The Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) Festival and Kodansha USA Publishing jointly revealed on Thursday that Keito Gaku, the renowned manga artist, will grace the festival with his presence and mark his inaugural appearance in the United States.
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Gaku gained recognition through his inaugural manga series, Boys Run the Riot, serialized in Young Magazine between January and August 2020. The notable work earned a nomination for Best Manga at The Harvey Awards in 2021, showcasing its impact. Acknowledging its significance, the School Library Journal featured the initial compiled volume of the manga in its prestigious Top 10 Manga of 2021 compilation.
Kodansha USA Publishing brings forth an English release of a manga that delves into the life of Ryo, a transgender teenager seeking solace from the pressures and worries of daily existence within the realm of urban fashion. Crafted by a Japanese manga artist who identifies as transgender, this one-of-a-kind narrative unveils a deeply personal and heartfelt journey.
High schooler Ryo is acutely aware of being transgender, yet lacks a confidant to share the profound confusion within. Unable to confide in their secret crush, their best friend, or their mom, who persistently questions their masculine attire, Ryo remains trapped in isolation. Only when draped in their preferred garments does the world fade away, granting them solace and an opportunity to be authentic. One fateful day, while shopping, Ryo is taken aback by an unexpected sight: Jin, the seemingly tough transfer student, is browsing the very clothes that Ryo adores. In a surprising turn of events, Jin proposes the idea of establishing their own clothing brand, one that champions self-acceptance and comfort for all. Finally, Ryo discovers a confidant, and the arduous journey ahead promises a means to express their true self to the world.
The CXC Festival is scheduled to occur from September 27 to October 1 at various locations in Columbus, Ohio. The festival will be held at esteemed venues such as the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Museum of Art, GFC: Gateway Film Center, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.