First Post!

*Yeah, I'm thinking of doing two posts today, one in the afternoon and one later tonight. For one thing, it'll have the dating of these posts make sense again. But for now...

*Hot Publishing News Dept: I love Fanfare/Ponent Mon. So do you. So do my nine-year old cousins, and my 80-year old great uncle. Everyone does. And that’s why everyone will maybe want to read Anime News Network’s summary of what they plan to release for the rest of 2007. Because as much as we love Fanfare/Ponent Mon, it helps to have a little reinforcement that their current projects are still… current.

And that’s mainly what the announcement’s about: reinforcement. I suppose this news has come from the brochure Fanfare/Ponent Mon has uploaded to their site? It's kind of difficult to parse (the announcement and the brochure), but I guess all of this stuff relates to this year. Hell of a lot of Jiro Taniguchi coming up, including a 2004 Taniguchi short story collection called The Ice Wanderer, and the big bad Taniguchi/Frédéric Boilet/Benoît Peeters collaboration Tokyo is my Garden, although I think Taniguchi is more of a special guest in that one. Both are due sometime this Spring - I believe the Boilet book is actually in this month's Previews.

I know some of my readers will be thrilled that the new Kan Takahama book (Awabi) is finally due by this summer, as is Hideo Aduma’s 2005 autobiographical tome Disappearance Diary, an account of the veteran manga artist’s sudden, prolonged absences from his home, beginning in the late ‘80s. The latter book also won the Grand Prize for manga at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival (topping Naoki Urasawa's Pluto and Kaoru Mori's Emma, both of which took Excellence Prizes that year). Former winners: Sexy Voice and Robo (2002) and Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (2004) (for the record, the 2006 winner was Kaiji Kawaguchi's entertaining-if-corny burning spirit of Japan bonanza A Spirit of the Sun).

The Fall is set to bring a 1999 Taniguchi crime story descriptively titled The Quest for the Missing Girl; Taniguchi is adored for his crime comics, although I believe this is the first one released in English that's he's also written. Around the same time: Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators, the manhwa sequel to last year’s big anthology. Also up for some undisclosed point in the future (and not listed in that brochure) - a 2000 Taniguchi collaboration with writer Baku Yumemakura about the ascent of Mt. Everest, Summit of the Gods.

But that’s not all. This part of ANN’s post really throws me - “Fanfare also plans to continue releasing Taniguchi's The Times of Botchan. Three volumes have been released so far, and through 2007, Fanfare intends to release the remaining seven.”

Wait. Wait. That can’t possibly be right. Did they get that from the brochure? Because I didn’t -I just saw a mention of the fact that Botchan was continuing, not that it would finish by the end of 2007, which would require a mad output of stuff several orders of relative magnitude higher than VIZ’s upcoming Naruto flood, given the size of Fanfare/Ponent Mon. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. ANN’s link, provided as their source, just brings me right to Ponent Mon’s homepage, so it could just be a misreading. Either way, so much interesting stuff coming up...