In Clothes Called Fat

In Clothes Called FatCreator: Moyoco Anno
U.S. publisher: Vertical
ISBN: 9781939130433
Released: July 2014
Original release: 2002

There is a select group of mangaka whose work I will buy without question or hesitation no matter what it is. Out of those creators, Moyoco Anno is one of my favorites. She works in multiple genres for multiple demographics and I have never failed to have been impressed by her manga. Anno’s work has been in print in English since 2003, first by Tokyopop and then followed by Viz Media and Del Rey Manga. Most recently, Vertical has been responsible for releasing more of Anno’s manga in English with superb editions of Sakuran, Insufficient Direction, and now In Clothes Called Fat. I was thrilled to learn that In Clothes Called Fat had been licensed. Collected in a single volume in Japan in 2002, the manga originally began serialization in 1997. Vertical published the English-language edition of In Clothes Called Fat in 2014, including a few pages of Anno’s color work which is always nice to see.

Noko Hanazawa is a young office worker under a fair amount of stress. She doesn’t get along very well with her coworkers and is frequently criticized by her superiors. There are, however, two things that bring uneasy comfort to Noko: Saito, her boyfriend of eight years, and food. Because Noko eats to alleviate her anxiety, she has also gained a significant amount of weight. Some of the other women in her office, especially Mayumi, bully her for being fat. Men either despise her or fetishize her because of how she looks. Noko eventually convinces herself that all of her unhappiness stems from being overweight and unattractive and that the only solution to her problems is to become skinny. While others urge her not to lose her fat, all for their own selfish reasons, Noko is determined to do anything she has to in order to drop pounds, exchanging one unhealthy relationship with food for another. Unfortunately, weight isn’t the only thing that Noko stands to lose in the process, something that she may only realize after the fact.

Obsession with appearance and the pursuit of happiness, identity, confidence, self-worth and self-esteem are all themes that frequently recur in Anno’s work. In some of her manga, such as Flowers & Bees, they are used for purposes of black comedy. While In Clothes Called Fat isn’t without humor—Vertical calls it a “dark comedy of manners,” which is very apt—Anno’s approach to the themes in the manga is more honest and bleak. It’s the brief moments of dark humor and slight absurdity that make the tragic tale bearable. In Clothes Called Fat is a tough read; there isn’t much happiness to be found in the story or its characters. However, the manga is an extraordinarily compelling and searing work. Noko and her struggles may be the focal point of In Clothes Called Fat, but she isn’t the only person in the manga who is forced to face some very harsh and hard truths about themselves and who they are as people. Some of them are able to eventually cope with reality while others will continue to try to live in denial.

As much as In Clothes Called Fat is about outward appearances, it’s even more about the characters’ internal turmoil and states of mind. Noko and the others use her weight as an excuse. She blames her unhappiness on her size and they torment her because of it, but that’s only an attempt to make themselves feel better and to assuage or avoid their own anxieties. The fixation on weight is merely a symptom of much more problematic underlying issues. Anno’s artwork in In Clothes called Fat emphasizes both the inner and outward conflicts of the characters. Backgrounds tend to be fairly minimal; the focus of the manga is very much on the people themselves: their facial expressions, their interactions with one another, and perhaps most importantly their body language. In Clothes Called Fat explores the extremes of ugliness and beauty, both physical and psychological, in appearance and in action. In Clothes Called Fat is a powerful work and easily one of the best manga—one of the best comics—that I’ve recently read. It can be uncomfortable, but it is also exceptional in its depth.

Random Musings: Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2014

TCAF 2014 Poster

©Michael DeForge

Last year I attended the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) for the very first time. It was an event that I had wanted to go to for years and I had such a fabulous time that I immediately began planning to return. TCAF is the only comics festival that I have ever been to so I can’t really compare it to others, but it is fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough. I certainly plan on going every that I possibly can at this point.

Last year I was only there for the main festival on Saturday and Sunday, but this year I pulled into Toronto on Thursday evening which gave me plenty of time to explore the city itself. After figuring out how to use Toronto’s streetcar system (I’ve never ridden a streetcar before) my “early” arrival allowed me to attend the opening reception of Toshio Saeki’s art exhibition at Narwhal Projects. Saeki is described as the “Godfather of Japanese Eroticism.” The gallery was a showing of a selection of his original drawings and silkscreen prints. They were beautiful, disconcerting, erotic, and surreal works. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to see them in person.

