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A Drunken Dream and Other Stories

August 15, 2010

A Drunken Dream and Other Stories
by:
Moto Hagio
Published by: Fantagraphics
from the publisher: Forty years ago, the legendary manga artist Moto Hagio reinvented the shōjo (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-color 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, “Marié, 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, candor and warmth that radiates from every panel of her comics.
my ramblings: BUY. THIS. BOOK.

No, seriously, buy it now. (Never mind that it’s still for preorder everywhere else and I only have it because they had early copies at Comic-Con.)

I don’t think there is a single thing wrong with this book; Hagio-sensei touches on each of the topics she chooses to use with such perfection and …delicacy? that you can’t help but be amazed at how she does it.

The two essays included were also awesome to be able to read. They were both published in English a few years ago, if I understand correctly, but I had yet to read them and they were both incredibly interesting. Reading about Hagio’s life and how she came to be a manga-ka was just incredible.

I can’t wait for the next volume of manga Fantagraphics chooses to put out! They did a beyond amazing job with this volume. It’s hardback and there’s even a nice metallic sheen to the cover. I honestly didn’t know much about Moto Hagio before this (I knew she had like 2 volumes published by Viz back in the day, but since that was before I was into manga, I don’t have them), but it was so incredible that I have to put my trust in Fantagraphics and Matt Thorn to pick out something just as amazing for their second (and hopefully more) manga.

A little more in depth info copy/pasted from my review on MAL:
The book is hardback (and has that nice embossed gold leaf on the cover) and the oversized format is nice (for reference, I took a pic of the book next to some other manga), but I’m not sure how much more it shows off the art (though seeing it larger sure doesn’t hurt). I don’t think I noticed any sort of print errors. There’s a few pages with a little bit of color, but the title story is completely in color (not just a few pages as happens sometimes, literally the entire story); even the black and white pages were really well done.

I don’t speak any Japanese, so I can’t really vouch for the translation, but the adaptation at least flowed really well, and since the translation was done by Matt Thorn, who knows the author personally (and is basically a manga scholar), I have a feeling it’s not just the adaptation. :] The sound effects are translated and edited into English, which I personally prefer, since I think it makes things flow better (but I know there’s a lot of debate on that).

There’s also two articles in the back (that read like a Western book) both by Matt Thorn. One is about The Magnificent 49ers in general and the other is an interview with Hagio-sensei; both are definitely worth a read as well. It looks like both of them were already published in English, but I don’t think they were widely available.

And now for a little gloating; check out my autographed copy of the book, signed by Hagio-sensei herself at SDCC~ :D She was sooooo adorable and nice in person too!!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 7:18 pm

    This sounds wonderful – like a brilliantly perfect kind of manga.

  2. warriorhope permalink
    August 15, 2010 7:18 pm

    I need to buy this!

    Seriously, you had me at 1970s shojo.

  3. August 19, 2010 2:42 pm

    Crap, and I just missed the 30% off sale on rightstuf too D:
    Next time that sale appears, I will put this in my shopping cart then! :3
    I have high expectations now >:D

  4. August 20, 2010 11:53 am

    @brizmus Yup, that’s basically it. :D

    @warriorhope do it~ I’m not even normally into older stuff, but it’s amazing!

    @sylphalchemist It’s actually cheaper on Amazon right now. :] Or you could preorder it at the Fantagraphics website and get a free signed bookplate. ;D

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