TCAF just got even more international with the announcement that renowned manga-ka Natsume Ono will be a guest. Ono, creator of not simple, House of Five Leaves, Gente, and Ristorante Paradiso, fits squarely in the “independent spirit” mold of most of the fest’s guests and provides a reminder of the artistic diversity that manga offers. However, she’s also a very successful artist whose Ristorante Paradiso and House of Five Leaves have been adapted into anime, viewable in the US on Hulu.com, Funimation.com, and Crunchyroll.com, in North America.
Ono is published by Viz, which is supporting her appearance at her first North American convention; due to the expected popularity of her events, they will be ticketed.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) is excited to announce that internationally renowned manga creator Natsume Ono will make her first-ever North American public appearance as a Featured Guest at TCAF 2011. Hailing from Japan, Ono is one of the most exciting and unique women working in the medium today, and she will appear on panels and sign books in support of her English language works at Toronto Reference Library, May 7 and 8 2011. Ono appears with the support of her English-language publisher VIZ Media.
“Ono’s fantastic work fits squarely into the ‘art comix’ idiom that’s at the core of the Festival,” enthuses Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “It’s the type of work we try to encourage. She’s a true auteur, working in a variety of styles and on different subjects, and her work is sure to find favour with fans of our other Featured Guests including Chris Ware, Jillian Tamaki, Mawil, and Adrian Tomine.”
With a loose, gestural and even melancholic style that is at odds with most fans’ view of contemporary manga, since VIZ Media began publishing Ono’s work in English two years ago she has quickly become a favourite of North American readers. Touching on themes of family bonds, abuse and neglect, and responsibility, her works have a surprising weight, and the types of characters and settings she employs are rarely seen in comics on either side of the Pacific.
“This is an exceptionally rare event,” said Butcher. “It’s the first time Ms. Ono has made a North American appearance, and for someone of her stature and popularity in Japan to choose to visit TCAF? It’s a real coup for us, we’re absolutely thrilled.
Natsume Ono will appear at TCAF on Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8, for a panel discussion and signing period each day at Toronto Reference Library. Because of Ms. Ono’s popularity and the expected swell of interest in her public appearance, admission to both the panels and signings will require pre-registration. Pre-registration details will be announced in April, 2011.
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.