My Favorite Mangaka Has Died

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Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Stephen Robson, publisher  at Ponent Mon that Jiro Taniguchi had died on Saturday. Very sad news. I'm not a big manga reader; in fact, I have a bit of distaste for most manga, but Taniguchi was in a different class. He drew some really clear and intricate stuff all by hand. He also wrote some manga targeted for adults. His A Distant Neighborhood deals with a question a lot of us old timers have wondered about--knowing what we know now, how might we, if given the chance, re-live our childhood days differently.

His best work, in my estimation, is the now out of print The Walking Man, which on the surface is little more than a man walking around his neighborhood. The work, however, is loaded with subtle hat tips to traditional Japanese aesthetic values. I am saddened by his passing.



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