This was supposed to be an Anime News Network exclusive, with all the bells and whistles, but Amazon.com moves in mysterious ways. It listed the titles a whole month early (here and here), so the cat’s out of the bag. Although a well-choreographed roll-out would have been nice, I for one am relieved, because, as my co-conspirator Dirk Deppey put it, “Fours years is a hell of a long time to keep a secret.”
I’m too busy with the actual project to go into much detail here, so I’ll leave that to others. Suffice it to say, this is a dream project for me. If I hadn’t encountered Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas (1974) at the tender age of 21-ish, I would never have ended up on this peculiar career path. But choosing stories from Hagio’s massive body of work objectively was difficult. Obviously, I have my own favorites, but I wanted a selection that a broad swath of Hagio aficionados would consider “representative” of her four-decade career. To this end, I resorted to shamelessly deceptive means, and so I must apologize to and thank the members of the Moto Hagio Community over on Mixi for tricking them into offering recommendations for a “hypothetical” English-language primer intended to introduce anglophone readers to Hagio’s work.
Here are the stories that made the final cut:
- “Bianca” (1970, 16 pages)
- “Girl on Porch with Puppy” (1971, 12 pages)
- “Autumn Journey” (1971, 24 pages)
- “Marié, Ten Years Later” (1977, 16 pages)
- “A Drunken Dream” (1980, 21 pages)
- “Hanshin” (1984, 16 pages)
- “Angel Mimic” (1984, 50 pages)
- “Iguana Girl” (1991, 50 pages)
- “The Child Who Comes Home” (1998, 24 pages)
- “The Willow Tree” (2007, 20 pages)
The volume will contain other goodies, as well, and since it’s from Fantagraphics, you know the book will be drop-dead gorgeous and boast the finest production values. We still have a huge amount of work to do before getting the book to the shelves, but I do have this lovely cover to show you.
Wandering Son is another dream project that I am ecstatic to be working on, but I’ll write about that one in more detail as the release date approaches. Let me just say that fans of Anne of Green Gables or The Rose of Versailles should get some special thrills from it, with every succeeding thrill “thrillier than the last.” And it, too, has a lovely cover.
The official Fantagraphics announcement can be seen here.