Links by daylight

October 24, 2006

Dirk Deppey offers a lovely review of Kaoru Mori’s Emma (CMX) over at The Comics Journal:

“Mori’s subdued manga style allows for nuanced changes in gesture and facial expressions to convey a great deal of information, and her enthusiasm for the period is genuine and infectious — her author’s-note omake at the end of this first volume is practically a giddy teenager’s love letter to Victorian trappings.”

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I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the Flipped Forum over at Comic World News. At the moment, I’m primarily using it as a repository for publisher press releases, but I’m thinking it might be fun to start threads that track reviews of books I’ve covered in the column, just as respite for people who read my opinions and think, “What the hell was he on when he wrote that?”

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Speaking of those publisher press releases, Naruto is headed towards its natural habitat: the mall! (And yes, I realize that, in addition to its undeniable sales power, people like Tom Spurgeon and Bill Sherman also think it’s a solidly entertaining comic. The snark was just sitting there!)

The featured events are a nice illustration of the property’s burgeoning, multi-media empire. I wonder if Viz will be taking the opportunity to cross-promote some other properties at the same time?

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I’m very intrigued by this announcement from Sweatdrop Studios, a UK-based original manga studio. While I’m not entirely convinced that there is a unifying style or approach to either shônen or shôjo manga, I love the idea of concurrent versions of the same stories told by different creators.

Plus, as Pata notes, you can’t go wrong with an introduction from Paul Gravett.

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You also can’t go wrong when Jake Forbes pops by to offer his two cents. He shows up in comments at Comics Worth Reading to discuss what power really means in the manga business.


Comics in the wee hours

October 24, 2006

My tendency to become distracted by supporting characters has cropped up in Monster (Viz – Signature). I don’t mind dogged Dr. Tenma, though I find him too perfect. (Even his flaws seem calculated to make you sigh, “Oh, that poor, decent man.”) But I find any sequence featuring Nina, the sister of a serial killer who’s determined to do the right thing regardless of the cost, absolutely riveting. Nina gets lots of play in the fifth volume, so I’m a very happy reader.

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Jog notes one of the things that makes Golgo 13 (Viz – Signature) so special: the extras.

“Only in the pages of Golgo 13 could you possibly run into anything like what’s in this volume’s File 13 bonus section: a short essay by Horibe Masashi, ‘founder of the Hakukotsu School of Japanese Martial Arts,’ devoted entirely to the physiology of being kicked in the nuts. Seriously; you’ll learn the science behind what exactly happens in the body during an assault on the family jewels, some fun facts about testicles in Japanese folklore, and even the secrets behind a legendary lost karate skill of temporary bollocks retraction.”

That’s right. A Viz book features a comprehensive look at racking.

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At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson swings by the carry-out for a look at Project X – The Challengers – Seven Eleven – The Miraculous Success of Japan’s 7-Eleven Stores (Digital Manga Publishing).

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At Keromaru, Alex Scott offers more details on Books-A-Million’s Mature Graphic Novel section and gets confirmation from an employee at another B-A-M outlet.

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I’m glad to see that The Damned (Oni Press) is being received well. Mobsters and demons aren’t exactly my protagonists of choice, but I thought this book made interesting use of both. Jeff Lester at Savage Critics called it “surprisingly Good,” and Paul O’Brien at The X-Axis gave it an A-.

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After a couple of heavy weeks at the comics shop, this Wednesday is comparatively subdued. Despite a smaller number of titles of interest, the quality promises to be really, really high. I need to catch up with Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds (Alternative Comics), as I really enjoyed A Few Perfect Hours. Fantagraphics releases the second issue of the second volume of Linda Medley’s wonderful Castle Waiting.

But the undisputed pick of the week is Osamu Tezuka’s Ode to Kirohito (Vertical), 832 pages from the God of Manga for the ridiculously low price of $24.95. If you need more convincing, check out Jarred Pine’s review at Anime on DVD.

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I document the next step in Dark Horse’s continued (and successful) attempts to woo me in this week’s Flipped. First it was the thoughtful sci-fi of Eden: It’s an Endless World! Then it was the nostalgia-triggering charms of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Now it’s indie-flavored Ohikkoshi.

What will they roll out next? New shôjo?