Friday was my “free” day in Toronto. While I was wandering all over the city, I made sure to make my way down to The Beguiling Books & Arts. Last year I got there a few minutes before it closed, so I was looking forward to spending a more reasonable amount of time exploring the store this year. The Beguiling is one of the best comic stores I’ve ever been to. It has a fantastic selection of materials and a marvelous staff. I highly recommend anyone visiting Toronto to check it out. The event that I was looking forward to on Friday was the Manga Mixer Night hosted by Sparkler Monthly at the TRANZAC Club. I sadly missed out on the gathering last year, and one of my TCAF goals for this year was to overcome some of my anxieties and to try to be a little more social, so to the mixer I went! And I’m glad that I did. I had a good time and Kuriousity‘s Lissa Pattillo and I were beautiful wallflowers together. We had a very nice conversation about manga, blogging, and TCAF.

Over the course of the festival I had the opportunity to briefly meet several other of my online friends in person: manga translator and all around awesome person Jocelyne Allen, my fellow Manga Bookshelf cohort Sean Gaffney, and the great A-run Chey who somehow managed to pick me out of a crowd. I certainly made some progress this year in the socialization department, but I still didn’t have the nerve to introduce myself to Deb Aoki and Erica Friedman, who were both kept very busy moderating various panels, or to Vertical’s Ed Chavez even though I was standing next to each of them at some point during the festival. Next time I’ll make it happen! I know there were at least a few other manga and comics bloggers at TCAF—like Brigid Alverson and Alexander Hoffman, among others—but I missed them, too.


“Ureshidaruma” by Toshio Saeki

Saturday was when the main festival actually began. Last year I didn’t get to spend as much time in the exhibitor area as I would have liked, so I got up bright and early on Saturday in order to visit as many artists and publishers as I could first thing in the morning. This turned out to be a good decision, because the exhibitor area seemed to only get busier and busier throughout the day. I couldn’t see everything before the Saturday panels started, but by the end of the day I managed to visit most of the tables that I wanted. Sadly, there were a few things that I was hoping to get that were sold out by the time I was able to make my way to the artists’ respective tables. But at least that meant that the creators were doing well, and I was very glad to see their success. While I went into TCAF knowing there were certain things that I wanted to pick up, I also allowed myself the opportunity to splurge on a few random items that I hadn’t even heard of before and discovered some great comics in the process. And of course, I also managed to compile a rather lengthy list of things that I wanted to check out later, too. I continue to be very impressed by both the quality and variety of creators and art at TCAF.

I attended four panels on Saturday. “What Do Women Want? Writing Comics for a Female Audience,” was moderated by Chromatic Press’ Lianne Sentar and featured Laura Lee Gulledge, Kate Leth, Joan Reilly, and Noelle Stevenson. It was an excellent panel looking at men and women and masculinity and femininity in comics and the North American comics industry. Generally, comics readers are assumed by the industry to be both male and straight and so that audience is the one that has traditionally been catered to. There have always been female readers but recently there have been more demands for a wider variety in comics, perhaps due in part to what the panelists called the “Sailor Moon Generation.” These are the women, and men, who were exposed to female-friendly Sailor Moon when they were younger and who are now old enough to create the types of comics that they want to see or are in the position to support and encourage other upcoming creators who want something more than the industry’s default. The key to the discussion was the importance of variety in comics and that great stories will attract all sorts of readers regardless of their intended audience.

“Comics Design and History” focused on the physical design, production, and presentation of graphic novels. The panel was moderated by Chris Randle and included designers Tracy Hurren from Drawn & Quarterly, Fawn Lau from Viz Media, and Chip Kidd, who has designed books for Vertical and PictureBox among many other publishers. They each chose three book designs to discuss and talked about some of the decisions that go into the design process. For example, one of the first steps when a comic is being translated into another language is to determine whether the original cover is suited for the new demographic. Unflipped manga has the potential to be accidentally displayed with the back cover as the front, so Kidd very deliberately created a design for Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan that was interesting and informative regardless of which direction the book was facing. One of the series that Lau discussed was Taiyo Matsumoto’s Sunny, talking about the choices that went into its deluxe presentation. One of the biggest challenges in book design is achieving a balance between production values and the budget, and then finding a printer that can actually produce it.

