Grab bag

Stop it, manga! I haven’t received my tax refund yet! And you, western comics publishers… you’re not helping! At all!

Tons of the stuff that was due out last week is actually arriving this week, along with a bunch of other stuff that I want. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

The first culprit is Dark Horse, which unleashes new volumes of Eden: It’s an Endless World!, Mail, and The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, any one of which could vie for “pick of the week” status. I’m also very curious about the first volume of Red String by Gina Biggs, the first volume of a collection of a shôjo-influenced webcomic.

I can’t remember the last time I was really excited by the prospect of a monthly from DC, but I’m really looking forward to Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil. My interest in the character probably peaked with the live-action Saturday-morning show that ran when I was about eight (and even then I preferred Isis), but it’s Jeff Smith doing a comic that doesn’t apparently require consumption of an anti-depressant to get through it. It sounds like exactly the kind of friendly-to-a-wider-audience treatment of an iconic character that some bloggers have been wanting.

And Dark Horse doesn’t own the helping-the-dead manga category this week. CMX has a new volume of Omukae Desu.

I remember reviewing the first two volumes of Category: Freaks (DrMaster) about a year ago, and the third volume is just coming out now? I’ll have to put it on the “check it out when time and disposable income permit” list.

Escape from “Special” by Miss Lasko-Gross (Fantagraphics) will also go on that list. It sounds intriguing, and who can resist exuberant, demographically sensitive solicitation text like this: “Miss Lasko-Gross, who has the sensibility of a love child of Linda Barry and David B. midwifed by Judy Blume, has created a graphic novel that should appeal not only to the growing readers of graphic novels, but to teens grappling with similar unresolved questions.” Not me, that’s for sure.

Oni releases the second issue of the very appealing Maintenance, a workplace comedy about custodians at a mad-scientist think tank.

Viz delivers the Shojo Beat titles that were initially scheduled for release last week, along with the final volume of Train Man: Densha Otoko, my favorite of the competing manga adaptations of the story.

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