Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Walking Man

Fanfare / Pontent Mon is a collaborative publisher that publishes manga in several languages. Avoiding more brash titles, their output of comics has a more thoughtful approach. You won’t exactly be finding ninjas firing energy beams at each other in their back catalogue!

Relating directly to its title, The Walking Man is about a somewhat eccentric man who enjoys walking about his home town. He has no real direction as we accompany his quiet exploration with rarely with any particular incident. Sometimes he’ll walk the dog or happen upon a friendly stranger, but more frequently he’s happy enough to wander about town on his own to discover untouched locations and witness small inconsequential events. The backgrounds are gently detailed, giving a real sense of the place and pages often fly by without a word being spoken. Its all completely relaxed and ambient.

The Walking Man is currently out of print, but its definitely one of those books to keep an eye out for on the off chance you spot it a neglected comic shop or charity shop. Taniguchi’s work stands out for his ultra-detailed backgrounds and older protagonists who offer a more thoughtful perspective than many other manga. Several of his other titles are also available and are well worth checking out (I particularly recommend A Distant Neighbourhood). I’ll have to try and talk about more of his stuff as time goes on…

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