I try, I really do. I read Tezuka, and Nakazawa, and that wonderful new Tatsumi book, but I still find it unnecessarily difficult to discover and read good, interesting manga. Even in actual bookstores I feel no desire to dig through mounds of generic, juvenile shoujo and sci-fi and samurai paperbacks in the hopes of unearthing something worthwhile. Imagine, then, how much I might relish taking on manga in its big hairy online presence – I can’t read Japanese, have only the haziest idea which creators I should be looking for, do my computing on a museum piece, and have no patience for slogging through websites glorifying crappy taste. If only there existed more sites like scanlation phenom Kotonoha, which is handsome, dedicates itself to “unusual and lesser known manga,” and features an extensive selection of “one-shot” short stories in addition to serials. I haven’t yet braved the longer works, but I’m sure they’re at least readable, if only because Kotonoha exhibits such good taste in curating the shorter pieces. These feature efforts from manga-ka I’ve actually heard of, like Otomo Katsuhiro and Koruda Iou, but the real draws here are the fourth- and fifth-EVER English translations of work by Tsuge Yoshiharu, one of the most masterful cartoonists I’ve read. “Marsh” and “Hunting Mushrooms” are by no means the filet of Tsuge’s work – as some of his very first work for the alt-manga anthology Garo, they’re too early – but they are, by all indications, pivotal in his career. The publication of these odd, depressive, disarming strips is not only cause enough for you to visit Kotonoha post-haste – it’s also cause for rejoicing. (Sean Rogers)