Kenji Nakazawa knew terrible anguish as a child. And as an adult, became a great artist.
Gen Nakaoka is an ordinary six-year-old boy, living with his family near Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. Barefoot Gen is a manga series that follows him from there. I read it several years ago on the recommendation of a friend. It is as terrible and beautiful a work as any ever made. And sadly little known in the English-speaking world.
So when I saw the Backerkit + Kickstarter project to bring the entire series out in a hardcover edition suitable for school libraries, of course I backed it. (This Comics Alliance article summarizes the proect.) This special school library edition will run to four volumes — in the original Japanese, the series runs to ten, but bear in mind you can get a lot more into a library binding than a paperback. When I read it, only the first four were available in English. One result of this project is that I learned that the US publisher had brought out the remaining six volumes in paperback, starting about the time I read the first four. Ah well; now I'll have the whole thing in hardcover instead. Sucks to be me. (^:
I wish I'd posted about this sooner of course. I heard about it — and signed up — when I was in the hospital, and frankly had forgotten all about it until I happened to check my gmail account for the first time in months today, and found mail asking where they should send my copies. So if you can't find it at your local library or bookstore, check with me in a few weeks and maybe I can lend you mine.