Queer Mixer presented by MASSIVE

TCAF 2014 Queer Mixer presented by MASSIVE

Considering the fantastic lineup—Jess Fink, Michael DeForge, C. Spike Trotman, HamletMachine, Graham Kolbeins, Katie Skelly, Ryan Sands—I should have known that “Contemporary Erotic Comics” was going to be a popular panel. It was held in one of the smallest venues and was completely packed, but it was absolutely worth squeezing into the crowd. Chris Randle was the moderator for this panel as well. The panelists discussed their first experiences with erotic comics (manga and doujinshi were frequently cited), the challenges of working in and making a living off of pornography, and some of the current trends in sex comics as a genre. The panel’s emphasis on the need for variety and different perspectives dovetailed nicely with parts of the “What Do Women Want?” discussion. Kolbeins, who has been critical to the efforts to bring gay manga to English-reading audiences, was able to provide fascinating insights into some of the difference between Japanese and Western porn comics industries. In Japan, pornography is often meant to exclusively be pornography; adding any sort of message or social commentary can be seen as watering it down. On the other hand, in the West sex comics often allow creators to address issues other than sex; as long as certain plot requirements are met, they are more or less free to do whatever they want with their comics.

The last panel that I attended on Saturday, moderated by Deb Aoki, was “Women in Manga!” The panel included all of this year’s mangaka who were featured guests at TCAF: Moyoco Anno, est em, and Akira Himekawa (A. Honda and S. Nagano, a two-women team). All four of them admitted that they brought their work along with them on the trip; they may be traveling, but they still had deadlines to meet. Even though they are women, they said that they are largely treated the same as their male counterparts when working in seinen. (In many cases, readers don’t even realize that they are women!) However, working in shounen used to present more hurdles, though it’s not as difficult now as it once was. In the end, readers care more about the content than the mangaka’s gender. Regardless of the genre or demographic that they are working in, the panelists normally receive respect. The exception to this would be boys’ love which is somewhat looked down upon. est em felt this was because that instead of the more usual manga contests which award the creators with a series, boys’ love mangaka often become professionals through their doujinshi and this is seen as a sneaky, backdoor way of breaking into the manga industry.

One of the heartbreaking things about TCAF is that there is so much great programming that it’s impossible to attend it all and hard decisions must be made. Sadly, “Women in Manga!” conflicted with the “Queering Comics – LGBTQ identity in comics and graphic novels” panel which I really wanted to attend. Since I couldn’t make it to the queer comics panel, I decided to show up for the TCAF Queer Mixer at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre instead. Now, I don’t generally go to things like parties and mixers, but I was enticed by the promise of on-stage presentations and interviews. And I wasn’t disappointed. Anne Ishii of MASSIVE made a fabulously entertaining host and more than a dozen of the queer creators who were at TCAF this year were spotlighted as part of the event. I was already familiar with some of them and their work, but others were new to me. And I’ll admit, it was pretty awesome to just be in the same room with a bunch of other amazing queer folk. One of the best things about TCAF is how marvelously inclusive it is, and the annual Queer Mixer is representative of that.

TCAF 2014 Haul

My 2014 TCAF haul

Then came Sunday, the last day of the main festival. Also known as “Ash’s day of manga.” I made it to three events, each one focusing on the festival’s featured mangaka. First thing in the morning was Moyoco Anno’s Spotlight with Ed Chavez. Probably not too surprisingly, Vertical’s releases of Anno’s manga—Insufficient Direction, Sakuran, and the soon to be published In Clothes Called Fat—were used as a jumping off point for the discussion. Anno talked about her approach to writing seinen, choosing to focus on what she as a woman can bring to the demographic rather than trying to compete in the same areas where men could do just as well. As for shoujo, she doesn’t feel that it has changed much over the last twenty years; it still follows the same unrealistic tropes, especially in regards to love. She feels that the large gap between real relationships and how they are portrayed in manga can sometimes be problematic for readers. When asked, she sweetly replied that her favorite character to draw was Director-kun, her husband Hideaki Anno (who also happened to be in attendance).

