Quality dark chocolate is also always a good choice

December 1, 2006

There’s a special feature in this month’s Previews: a Valentine’s Day Merchandise Checklist, compiling “a host of titles that are perfect to share with a loved one.” Okay, there’s more than a whisper of Team Comix to it, and some of the choices are a little odd, but many of them do provide extra exposure for some great books up at the front of the catalog, so I won’t complain.

The one that makes me happiest is the inclusion of Rebecca Kraatz’s House of Sugar from Tulip Tree Press (p. 344). I guess when Diamond reconsiders a rejection, they go all the way. That’s a good thing, as I like this book a lot.

ALC’s books (Yuri Monogatari 3 and 4 and Works, p. 208) make the cut. I thought the third YM book was kind of a mixed bag, but I do find the work of Rica Takashima hard to resist, and she brings her characters from the charming Rica ‘tte Kanji back in the fourth, so I might have to cave. Works, a collection of romantic shorts by Eriko Tadeno, sounds appealing as well.

If you missed it the first time, Diamond humbly suggests you consider the one-volume edition of Jeff Smith’s Bone (Cartoon Books) as a Valentine’s Day gift. Heck, just keep it, because you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.

Moving on to the romantically unsanctioned, I’m taken with the premise of Keiko Yamada’s Go Go Heaven!! (CMX, p. 98). After her untimely death, an unhappy teen gets “49 days to relive her life and resolve unfinished business.” Sounds morbid, but fun!

What’s this I see on the Featured Items page? A collection of the intriguing Elk’s Run from Villard Books (p. 347)? It started out self-published, got picked up by a publisher who went bust, and never got to finish its run as a mini-series, despite general critical acclaim. Now, Villard’s offering the whole shebang, and high time, I think.

Juné lures me with the promise of more Fumi Yoshinaga in the form of The Moon and the Sandals (p. 264).

Marguerite Abouet and Clément Ouberie’s Aya (Drawn & Quarterly, p. 270) offers intriguing subject matter (the everyday life of young women in the Ivory Coast) and an excellent pedigree (the 2006 Best New Album award from Angoulême).

The Comics Journal devotes #281 to the best of 2006 (Fantagraphics, p. 275). I’m a sucker for lists.

My favorite bit of solicitation text in the catalog is found in the blurb for Cantarella Vol. 6 (Go! Comi, p. 280). Young Chiaro “finds comfort and warmth within the confines of a monastery.” Oh, I’ll just bet he does.

It’s nice to see a full-page ad for Viz’s Signature line, especially one that focuses on Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix. Given the well-deserved attention Vertical’s production of Ode to Kirihito has received, it’s smart, too.

So what looks good to you?