Ladies and Gents, I introduce to you Shigeru Mizuki's engrossing NonNonBa!
I was introduced to the yokai a few years back in an article published in the Believer…and I was instantly hooked. When I later found out we'd be publishing Mizuki—the man responsible for keeping the yokai tradition alive in Japan—I couldn't have been happier. Japanese folklore monsters that love to play a good trick? I can't think of a better recipe for a gold-star comic. Juxtapose that with childhood play and innocence, powerful relationships, an original, striking cartooning style and you've got NonNonBa, a story that's sure to steal your heart (ah, jeez).
The story follows young Shige, a budding cartoonist whose grandmother (the kind of grandmother we wish we all had) has passed along a knowledge of—and aptitude for communing with—the yokai. Magic and terror ensue. Take a look (and don't forget to read right to left!):
What happens next? I'll leave you in suspense, but I will tell you that it's incredibly beautiful cartooning; no one creates a surreal, magical universe quite like Mizuki.
NonNonBa will be in stores in early April! Until then, head on over to Monster Brains. They've got a post up about Mizuki's Illustrated Guide to Yokai Monsters that's sure to wet your appetite.