cover image Sunny


Taiyo Matsumoto. Viz Media, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4215-5525-6

Eisner Award–winner Matsumoto’s (Tekkon Kinkreet) newest work is a touching but sad story of the lost souls in the Star Kids children’s home. When new kid Sei is dropped off by his parents, he believes they’ll return for him soon. But he discovers that the other kids at the home once believed they, too, would quickly return to their parents. The home is populated with problem kids like Junsuke, a kleptomaniac; Haruo, a rebellious preteen whose devil-may-care attitude hides a soft heart; Kenji, who needs his absentee alcoholic father’s permission to drop out of middle school; sensitive Megumu, who fears dying alone; and Kiko, a girl trying too hard to become a woman. The Star Kids home is a chaotic place full of broken children desperate for love. Their sole break from reality is a dilapidated old car—Sunny—in the front lawn, where they imagine taking a ride to a magical world. The predominantly black-and-white art, in a style with more realism than most manga illustration, is occasionally interrupted by beautiful full-color paintings. Matsumoto deftly weaves a sense of longing and sadness into even the most chaotic scenes, and readers are drawn into the lives of children struggling to be themselves in a world that doesn’t want them. The first in a series. (May)