Saturday, May 14, 2016
A Drunken Dream and Other Stories - Moto Hagio
Author: Moto Hagio
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books, 2010 (Hardcover)
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult/Adult; Graphic Novel
Started: May 13, 2016
Finished: May 13, 2016
From the back cover:
Forty years ago, the legendary manga artist Moto Hagio reinvented the shoji (girls' comics) genre with an ongoing series of whip smart, psychologically complex, and tenderly poetic stories. Here now, in English for the very first time, as the debut release in Fantagraphics Books' ambitious manga line of graphic novels, are ten of the very best of these tales.
The work in A Drunken Dream and Other Stories spans Hagio's entire career, from 1970's "Bianca" to 2007's "The Willow Tree," and includes the mind-bending, full-colour title story; the famously heartbreaking "Iguana Girl"; and the haunting "The Child Who Comes Home" - as well as "Autumn Journey," "Girl on Porch with Puppy," the eerie conjoined-twins shocker "Hanshin: Half-God," "Angel Mimic," and one of the saddest of all romance stories, "Marie, Ten Years Later."
A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is supplemented with a feature-length interview with Hagio, where she discusses her art, her career, and her life with the same combination of wit, candour, and warmth that radiates from every panel of her comics.
I'm a manga enthusiast, and I'm especially interested in the titles that were big game changers to the genre historically, many of which belong to this particular artist. I have a copy of "The Heart of Thomas" on my shelf (one of her best-known longer works) and have read a few of her shorter pieces before, which I was happy to see here. Her art style is gorgeous, and her stories are exactly as described in the summary: more mature, complex, and not afraid to tackle serious subject matter.
I have my favourites obviously: Angel Mimic and Iguana Girl deal with subject matter you don't often see in comics period, Girl on Porch with Puppy is a bit of a mind-screw, and A Drunken Dream is just stunning, partly because this story is included in full colour.
If you're interested in shojo manga and want to see pieces from one of the artists that revolutionized the genre, this is a must-read.
Thoughts on the cover:
Freaking gorgeous. The combination of the yellow, white, and gold is stunning; plus the title has that embossed gold leaf that shimmers and creates a nice effect.