Four manga series distributed by VIZ Media have been nominated for five Eisner awards – the awards named in honor of comics pioneer and legend, Will Eisner. The four titles nominated are: Cat-Eyed Boy, by Kazuo Umezi, BestU.S. Edition of International Material – Japan; COWA! by Akira Toriyama, Best Publication For Kids; Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, by Naoki Urasawa – Best continuing Series and Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan, and Solanin, by Inio Asano – Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan.
Cat-Eyed Boy [Rated “T” for Older Teens] is a series of dark vignettes revolving around Cat-Eyed Boy, a half-human/half-monster child whose mostly human appearance bans him from the demon world. Being half of each means he is hated by both.
COWA! relates the adventures of Paifu, a half-human/half-vampire child, who gets into mischief with his ghostly best friend, Jose – until the Monster Flu strikes his town and only he, his few cuddies and a retired, curmudgeonly former Sumo champion are left healthy enough to find a cure. [Previously reviewed here, COWA! received a grade of “A”]
Double nominee Naoki Urasawa’s Monster [Rated “T” for Older Teens] spins the layered tale of how a famous surgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders after he saves the live of a critically wounded young boy who is destined for a terrible fate.
Solanin is the story of Meiko Inoue, a recent college grad who works as an office lady – a job she hates; her freelance illustrator boyfriend crashes at her apartment because his job doesn’t well enough to rent a place of his own, and her parents send her packages of fresh vegetables that rot in her refrigerator. Meiko struggle comes from being unable to figure out how she fits in the world.