Thursday, January 6, 2011

This looks interesting: With the Light

 Find the first volume at: [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Description from the publisher (Yen Press):
With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child is a simultaneously poignant and heartwarming story of a young mother attempting to cope with an increasingly common affliction. With the Light has been universally recognized for its sensitive portrayal of autism, winning an Excellence Prize for manga at the eighth annual Japan Media Arts Festival.

See what some reviewers have to say about this series:

Brigid Alverson at MangaBlog
Despite its didactic qualities, this book works well as entertainment, and I really got wrapped up in the story. While Sachiko’s trials are exaggerated, they have a universal quality: She looks at her child and wonders if his problems are all her fault; she feels relief when she meets other mothers who face the same struggles. You don’t have to be the mother of a child with a disability to relate to that.

Deb Aoki at
That said, there's lots to like about With The Light: The artwork is soft and feminine and tells the story of this young family's struggles with sensitivity. It's a welcome addition to the manga landscape; a book that has great potential to reach new audiences.

Joe at Forbidden Planet International
Although the story itself is not autobiographical in a direct sense, Keiko did talk to parents who have raised autistic children – the book is littered with little notes pointing such parents to where they can pursue some of the practical ideas the Azumas use to help Hikaru to use for their own children and, in a very nice touch, some first-hand accounts by parents of autistic children are included at the end.

John Hogan at Graphic Novel Reporter
All of which is not to say that With the Light doesn’t have its tender moments. It does, but it earns each one of them without toying with the reader’s emotions. When Masato struggles with his anger and stress of his son’s autism and lashes out at his wife, it’s not the cloying stereotype of an uncaring man with no time for his children. Instead, it’s all too apparent that this is a man too young to be both an effective father and the star employee his bosses—not to mention his family and society—want him to be.

Johanna Draper Carlson at Manga Worth Reading
As drawn by Keiko Tobe, Hikaru and his mother both have the large, luminous eyes many associate with manga art. For her, they reinforce her pain and confusion; for him, they make him seem vaguely inhuman. His glassy stare seems to see things the rest of us don’t perceive and shows his inability to cope with the everyday world. Great attention is paid to the details of the ordinary settings that provide challenges to Hikaru, grounding his experiences.

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