Inio Asano's Goodnight Punpun is unlike any other manga you've ever read. It's the sort of convention-defying, senses-shattering experience you get when reading Will Eisner or Chris Ware for the first time. It takes notions of what manga can be --- of what comics can be --- and throws them right out the window. It's at once achingly familiar and deeply alienating.
With his first two English language releases, What A Wonderful World and Solanin (both published by Viz), Inio Asano had gained a reputation for creating thoughtful slice-of-life stories that earned him the reputation as being the voice of a generation. March saw the debut of the Fantagraphics' edition of Nijigahara Holograph, a book that's as difficult to read as it is stunning to look at. Ostensibly about the repeated sacrifices of a young woman to save the world from apocalypse, the introduction of alternating timelines (with no clear delineation) and mature elements elevates it beyond exploitation, even as it forces the reader into uncomfortable territory that's reminiscent of the work of David Lynch.
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2014 promises to bring a flood of amazing work from a raft of talented cover artists, writers, web cartoonists, interior artists and mangaka. ComicsAlliance has looked at the new projects on the horizon and made a pick of 14 comic creators who we think will make an impact in 2014. Our hope is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, that there are 140 amazing creators on the cusp of creating something great in 2014 -- but these are our picks of the creators to keep an eye on.
I'm a simple man with simple tastes. I'm also a critic, and that means that I obsess over my simple tastes in an attempt to both quantify them and convince myself that they aren't simple. But at the same time...