Graphic Novel Review: The Walking Man

The Walking Man
Story and Art by: Jiro Taniguchi
Published by Fanfare/Ponent Mon
ISBN10: 8493340995
ISBN13: 9788493340995

Review by Linda Yau

In this bustling world of rapid movement, and possibly the normalcy of your life, what would happen if you there is an opportunity to observe the area around you? This is what the protagonist in Jiro Taniguchi’s The Walking Man does. He is a nameless Japanese salary man who for all appearances is a newlywed who has moved with his wife to a new location that reflects Japanese suburbs.

Each chapter features the protagonist on his walks, and normal every day events. So I believe there is a theme of enjoying life, by relaxing and taking normal sights as being an experience. That to explore, is to discover unknown facets to moments. Reading this book was a pretty subjective book for me, as it definitely reminded me to not try to rush every where so much.

This is a book that I was able to pick up during New York Comic Con from Fanfare/Ponent Mon publications, UK/Spain based publisher, who has translated and released titles from Jiro Taniguchi who is an acclaimed manga-ka in Japan.

The Walking Man, also is a good example of how graphic novels can definitely appeal to not just children or adolescents. This is a book that is meant for adults, and there is not as much dialogue, so people can look at this book as a story art book, as well as a graphic novel. Another warning though, there is one scene where the protagonist strip naked to go and swim in someone’s pool, on a late night walking excursion. While there is no mention of sex, the fact that there is male nudity, would make the rating for this book not suitable for children or adolescent.

One slight complaint though, seeing the protagonist walk around so much, I wonder when exactly would he work for money of for his family? There was a distancing factor, in my opinion, so while there are vivid and stark inked drawings, I wonder how close the protagonist was to his family. I’ll definitely recommend checking this book out, if you are an adult with an interest of the slice of life, and not just the action or romance that popularizes the other graphic novels.