The 2017 Eisner Award nominations were announced on Tuesday, May 2nd, with Princess Jellyfish, orange, and Wandering Island topping the list. Though previous Eisner committees have nominated Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story and Moyocco Anno’s In Clothes Called Fat for Best U.S. Edition of International Material–Asia, this category has often skewed male, with particular attention given to manly-man titles (e.g. The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories) and artists (e.g. Shigeru Mizuki, Naoki Urasawa, Jiro Taniguchi), making this year’s list is a welcome break with tradition.
Here is the complete list of nominated manga:
- Goodnight Punpun, vols. 1–4, by Inio Asano, translated by JN PRoductions (VIZ Media)
- orange: The Complete Collection, vols. 1–2, by Ichigo Takano, translated by Amber Tamosaitis, adaptation by Shannon Fay (Seven Seas)
- The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime, by Toshio Ban and Tezuka Productions, translated by Frederik L. Schodt (Stone Bridge Press)
- Princess Jellyfish, vols. 1–3, by Akiko Higashimura, translated by Sarah Alys Lindholm (Kodansha)
- Wandering Island, vol. 1, by Kenji Tsuruta, translated by Dana Lewis (Dark Horse)
This year’s list is also the first to credit the English language translator — a nice departure from previous years, when this crucial aspect of the “Best U.S. edition” went unacknowledged by the Eisner judges.
In other news…
On Saturday, May 6th, local comic book stores around the country will participate in the sixteenth annual Free Comic Book Day. VIZ will be offering excerpts from The Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Dragon Ball Super! and Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Kodansha and TOKYOPOP — yes, that TOKYOPOP — also have skin in the game with an Attack on Titan comic and a Disney Descendants manga. Other noteworthy offerings include an all-ages collection from Drawn & Quarterly featuring Moomins and yokai; a Wonder Woman comic for adults and a Wonder Woman comic for girls; and a Street Fighter V comic from UDON Entertainment.
Lynzee Loveridge interviews legendary manga-ka Kenichi Sonoda about his career, from Bubblegum Crisis to Gunsmith Cats. [Anime News Network]
Brigid Alverson files a report on the state of the manga industry. [Publisher’s Weekly]
Can a how-to manga improve your golf game? Shane O’Donoghue talks to the artists behind Golf Lesson Comic. [CNN]
And speaking of self-help, Ten Speed Press will be publishing The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up, a comic-book adaptation of Marie Kondo’s international best seller. Look for it in stores on June 27th. [Publisher’s Weekly]
Jocelyne Allen reviews Renaissance Yoshida’s Himotoku Hana, a grim drama with a ravishingly gorgeous cover. [Brain vs. Book]
Kanta Ishida takes a closer look at Pen to Hashi (Pen to Chopsticks), the latest manga from parody artist Keiichi Tanaka. In each chapter, Tanaka “interviews children of famous mangaka about their parents’ favorite food, and they eat it together as the children reminisce about their parents relating to that food.” [Yomiuri Shimbun]
The trailer for the live-action version of Ajin is here, and it looks… really good. [Kotaku]
Mark Schilling weighs in on Takashi Miike’s big-screen adaptation of Blade of the Immortal. “The film suffers from the elephantiasis endemic to big-budget manga adaptations,” he notes. “Fans want to see their favorite characters and stories, producers oblige, and the result is a two-hour-plus running time packed with self-indulgent bloat. Miike has added a few familiar signature touches, such as shots of gruesomely dissected victims on the wrong end of the hero’s sword, but otherwise the film is hard to distinguish from other ‘production consortium’ product.” Fun fact: Miike also directed a poorly received version of Terraformars in 2016. [The Japan Times]
Translator Jenny McKeon makes the case for yuri manga, arguing that queer and feminist readers alike will find plenty to enjoy in stories such as Bloom Into You and Secrets of the Princess. “It may be true that yuri sometimes falls short of reflecting an ‘authentic experience’, and can be seen largely as innocent fantasy separate from queer reality in Japan,” she writes. “But the genre still offers a variety of stories about girls falling in love and living happily ever—something that’s still scarce in most other media. There are still realistic stories to be had among the idealized ones, too; and personally, I feel that there’s a place for both—that queer women (and everyone, really) should be represented in sappy romances at least as often as in painful coming out stories.” [Anime Feminist]