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.
ABOUT NATSUME ONO:
Natsume Ono made her professional debut in 2003 with the webcomic La Quinta Camera. Her subsequent works not simple, Ristorante Paradiso, Gente, and House of Five Leaves have continued to draw critical and popular acclaim, and their publication in English and French have opened up a new world of fans for her.
Natsume Ono has published over 20 volumes of manga to date. Her series Ristorante Paradiso and House of Five Leaves have both been adapted into TV anime series that have aired on Hulu.com, Funimation.com, and Crunchroll.com, in North America.
not simple: Ian, a young man with a fractured and abusive family history, travels from Australia to England to America in the hope of realizing his dreams and reuniting with his lost sister. His story unfolds backwards through the framing narrative of Jim, a reporter driven to capture Ian’s experiences in what will be his final novel. A heartbreaking tale of the injustices we inflict upon one another. (Graphic novel)
Ristorante Paradiso: At the age of 21, Nicoletta travels to Rome to find her mother, Olga, who abandoned her long ago. She finds Olga the wife of a restaurateur, and the restaurant Casetta dell’Orso is filled to the brim with attractive, bespectacled waiters (in keeping with Olga’s tastes!). Her mother allows Nicoletta to stay, on the condition that she keeps their familial bond a secret from her new husband, and offers her apprenticeship at the restaurant, a place to live, a shot at love, and a chance to understand why her mother left. (Graphic novel.)
Gente: Welcome to Casetta dell’Orso, a quaint little restaurant in the heart of Rome. The food’s delicious, but the handsome staff is the real draw. Follow these dashing men home and witness their romances, heartaches, hopes and dreams in this delightfully whimsical continuation of Natsume Ono’s beloved Ristorante Paradiso. (3 volumes.)
House of Five Leaves: Naïve, diffident samurai Akitsu Masanosuke has been cast out of his master’s employ. Hungry and desperate, he agrees to become a bodyguard for Yaichi, the charismatic leader of a group calling itself “Five Leaves.” Although disturbed by the gang’s sinister activities, Masa begins to suspect that Yaichi’s motives are not what they seem… (Ongoing series with 3 volumes published in English.)