Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Distant Neighborhood

Jiro Taniguchi is one of my very favorite cartoonists so I was especially happy to see the arrival of a new book by him, A Distant Neighborhood, along with the plethora of great graphic novels / trade paperbacks and comics this week. A Distant Neighborhood is about middle-aged Hiroshi Nakahara, who one day ends up in his past as his fourteen year old self with all of his memories intact. Yes, this type of story has been done before (most recently by Alex Robinson in his excellent graphic novel Too Cool To Be Forgotten), but what story hasn't been done before? And with this story scenario, there are many ways in which a writer / cartoonist can bring new things to readers. Anyone who's read some of Taniguchi's previous graphic novels such as The Walking Man, Quest For The Missing Girl, and Ice Wanderer, knows that he is more than adept at delivering a great story.
Taniguchi isn't just a great writer, who creates stories that have a lot of drama in them, without that drama being forced or over the top, he's also a great illustrator who somehow can draw great people, great naturescapes and cityscapes with varying perspective shots without any of the separate elements overshadowing each other.

A Distant Neighborhood is published by Fanfare Ponentmon and will be in two volumes here in the U.S. when it's completed. I read A Distant Neighborhood while on my exercise bike this morning, with Alucard (our black cat) sleeping alongside / underneath the bike so that made for a great way to start off my day.

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