Earlier today we announced the launch of MSX: Mangasplaining Extra, a Substack newsletter that will serialize previously untranslated manga. It’s a spinoff of Mangasplaining, a podcast featuring Deb Aoki, David Brothers, and Christopher Woodrow-Butcher explaining manga to neophyte Chip Zdarsky.
Aoki and Woodrow-Butcher are taking the concept even further by publishing manga in English via MSX. They describe it as “a digital publishing and creative services group. We license, translate, and publish manga digitally, released to readers through paid subscriptions of our Substack newsletter at MangasplainingExtra.com. MSX also digitally publishes lots of great additional material including our podcast episode show notes and new original articles about manga.”
The launch projects are Okinawa by Susumu Higa (to be published in print by Fantagraphics) and These Days by Taiyo Matsumoto, a never before published short story. Given the great taste of the people behind MSX, it’s no surprise that these are beautiful and thought provoking stories. I can’t wait to see what else MSX has planned!
Here’s a preview of the two debut manga.
Okinawa by Susumu Higa:
The first project, Susumu Higa’s Okinawa, was originally published as two thematically linked manga: Sword of Sand and Mabui. Okinawa begins as a chronicle of the particular impacts of the war on the Okinawan people, caught between the invading American forces and the Japan that annexed their once-independent nation only a few decades earlier. Rooted in that difficult history, the second half of Okinawa explores the present-day echoes of that war, which continue to affect the lives of the archipelago’s residents. It’s a gripping, powerful work, told in stand-alone chapters that can be easily read and appreciated on a weekly basis. Okinawa will be serialized 2 to 3 times per month, with a print collection planned for release in Winter 2022 from Fantagraphics Books.
Okinawa is translated by Jocelyne Allen, lettered by Patrick Crotty, and edited by Andrew Woodrow-Butcher. Licensing was arranged through the author, with the assistance of Jocelyne Allen, Mitsuhiro Asakawa, and Aki Yanagi.
These Days by Taiyo Matsumoto:
These Days is a meditative short piece about a manga editor who quits his job, and then isn’t sure what to do without manga in his life. This work was created as a prototype short story for Matsumoto’s eventual series Tokyo Higoro, now serialized in Big Comic Original Zōkan (Shogakukan) in Japan. This early version of this story from the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet and Ping Pong has never been seen before – even in Japan – and will be released in its finished, inked form, as well as directly from Matsumoto’s raw pencil artwork, offering an unprecedented look into the creative process.
These Days is translated by Michael Arias, lettered and edited by Christopher Woodrow-Butcher. This title is a digital-only exclusive, available in the MSX archive for one year from publication date. Licensing was arranged through the author, with the assistance of Aki Yanagi.