Those who stayed for the entire Moyoco Anno Spotlight were at a slight disadvantage when it came to the signing that immediately followed. I was the first person put in the rush line for her signing, but sadly I still didn’t get the chance to personally meet Anno. However, this did mean that I had time to walk over to Toronto’s Japan Foundation in time for Akira Himekawa in Conversation. The two women, who are best known for their Zelda manga, are celebrating their thirtieth year of collaboration and were being interviewed by Deb Aoki. They were both incredibly engaging and enthusiastic about their work. I actually haven’t read very much of Himekawa’s manga, but I’ll certainly be making a point to now. And after seeing examples of some of their current series, I really hope that more of their manga will be licensed in English in the future. I love the Zelda franchise, but Himekawa’s recent work, much of it in full-color, simply looks gorgeous. While I was at the Japan Foundation, I was also able to see the Seiji Ozawa Photography Exhibition—a showcase of archival materials focusing on the young, Japanese music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1965 to 1969—which was great.

The Japan Foundation also sponsored an interview with Yohei Sadoshima, whose literary agency represents Moyoco Anno among many other creators, about the future of the manga industry. Unfortunately this conflicted with the est em Spotlight. As a huge fan of est em, there was no way I was going to miss her panel. Erica Friedman was the moderator and it actually ended up being one of the best interviews that I attended at TCAF this year, making it a great way to end the festival. est em got her start as a professional mangaka through boys’ love after being approached by an editor who was intrigued by her doujinshi. Interestingly enough, she hadn’t actually read much mainstream boys’ love, which may partly explain why her manga tends to be somewhat unusual. Although est em is probably best know for her atypical boys love manga, her current series—Golondrina and Ippo—are both seinen manga. I think that Viz is probably my only hope, but someone please license Golondrina for a print release! est em explains that the reason her work is quirky is because it incorporates what she personally finds to be beautiful or interesting. She especially enjoys exploring and working with themes that address the spaces in between two opposing forces. (Over at Okazu, Erica recently posted an excellent and much more thorough write-up of the est em Panel at TCAF.)

So there you have it! And that’s just scratching the surface of this year’s festival experience. In short: TCAF 2014 was phenomenal. The guests were amazing. The programming was fantastic. I hope that I’ll be able to go again next year. That’s the plan, anyway!

Insufficient Direction

Insufficient DirectionCreator: Moyoco Anno
U.S. publisher: Vertical
ISBN: 9781939130112
Released: February 2014
Original release: 2005

I picked up the first few volumes of Moyoco Anno’s manga series Happy Mania more on a whim than anything else. After reading them I immediately went out and tracked down all of the manga by Anno available in English that I could find. I have been a fan ever since and even went so far as to host the Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast. Anno is an extraordinarily talented creator. I adore her work and so was extremely happy when Vertical released Insufficient Direction in 2014. Originally published in Japan in 2005, the manga is a somewhat fictionalized account of Anno’s married life with her husband Hideaki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame. Now, I know quite a few people who were interested in Insufficient Direction primarily because of the Hideaki Anno connection. In addition to being one of the manga’s main subjects, an essay in which he discusses Insufficient Direction is also included as part of the volume’s extra materials. But for me, my interest in Insufficient Direction was all about Moyoco Anno. I was excited to have the chance to learn a little more about her and her life directly from her own perspective.

Rompers (aka Moyoco Anno) and Director-kun (aka Hideaki Anno) are getting married. It just so happens that Director-kun is one of the “big four” of Japanese otaku. A director of both film and anime, he is also a huge fan and obsessive collector of Japanese pop culture. Rompers has her own otaku tendencies and enjoys manga, anime, and such, but she has tried to keep those impulses under control in order to lead a more “normal” life. However, Rompers’ marriage to Director-kun makes that almost impossible and she slowly becomes bona-fide ota wife. Although Rompers obsesses over some of her own interests, it’s nothing when compared to Director-kun. Instead of denying her otakuness, Rompers begins to embrace it, partly out of self-preservation. She and Director-kun are able to share their love of Japanese television, anime, and manga, but how much is too much? Their home quickly fills with their collections and they can be embarrassingly enthusiastic over the smallest bits of trivia. In the end, it is a way of life and they love it (although Rompers continues to have some reservations). But more importantly, they love each other.

