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Update: 'Okinawa' Arrives In Stores August 22nd! The reviews are in!
Fantagraphics and MSX present Susumu Higa's masterful manga in a stunning print edition.
Hello everyone, Christopher here. Hope you’re managing to stay cool in the literal hottest summer on record.
I wanted to present you with a bit of an update on Susumu Higa’s Okinawa, the first MSX: Mangasplaining Extra manga we serialized here on Substack. First and foremost, like the title says, the print edition of Okinawa arrives in stores (brick and mortar stores and online) everywhere on August 22nd, 2023, courtesy of Fantagraphics Books. The team at Fantagraphics did a bang-up job on the print edition, creating a gorgeous hardcover filled with extras and beautifully-printed pages. We are so, so happy with this book.
As you might remember, the book was originally supposed to come out in July. However, during the proofing stage, we got some “feedback” from the printer in China that all of the mentions of Taiwan in the (new-to-this-edition) interview with Higa-san would need to be removed from the work, as would the mention of China in the book itself during the war. So, uh, we moved printers, and lost just enough time to miss our window for Comic-Con. Such is life. August 22nd. :)
I can say that having the book get pushed back a month meant that a lot of the press that was supposed to come out around the book’s release is already out, and so going into August 22nd we have an AMAZING list of incredibly positive reviews for the book. Reading all of these, I am so thankful that Higa-sensei’s work, and the work of translator Jocelyne Allen, letterer Patrick Crotty, Designer Kayla E, editor Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, Fanta’s Eric Reynolds, Mitsuhiro Asakawa, Aki Yanagi, and the so many other people along the way helped make this book a reality, I’m happy that their work is being understood and appreciated. Jacq Cohen at Fantagraphics is doing an amazing job at generating interest in Okinawa, so please allow me this bulleted list to brag just a bit, on their behalf, as these reviews are phenomenal.
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection - Okinawa will now find its way to hundreds of high schools across America through this program.
Higa's monumental work sits firmly among such other notable ruminations on history as Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen, Shigeru Mizuki's Showa: A History of Japan, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis."
— Booklist, Starred Review
Multiversity - A very thoughtful, in-depth, and positive review!
Library Journal - Paywalled, but their verdict is “Highly Recommended”
Otaku USA - “A must-read!”
Publisher's Weekly - Top 10 Manga for Fall 2023
“Suffusing his portraits with love, sorrow, and anger (but never bitterness), Higa brings the specifics of a complicated time and place to life as few artists have.”
— Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
Omnibus Collector - Ryley says some incredibly nice things about the book in his August Manga Haul video. We even made the thumbnail!
Quill & Quire - “The Canadian team bringing more manga to English readers.” My husband Andrew Woodrow-Butcher wrote an article about the history of the project bringing Okinawa to English. It’s been a tough project, first begun in 2016, and I’m so happy and grateful that it’s finally been published.
In this little section, I want to thank Nick Spencer and the good folks at Substack for giving us this opportunity to create the Mangasplaining Extra newsletter that allowed us to serialize Okinawa. Thanks to the Substack creator grant, we were able to finally move this forward. Thanks also to all of you who have subscribed at any level. We knew there was a real interest for this work, and this support has meant the world to us. Thank you.
On that note! We have three more articles on Okinawa to come, for paid subscribers to the newsletter. We’re going to run the complete interview with Higa-san that’s in the print edition, we’re going to run the article by Shinako Oyakawa on Okinawa’s history of being colonized that’s also in the book, and one very special treat to-be-revealed. Our way of saying thanks.
If you want to upgrade to a paid subscription, it’s a pretty good week to do so with lots more content (including the first chapters of Atsushi Kaneko’s Search and Destroy and Akane Torikai’s Wandering Cat’s Cage also) coming before the end of the month. And you can still read Okinawa in its entirety here in the archives, until August 21st.
Thanks for reading. Stay cool out there. :)