Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wandering Son Volume 2 finally arrives!

Somehow this is so fitting to be the 50th post on this blog. Today, my copy of Wandering Son volume 2 finally arrived. It's been a long search for a copy.

Here's the details if you don't know: Wandering Son is a landmark LGBTQ manga by Takako Shimura (also from Sweet Blue Flowers) that features trans and gender-non-conforming lead and side characters in the most beautiful, sensitive, honest story. When it was picked up by Fantagraphics for release in the US it got a hardcover release with gorgeous paper. Unfortunately, only the first 8 volumes were ever translated and released. However, you can catch much of the second arc in the anime version.

Unfortunately, it was already out of print by the time I discovered it and so I read it only in the copies that I could find for reasonable prices used. Sadly, volume 2 was always way out of my price range, recently hitting hundreds of dollars on Amazon and Ebay. The more I looked into this, it seemed there was an unspoken pricing unison happening where every seller was selling it for nearly the same price and all for crazy sums. What gives?

However, I was patient, and every week I would check all the sites including the amazing bookfinder.com which if you don't already use, you should! One day, I saw the price on a whole bunch had dropped to less than $100. My first temptation was to buy a copy then, but I thought to myself "I bet they lowered the price because no one was buying them at the sky-high prices, I bet if I wait, it will keep going down." Well, sure enough it did, to the point where I got it for barely above cover price. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and didn't want to miss my chance even if the price did continue to drop. (I noticed today, that it was already back up to about $15 more than I paid)

Well, today it arrived! I'm so happy to be able to finally read the whole thing. Having volumes 1, 3-8 but not 2 was jarring and now I can read the whole (at least what has been published) story (and watch the anime for the conclusion). I hope you already have your copies, but if not, the prices are reasonable (and if they aren't, just keep searching!) Also, I'm sure if your library doesn't have a copy you can get it through inter-library loan (an underutilized service). Here's some pics of my joy:

Wandering son by Takako Shimura
Just out of the mail, in pretty great condition other than a bent corner.

Wandering Son by Takako Shimura
So hard to tell, but the paper is thick with a great tooth to it. Very high quality.

Wandering Son by Takako Shimura
Here they are on my shelf, reunited, volumes 1-8! (Notice Sweet Blue Flowers,
Honey & Clover and others)


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