by Chris MaGee
It was throughout 2010 that I had the pleasure of getting know know Christopher Butcher, Festival Director and co-founder of TCAF, The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. I knew for a few months now that he and the TCAF crew were working on bringing some big names from the world of manga to Toronto this spring, but I was sworn to absolute secrecy. Thankfully the proverbial cat is now out of the bag. This past week TCAF announced two very special guests who will be making their way to Toronto from Japan.
First up is Usamaru Furuya. The 42-year-old Tama Art University graduate got his start in manga in 1994 when his series "Palepoli" appeared in the pages of alternative manga journal Garo. Since then he has released a steady stream of work including "Lychee ☆ Hikari Club" (above left), an adaptation of Osamu Dazai's novel "No Longer Human" and a manga adaptation of Sion Sono's "Suicide Club".
Next up is Natsume Ono. The 34-year-old artist got her start not in the pages of a manga journal but online. In 2003 she began posting her online manga "La Quinta Camera" which was eventually published in Comic Seed! Magazine. Ono spent the rest of the last decade releasing her own quirky brand of manga with titles like "Not Simple" (above right), "Ristorante Paradiso" and "House of Five Leaves" which was adapted into an online anime series just last year. You can check out a teaser trailer for the series below.
You can read more about Furuya, Ono and the rest of the amazing guests that The 2011 Toronto Comic Arts Festival has got on tap for Toronto on May 7th and 8th by visiting the fest's official website here.