There are a ton of references to tokusatsu, anime, manga, and other Japanese pop culture and celebrities. In fact, there are thirty pages of annotations to help interested readers keep a handle on everything. Sometimes reading the notes actually takes longer than reading the chapters they’re associated with. However, understanding all of the minutia and details isn’t absolutely needed to enjoy Insufficient Direction; simply recognizing the extreme levels of geekiness and nerd cred involved should be enough. Rompers and Director-kun make an adorable and loving couple. The reason that there are so many pop culture references isn’t just because that is what they are interested in, it’s also one of the ways they connect and communicate with each other. Entire conversations can be held that consist of nothing but quotes from anime and other media. Singing theme songs at the top of their lungs brings them even closer together. Vacations and excursions are based on locations from films and television shows. Fortunately, because they do share so many interests, they usually can happily spend time enjoying them as a couple.

Although Insufficient Direction is fictionalized—mostly to emphasize the more humorous aspects of Rompers and Director-kun’s relationship—I find it to be entirely and completely believable. As a bit of an otaku myself, I am very familiar with relationships that work in similar ways to theirs and am all too aware of some of the challenges faced by avid collectors. Insufficient Direction shows both of the Anno’s to be very relatable people. At least I could certainly identify with them. Insufficient Direction is quirky, smart, and very funny. Compared to some of Anno’s other manga, the artwork in Insufficient Direction tends to be simpler in style, suitable for what basically amounts to a real-life gag manga. The individual chapters are short and there isn’t really an overarching plot so much as there is an ongoing challenge for Rompers and Director-kun to put up with each other’s quirks and interests. There’s quite a bit of good-natured teasing in Insufficient Direction and quite a bit of love, not just for each other but for art and entertainment as well. I found Insufficient Direction to be a very enjoyable read and am very happy to have it in English.

Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast: A Final Farewell

© Moyoco Anno

We have now officially reached the conclusion of the Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast!

As a sort of bonus review, I took a look at Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators which includes Anno’s short manga “The Song of the Crickets.” I’m calling it a bonus because I reviewed the volume as a whole as opposed to focusing on Anno’s contribution. “The Song of the Crickets” is a mere six pages long, but it’s a beautifully illustrated period piece.

At All About Manga, Daniella Orihuela-Gruber has a great post about Moyoco Anno’s Study of the Bitch, looking at Anno’s portrayal of women in Happy Mania, Sakuran, and Sugar Sugar Rune:

There is something about how Moyoco Anno portrays women in her manga. Put simply, each and every female character is a bitch. While this may seem like a derogatory way to say it, it is simply how Anno sees all women. To her, women are fierce, fighting bitches, not simpering little things who take life as it comes.

This week’s My Week in Manga video from Melinda Beasi at Manga Bookshelf is a special edition focusing on Moyoco Anno’s work. It’s just a little over ten minutes long and well worth a watch/listen. Melinda discusses Anno’s approach to love and romance (or lack of romance) in her manga and specifically how Sugar Sugar Rune fits into that approach and how it compares to her other works.

Anna at Manga Report gave Happy Mania a second chance for the Feast, and discovered a new appreciation for the series:

Shigeta’s antics didn’t really sit very well with me the first time I tried this series, but in the intervening years I’ve read a bunch more manga, and right now I find a manga about a woman finding unhappiness through her pursuit of men much more interesting than a more typical manga that is going to head towards a happy ending after a series of wacky misunderstandings.

Last but not least, Sarah at Nagareboshi Reviews digs into Sakuran and finds it to be a great introduction to Anno’s work: 

Sakuran is a beautiful heartbreaking manga. It is open in its depiction of life in Yoshiwara and the character of Kiyoha is someone readers will both despise and admire, often at the same time. That’s good; polarizing figures are often the most interesting to read about. Add to that Anno’s matchless artistic style and it’s clear we have yet another fantastic release from the people at Vertical Inc.

