After brief acknowledgment on Monday afternoon, Fantagraphics Books now has officially announced its new manga line, which will debut in September with a collection of short stories by Moto Hagio, considered the mother of modern shojo.
News of the imprint, reportedly in development for four years, trickled out over the weekend after listings for the first two titles appeared early on Amazon.com. The unnamed line, produced through a deal with Japanese publisher Shogakukan, will be edited by manga scholar and translator Matt Thorn. Each book will be released in hardcover and retain the original right-to-left manga format.
The debut title, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, collects 10 of Hagio’s literary short stories created between 1970 and 2007 (Thorn provides a list of the stories on his blog). In support of the book, Hagio will appear as a special guest at Comic-Con International in July.
“If I hadn’t encountered Hagio’s The Heart of Thomas (1974) at the tender age of 21-ish,” Thorn writes, “I would never have ended up on this peculiar career path.”
A Drunken Dream will be followed in December by the first volume of Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son, a multi-volume series about two fifth-grade friends — a boy who wants to be a girl, and a girl who wants to be a boy.
“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’,” Thorn writes.
Update: Dirk Deppey comments at length about the line he helped to shepherd.