Humanoids have announced that they will publish Julia Cejas’ debut graphic novel Hanami in English in April 2024. The graphic novel is a travelogue of Cejas and her partner’s experience of moving from Spain to Japan for a year. The book will be available physically from bookstores and digitally.

Hanami” (花見) is a Japanese word referring to flower viewing (usually of cherry blossoms). First published in French with La Boîte à Bulles in 2022, this translation of the book will mark award-winning illustrator Julia Cejas’ English-language debut. 

In a press release Humanoids said:

“Internationally renowned publisher Humanoids announced today HANAMI a debut graphic autobiography from award-winning comic artist Julia Cejas where she lovingly documents her and her partner, video game composer Marc’s experience living a year in Japan in a series of short adventures, both heartfelt and hilarious. Available in April 2024.”

The plot synopsis of the book:

“Julia and Marc are your average creative millennial couple, full of the anxieties and optimism of their generation. When the economy takes a downturn and Marc loses his engineering job, the pair realize that their relative lack of ties means they can pool their savings to embark on a new adventure: moving to Japan! Until the money runs out, anyway…

“The pair move into a tiny apartment and enrol in a local Japanese school as they begin to acclimate to the local culture. Whether learning about the local fire patrol or the beautiful terror of Japanese toilets, the pair embrace their new surroundings with equal parts confusion and wonder!”

Julia Cejas is a comics artist and illustrator based in Valencia, Spain – with specialisms in editorial and children’s illustration. Cejas has won multiple awards in her native Spain including the first Creajoven prize in 2007 and the Valencia Crea in 2009. Initially a series of illustrations of her experience in Japan were showcased at Valencia’s Bartleby Bookstore in 2016, Cejas expanded the work into the graphic novel Hanami that was picked up by French publisher La Boîte à Bulles in 2018, and published in 2022 following a pandemic delay.

Hanami marks another English-translation Humanoids addition of the catalogue of French publisher La Boîte à Bulles. In November 2023, Humanoids will be publishing Yann Damezin’s award-winning adaptation of classical Arabic tragedy Majnun and Layla which was published by La Boîte à Bulles in 2022.

Below are extracts from the book:

Hanami, page 22
Hanami, page 38
Hanami, page 71
Hanami, page 86