While I tally the votes in the Readers Polls, I thought it'd be a good time to showcase more manga that I chose for my 2007 Best New Manga list. Now, it's Hollow Fields' turn in the spotlight.
There was definitely no shortage of interesting original English language (OEL) manga releases this year, but Madeleine Rosca's Hollow Fields stood out because it did something wonderful and rare: It didn't settle for merely imitating the art style of Japanese comics. Instead, Rosca took the ball and ran with it, to deliver a steampunk-inspired fantasy that's delightfully detailed, whimsical, witty, wickedly dark and absolutely entertaining. Read my review of Hollow Fields Volume 1 and see what made it stand out in this fast-growing segment of the manga market.
Little wonder that even the Japanese manga creators and experts who judged the First Annual International Manga Awards saw fit to recognize Hollow Fields as an outstanding example of the best global manga produced in the past year. For fun, see Madeleine Rosca's online diary of her trip to Japan to accept her award last year, and visit her Deviant Art gallery to get a sneak peek of what's coming soon in Hollow Fields Volume 2, which is due in stores at the end of April 2008.
In related news, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced that entries are now being accepted for the Second Annual International Manga Awards competition. Visit the MOFA official Web site for rules and application information. Entries must be received by February 29, 2008, with winners to be announced in Summer 2008.
Image credit: © Madeleine Rosca / Seven Seas Manga