Upcoming 9/29/2010

Only one item really pops out at me from this week’s Comic List:

Did you like Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte (Del Rey) but wish it had more contemporary art? Vertical can accommodate you in the form of Nobuaki Tadano’s 7 Billion Needles. It isn’t as smart as Parasyte, but it has a number of elements working in its favor.

I like the protagonist, for one thing. Hikaru is a high-school girl who, for reasons yet to be fully articulated, isolates herself from her fellow students via headphones and a media player of some sort. This state continues until her body is invaded by an interstellar entity on the hunt for a vicious killer. Hikaru and her uninvited guest must engage with people to find the poor soul who’s hosting this monster, known as Maelstrom.

As I suggested earlier, I also like the art. It’s clean and imaginative, packed with detail. The best way I can describe it is to ask you to suggest a muted combination of Yuji (Cat Paradise) Iwahara’s imagination and Kio (Genshiken) Shimoku’s obsessive-compulsive streak. Tadano doesn’t quite reach Iwaaki’s gory heights of imagination, but Tadano is also more persuasive in rendering the quieter moments.

The first volume is equal parts introduction to Hikaru and the concept and ensuing mayhem. It’s a solid starting point, and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop as a heroine and person. 7 Billion Needles was originally serialized in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper and was collected in four volumes. Comments above are based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

4 Responses to Upcoming 9/29/2010

  1. That cover design is just killing me (in a good way).

  2. [...] Dacey, Brad Rice, and David Welsh look at this week’s new releases. Melinda Beasi’s pick of the week is the first volume [...]

  3. [...] The last time I wrote about 7 Billion Needles (Vertical), Nobuaki Tadano’s manga homage to Hal Clement’s Needle, I neglected to mention the retro cover design, which is terrific. You know that smell that used paperback stores have? The look of the book evokes that smell, and the proportions of the book support it. The contents of the book don’t quite evoke that pulpy nostalgia, but they hint at it, and they’ve got their own charms. [...]

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