As the diaspora of former PictureBox projects begins, it’s just been announced that Fantagraphics is picking up MASSIVE a huge overview of gay manga and its creators, put together by the same team as the very successful Passion of Gengorah Tagame book that came out this year. This promises to be an eye opening and fascinating look at a little known (in the US) sub-genre of manga.
Fantagraphics Books is thrilled to welcome the team behind The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame (PictureBox) to the family. Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It due out October 2014. This is the most recent entry in Fantagraphics’ queer comics lineup, which also features the anthology No Straight Lines, the graphic novels 7 Miles a Second and Bread & Wine, and manga by Moto Hagio and Shimura Takako.
The Massive anthology showcases Japan’s most talented and influential gay manga artists, including Gengoroh Tagame, Jiraiya, Seizoh Ebisubashi, Kazuhide Ichikawa, Gai Mizuki, Takeshi Matsu, Fumi Miyabi, and Kumada Poohsuke. In Massive, many of these artists’ works are featured in English for the first time; this collection offers an intimate, in-depth look at a criminally overlooked component of Japanese queer culture. In addition to comics and illustrations, Massive features photographs of the artists and their workspaces; cultural and historical context; and interviews with the creators about what it’s like to be a gay erotic artist in Japan.
Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins, and designed by Chip Kidd, this unprecedented survey of manga “made by gay men for gay men” is an essential addition to the queer comics canon; it will introduce the genre often referred to as “bara” (a misnomer for gay manga that has taken on new meanings online) to a new, international audience.
Massive was originally scheduled as a PictureBox Spring 2014 release until its publisher, Dan Nadel, announced that he is ceasing operations. Although we’re sad to see PictureBox shutter its doors, everyone involved is delighted to give Massive a new home. “I’m thrilled that Massive, an essential guide to the world of gay manga, is going to see print next year. Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, and Chip Kidd are the best guides imaginable to this fascinating work and the men who make it,” says Nadel.
For more information on the production team behind Massive and its artists, please visit gaymanga.tumblr.com and fantagraphics.com/massive.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.