If I have missed any contributions to the Feast, or if there are still posts being written, please do let me know. This may be the last roundup, but I would be happy to include links to any and all remaining contributions on the archive page.

And finally, I would like to everyone again: those who helped spread the word about the Feast, those who contributed posts, and those of you who quietly enjoyed the Feast from the sidelines. (Readers are important, too!) I couldn’t have pulled of the Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast on my own. I hope you all enjoyed the Feast as much as or even more than I did hosting it.

Please join us all for February’s Feast which will be hosted by Organization Anti-Social Geniuses between February 17 and February 24. The focus of the Feast will be on Naoki Urasawa and his work. Urasawa is one of the reasons I became obsessed with manga, so I’m particularly looking forward to the upcoming Feast.

Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators

Edited by: Frédéric Boilet and Masanao Amano
U.S. publisher: Fanfare/Ponent Mon
ISBN: 9788496427167
Released: December 2005

Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, a project coordinated by Frédéric Boilet and Masanao Amano, is a part of the Nouvelle Manga artistic movement, a collaboration between Franco-Belgium and Japanese comic creators. The volume was published in English by Fanfare/Ponent Mon in 2005. It was also released in five other language editions at that time: Japanese, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian. The collection brings together eight creators who were living in Japan (including Boilet) and nine French-speaking creators from outside of the country who were invited to visit Japan for two weeks as part of the project. I had previously read the volume but because Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators includes Moyoco Anno’s short manga “The Song of the Crickets,” I wanted to look at the collection again for the Moyoco Anno Manga Moveable Feast. I have an even greater appreciation for the anthology now that I recognize and am familiar with more of the contributors and their work than I did the first time reading it.

Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators begins with Kan Takahama’s beautifully illustrated, slightly nostalgic and melancholy story “At the Seaside” which takes place in Amakusa at the far western tip of Japan where she was born and raised. Each subsequent piece in the collection slowly works its way north and east across the country. The first contribution included by a French-speaking creator was “The Gateway” by David Prudhomme who visited Fukuoka. It, Aurélia Aurita’s delightful “Now I Can Die!,” and Fabrice Neaud’s “The City of Trees” read very much like travelogues and memoirs, although Prudhomme’s piece has a touch of the fantastic to it. Nicolas de Crécy’s “The New Gods” is also a travelogue of sorts but is told from the perspective of a work-in-progress searching for inspiration among Japan’s advertisements and mascots. In “Waterloo’s Tokyo,” Joann Sfar channels the thoughts and feelings his French friend living in Japan has for the city. “Osaka 2034” by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters and Emmanuel Guibert’s “Shin.Ichi” aren’t so much comics as they are illustrated narratives.

Interspersed between the contributions from French-speaking creators are the works created by comic artists living in Japan. Frédéric Boilet, active in both Japanese and European comics, serves as a sort of bridge between the two groups. His piece, “Love Alley,” features a discussion about trash and recycling collection in Japan which steadily becomes a much more personal conversation as the comic progresses. Both Jiro Taniguchi’s “Summer Sky” and little Fish’s “The Sunflower” are slice-of-life stories, although “The Sunflower” is more surreal and completely without words. Moyoco Anno’s period piece “The Song of the Crickets” is beautifully drawn and atmospheric. “Kankichi” by Taiyo Matsumoto, “The Festival of the Bell-Horses” by Daisuke Igarashi, and “In the Deep Forest” by Kazuichi Hanawa all have folkloric and religious influences and undertones. The collection concludes with Étienne Davodeau’s “Sapporo Fiction” which follows a Japanese gentleman and a Frenchman who become traveling companions by chance.

What I appreciate the most about Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators is the wide variety of artistic expression and styles of storytelling. There’s a wonderful mix of fiction and non-fiction, the fantastic and the mundane. The power of images and illustration is a common theme, as is the influence that each culture, French and Japanese, has had on the other. Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators is a very aptly named volume as the collection give the contributors a chance to explore the country in a way that they each choose. The comics are largely personal works, whether they focus on reality or fantasy, the past or the future. As with any anthology, some of the pieces are stronger than others, and some will appeal more than others due to personal preference, but overall Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators is a fascinating collection and an excellent project and collaboration.