License request day: The Lonely Gourmet

Among the pleasing announcements in the current Previews catalog is the solicitation of Jiro Taniguchi’s A Zoo in Winter from Fanfare/Ponent Mon. I’m of the opinion that there should always be work by Taniguchi in the licensing pipeline, and this opinion was reinforced by a story arc in the third volume of Seimu Yoshizaki’s Kingyo Used Books (Viz).

That arc features a well-traveled copy of a manga called The Lonely Gourmet, illustrated by Taniguchi and written by Kusumi Masayuki. As was the case with The Walking Man (Fanfare/Ponent Mon), the title is apparently quite literal. Here’s my attempt at a translation of the description from the book’s listing on Casterman’s Sakka site:

One knows almost nothing about him. He works in sales, but he’s not a man in a hurry; he loves women, but prefers to dine alone; he is a gastronome, but he most appreciates simple home cooking… This man, he is the lonely gourmet. Created by Kusumi Masayuki, this extraordinary character comes to life under the pen of Jiro Taniguchi, in a mode similar to The Walking Man: each tale leads him to taste a typically Japanese dish, reawakening memories, drawing out new thoughts, or causing furtive encounters. Thus the visit of a sushi-bar in the middle of the afternoon shows him another side of the innocent housewives who attend the place, or takes makes him conscious of the invigorating virtues of curry… The Lonely Gourmet is a choice work from Taniguchi.

It certainly sounds like it’s choice, doesn’t it?

It’s a single volume long, and I’m having a little trouble discerning its provenance. I think it was published at some point by Fusosha, though I have no idea if it was serialized in a magazine or just published as a graphic novel.

The book would have the twofold result of satisfying my need for more food manga and more licensed work from Taniguchi, especially in his “midlife salaryman” mode. What about you? What Taniguchi works are lurking, unpublished or out of print, that you’d like to see published in your language of choice?

 

Comments

  1. That one sounds way more interesting than A Zoo in Winter.

  2. A manga about Japanese food and the emotions it evokes sounds like the perfect follow-up to Not Love But Delicious Foods…, which I adored.

    I want to stop reading your column, David, because it only makes me want things I can’t have. :)

  3. It was indeed published by Fusousha and ran in Panja from 1994-1996. There was also a special bonus chapter in Spa! in 2008. (And there were two drama CDs, of all things, in 2009 and 2010.)

  4. Lately I’ve started enjoying manga series about food, and before that I enjoyed The Walking Man. So if this were released it would be a sure pre-order for me.


Trackbacks

  1. […] backpackers traveling in other countries sharing manga to remind them of home. (The titles include The Lonely Gourmet, a book I’d really like to read.) One of them becomes the owner of a lending library, and as […]

  2. […] favorite manga artists, Jiro Taniguchi (The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood). The much-missed David Welsh wrote about this series last year under the title The Lonely Gourmet, a much more pleasing […]

  3. […] favorite manga artists, Jiro Taniguchi (The Walking Man, A Distant Neighborhood). The much-missed David Welsh wrote about this series last year under the title The Lonely Gourmet, a much more pleasing […]

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