More floppies than usual

April 25, 2006

So what’s coming out this week? I’m glad you asked!

Slave Labor Graphics offers the fourth issue of Andi Watson and Simon Gane’s Paris, which has been a real treat. The Pulse has a preview here.

Speaking of treats, Oni delivers the fifth issue of Ted Naifeh’s absolutely delightful Polly and the Pirates. It reads awfully well in chapters, but I suspect it will be just as much fun in collected form.

Not being a big fan of stories where powerful women get brutalized by creepy nebbishes, I wasn’t all that crazy about the last issue of X-Factor (Marvel). We’ll see if Peter David can turn it around this month. It’s looking like a Layla Miller-centric issue, and she’s my second-favorite character after M, so that’s promising.

For the morbidly curious, Tokyopop answers the hypothetical question I don’t recall anyone asking: What if Chuck Austen wrote manga? The cover of the first volume of Boys of Summer suggests a sensitive examination of the character-building power of sport in a young person’s life. And bikinis. Woooo!

I already got my copy of Shinsuke Tanaka’s Wings from Amazon, but it arrives in comics shops tomorrow. I really enjoyed this sweet, beautifully drawn book.

More on Gravett’s MANGA

April 25, 2006

Svetlana Mintcheva, director of the Arts Program of the National Coalition Against Censorship, has written a letter to the San Bernadino County official who ordered the removal of Paul Gravett’s Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics from local libraries. ICv2 posted the letter here. This is my favorite passage:

“The book is now unavailable to all readers, including adults. Whatever arguments might be advanced to justify denying minors access to non-obscene sexual content are inadequate to deny adults access to legal materials. As the Supreme Court has repeated on numerous occasions, ‘The level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox.’”

And over at Publishers Weekly (registration required, though hopefully it will appear in this week’s PWCW), Calvin Reid reports that there’s some admirable collaboration of like-minded organizations underway:

“Mintcheva said the NCAC is collaborating with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the American Library Association to create a brochure offering guidelines for librarians to build comics and graphic novel collections and to deal with censorship issues. The brochure is almost complete, she said, and will include illustrations by top comics artists like Phoebe Gloeckner, whose A Child’s Life and Other Stories has been censored by some libraries.”

This sounds like a terrific resource.

(Thanks to Gina Gagliano for pointing these out to me. Can someone convince her to blog?)