The 2013 Cartoonist Studio Prize has been awarded to Taiyo Matsumoto for his works Sunny Vol. 1 and Sunny Vol. 2, about a group of kids living at a Japanese orphanage. At first we thought Sunny was the name of one of the characters, but to our pleasant surprise, it is indeed referring to an old Nissan Sunny 1200.
Through the course of the story, the decrepit old B110 becomes a makeshift clubhouse, an imaginary spaceship and a refuge for the kids of the orphanage from their dreary lives. Here’s the summary from Amazon.com:
What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams.
Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists.
Matsumoto’s drawings are somehow both beautiful and melancholy, and truly seem to capture the sad lives of children whose parents have abandoned them. The manga is still ongoing in Japan, with new chapters published in the manga magazine Monthly Ikki.
The first two volumes, spanning about 200 pages each, have been compiled and translated to English. They are available on Amazon.com (Click here for Volume 1 and Volume 2), or you can order a Japanese version and get a special edition Choro-Q version of the Sunny .