Derik Badman's Journal

2020-02-26 08:22

Finished rereading the new edition of Taniguchi's Walking Man this week. This time around it's a hardcover edition with 3 extra stories and color pages, all now presented in right to left format. It's a bit of a disappointment. The color pages are lovely, but the three extra stories are odd fits. One doesn't feature the protagonist at all and seems more like something thrown in randomly. The other two are drawn in a different style and do seem to have the same protagonist or at least as best as one can say considering he is anonymous throughout and the stylistic change makes it harder to be sure he is the same character. The second of those is the weirdest one and the most offputting, as it features the character remembering an affair he had, while married, with another woman. The drawing for this one is darker and thicker, giving it more of a noir look (like some of Taniguchi's earlier work, I believe). Imagining this as the same character we see in the rest of the stories, a man who seems happy and gets along with his wife, is jarring at the end. It's like having a little pebble in your shoe when you take a walk. I think I'll choose to think of it as a different character.

More confusingly the new edition has no extratextual material. It doesn't even have the briefest of author biographies (Taniguchi's name appears on cover, spine, title page, and copyright notice, that's it). There is no introduction or afterward, nothing. The previous edition I had at least had a few paragraphs about the author and his work. It all seems like a missed opportunity. Regardless, it is still a comic I quite love.