I found myself in Harvard Square today, and on a whim I dropped into local comic book shop The Million Year Picnic. The store sometimes has older, out-of-print books I happen to be looking for. Instead I saw something I’ve had on my wishlist for some time but never committed to: Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son.
I’ve admired Fantagraphics’ beautiful hardcover printings of Wandering Son for a while now but never committed to buying a copy—today the mood took me. I think it’s because lately I’ve seen an increasing amount of manga artist Shimura Takako’s work via her beautiful Tumblr and through popularity of current-running anime Aldnoah.Zero, which she did character designs for (she has lots of “fan” art of the show on her Tumblr as well).
Wandering Son follows the story of two transgender youth and them coming to terms with Japanese society’s expectations while growing up. This series has been recommended to me by a couple of my trans friends and the back cover copy states, “written and illustrated by Shimura Takako, acclaimed for her sensitive take on LGBT topics,” so I’m pretty excited to continue reading. It’s rare to find works dealing with such topics that don’t devolve into tropes.