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Fanfare, Ponent Mon Publish Jiro Taniguchi's Venice Travel Book Manga

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Companies set release period for Furari manga, plan to reprint The Walking Man

Publishers Fanfare and Ponent Mon announced on Sunday that they are debuting Jiro Taniguchi's Venice travel book manga at this year's Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Fanfare and Ponent Mon will then release Venice in comic book stores through Diamond Comic Distributors in August, and then will release the book "slightly later" through other outlets.

The companies describe the book:

When Louis Vuitton decided to produce a series of deluxe travel books for the new century they invited only hand picked comic artists from around the world and placed them in settings unfamiliar to the artists to bring this vision to life. For one of the world's most visited and romantic cities, Venice, they chose Jiro Taniguchi to show off the city with his beautifully painted scenes. Being Taniguchi he wove a storyline around the wide open vistas, narrow canals and crowded piazzas of ‘La Serenissima’. . .
After his mother's death aged 78, the author discovers a beautifully lacquered box which contains what appear to be old photos and hand-drawn postcards of Venice. One photo of Piazza San Marco particularly catches his eye. It is of a Japanese couple feeding a multitude of pigeons in the square dressed in what looked like 1930's styled clothes. Who were they? What relevance did they have for his mother?
Armed with the contents of the lacquered box he travels to Venice to track down the places and events displayed in the images and to discover the identity of the young couple in the old photograph.
With very few but well chosen words and his artist's eye for detail, Taniguchi portrays the Venice of today in a most deserving light.

Louis Vuitton made a short video to introduce the book in 2014.

Fanfare and Ponent Mon also revealed that they will release Taniguchi's Furari manga in June or July. The companies also plan to reprint and rerelease some of Taniguchi's other works, such as The Walking Man. The two companies will reveal more information about the rerelease later this year.

Fanfare and Ponent Mon had announced in 2013 that they would release Furari. The companies describe the manga:

Slowly but surely he takes a promenade through Edo. “Furari” could be translated as ‘aimlessly’, ‘at random’, ‘bend with the wind’ or ‘go with the flow’. But our stroller this time leaves nothing to chance. Jiro Taniguchi returns with this delightful and insightful tale of life in a Japan long forgotten. Inspired by an historical figure, Tadataka Ino (1745 – 1818), Taniguchi invites us to join this unnamed but appealing and picturesque figure as he strolls through the various districts of Edo, the ancient Tokyo, with its thousand little pleasures. Now retired from business he surveys, measures, draws and takes notes whilst giving free rein to his taste for simple poetry and his inexhaustible capacity for wonder.

As he did in The Times of Botchan with lead character the writer Soseki, Taniguchi slips easily into the heart and mind of this early cartographer and reveals his world to us in full graphic detail so we may fully perceive and understand.

Both Venice and Furari will retail for US$25.

Ponent Mon and Fanfare previously published the following other works by Taniguchi: The Summit of the Gods, A Zoo in Winter, A Distant Neighborhood, The Ice Wanderer, The Times of Botchan, The Guardians of the Louvre, The Walking Man and Quest for the Missing Girl.

Taniguchi (Kodoku no Gourmet) passed away in February at age 69. He had been working on a project titled La Forêt Millénaire (The Millennium Forest) at the time of his death, with a planned simultaneous publication in France and Japan.

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