for women outside of the domicile. A decade after Sailor Moon, American audiences finally have the chance to read Hagio's work and see the genesis of a genre in this anthology. Unlike current shojo manga, Hagio's sentiment is more restrained, recounting a calmer account of destructive sibling rivalry, a quieter portrayal of a romance destined for failure, a subtle unraveling of a young woman in mourning. Her craftsmanship reflects wisdom and exercises the creative strength necessary to unravel and tie together the range of narrative threads that make up the tragedies and slow recoveries of life. In 'Angel Mimic,' Hagio turns the deflated student-teacher romance on its head, bringing it new life. In 'Willow Tree' the story is so subtle, it takes place on the periphery of the page. A Drunken Dream collects stories by Hagio from her beginning, middle, and current career. The consistency of her work is evidence of why she's finally being translated into English and why that was long overdue. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
A decades-spanning collection from the "founding mother" of modern shōjo manga.
About the Author
Moto Hagio was born in 1949 and lives in Japan. She is widely considered the most beloved shōjo manga artist of all time. Her graphic novel A Drunken Dream was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2011.