Thin wallets, fat bookshelves: Fanfare/Ponent Mon's 2009 plans

Just when you thought it was safe to wade back into the Internet I return! Nyah hah haaah.

Anyway, today I thought we'd take a look at this year's publishing plans for Fanfare/Ponent Mon, a small but well-regarded company that's made a name for itself by releasing a number of high-quality manga and manga-influenced books here in the states. Here's what they've got, according to their latest online catalog:


My Mommy is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo. As if to remind you that Fanfare is far from a manga-only publishing company, they release this story of a young boy trying to suss out what exactly happened to his deceased mother. The book won an Essentials Award at last year's Angouleme Festival and has generally been acclaimed over in Europe. It made its U.S. debut at NYCC last weekend but it may be a few months before Diamond sets it loose in stores. Fanfare has a preview of the book at their Web site. ICv2 has a preview here. You can read Bart Beaty's review of the book here. $25, April.

[caption id="attachment_3693" align="alignright" width="106" caption="The Times of Botchan Vol. 4"]


The Times of Botchan Vol. 4 by Natsuo Sekigawa and Jiro Taniguchi. Sekigawa and Taniguchi's ongoing fictionalized account of Japan during the Meiji period (roughly 1867 - 1912) continues. It's been awhile since the third volume was released so I'm glad to see it's continuing. While I wasn't a huge fan, I did enjoy it and was a bit worried it might be on hold. $19.99, May.


A Distant Neighborhood Vol. 1 by Jiro Taniguchi. Fanfare is releasing a lot of Taniguchi books this year -- heck they release a lot of Taniguchi books every year -- but this may be the "if you can only buy one" series to get, if my spies and snoops are correct. It's basically a variation on "Big" and other body-swap-type movies, with a Japanese businessman finding himself transported back to his early adolescent years. I imagine it will be a lot more poetic and a lot less insufferable than most stories of this ilk. At any rate, it won lots of awards. $25, June.

[caption id="attachment_3694" align="alignright" width="107" caption="Summit of the Gods Vol. 1"]


The Summit of the Gods Vol. 1 by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi. And in case that doesn't satisfy your Taniguchi itch, here's another new series by the European-influenced manga-ka. This one, like Quest for the Missing Girl and the Ice Wanderer, is about nature and mountain climbing. $25, July.

Year of the Elephant by Willy Linthout. A father tries to come to terms with his son's suicide in this semi-autobiographical tale. That's about all I know about it though you can learn more about Linthout here. $20, August.


A Distant Neighborhood Vol. 2 by Jiro Taniguchi. $23, September.

The Summit of the Gods Vol. 2 by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi. $25, October.

The Times of Botchan Vol. 5 by Natsuo Sekigawa and Jiro Taniguchi. $19.99, November.

OK, I'm offically declaring 2009 the "Year of Taniguchi." In fact, he's got so many books coming out, I wonder if he'd put in an appearance at San Diego this year? Hmmmm.

[caption id="attachment_3695" align="alignright" width="106" caption="Korea As Viewed by 12 Creators"]



Korea As Viewed by 12 Creators by various. A sequel of sorts to the utterly delightful "Japan as Viewed" that Fanfare released a few years back. Korean and French artists such as Lee Doo-Ho, Vanyda, Park Heung-yong and Igort share their impressions of the country. If it's half as good as the previous book, it will be pretty awesome. $24, December.

The Summit of the Gods Vol. 3 by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi. A Japanese mountain climber continues his quest to learn if Hillary really made it to the top of Everest or not. $25, January 2010.

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