Well hello again, Okazu readers! It has been a whirlwind week for me. As you all have been relaxing, reading reviews of great comics, I’ve been running around Toronto, moderating amazing panels, meeting extraordinary people, eating and drinking unspeakably well and, of course, talking about comics until I was hoarse. TCAF is always great and this year was sublime. You must join me there.
I’m going to do my round-up in pieces, so you can savor some of the individual parts that made it an incredible whole.
The first thing that I must tell you is about three must-have manga. The first was not a TCAF-related item, but with the animation clip-slash-teaser having gone up and Shinsokan being really enthusiastic and Seven Seas having done such a good job to get it to us, you really must have Kase-san and Morning Glories. This manga has likable and relatable characters.
If you are looking for a nice Yuri manga, and are kind of flailing right now – Kase-san and Morning Glories by Hiromi Takashima is absolutely a must-get. (I reviewed it here on Okazu in April.)
Now, on to TCAF. There were two manga that were the highlight of the show. EVERYONE was talking about them.
The first and probably most anticipated, is Gengoroh Tagame’s My Brother’s Husband. This incredibly touching tale of a man who has traveled to Japan to discover his late husband’s life and meet his family, was the star of the show.
Tagame-sensei’s work is beautiful, the story is beautiful and, as I commented several times, is really about the passive homophobia of nice people, good people. Tagame-sensei was a Guest at TCAF and it was really lovely to see so many people lining up to get his book and his signature.
This will be a two-book series put out by Pantheon, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough. It’s a game changer type book. It’s teachable, it’s teen-friendly and just extraordinarily good.
The other manga that was on everyone’s mind – and is sure to be a breakout hit – is Kabi Nagata’s comic essay My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness. It goes on sale in June, and everyone in the manga world was scrambling for a pre-release copy. I read it on the plane home and I think it’s going to be another game changer. It’s hard and honest but touches issues at the core of a lot of people’s lives – their detachment from their own needs and desires.
It actually was a much better read than I remembered, which I’ll talk about when I review it. It’s is *currently* #1 on Amazon in the “Yaoi, Gay and Lesbian Manga” category and it hasn’t even been released!
Secondly, I had the almost surreal pleasure of sharing a room with comic journalists Heidi MacDonald, Brigid Alverson and Deb Aoki. Heidi had a brilliant idea to do a podcast in our room at the end of the day. Here are the four episodes, you should totally listen to them, if only to learn about more comics per second than you can imagine, but also to see how often we ended up talking about queer content in our only 1/4 queer room. As Brigid pointed out, “Everyone is queer” these days and we’re just getting queerer.
Enjoy some books and conversation about books, I’ll be back tomorrow to talk panels and people. ^_^