Monday linkblogging

February 12, 2007

A comics retailer and a librarian walk into a bar… This piece from halifax_slasher and this response from Robin Brenner make for great back-to-back reading. (Oh, and No Flying, No Tights has also completed a mammoth update.)

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From the “I agree!” category, thoughts on Wild Adapter from TangognaT:

“If you like reading stories about cool men who might or might not have romantic feelings for each other smoking cigarettes and shooting guns, you can’t go wrong with Wild Adapter.”

And on 12 Days from Lyle at Crocodile Caucus:

“Considering the amount of skill [June] Kim shows, I’m surprised that there wasn’t a small but loyal audience eagerly awaiting this book on the basis of Kim’s short stories (similar to how many people purchased The Baby Sitters’ Club off of the strength of Raina Tegemeier’s mini-comic work). Much like Telgemeier, Kim is an artist who’s storytelling skill suggest years of honing her craft under the radar. I know I’m sold on whatever project Kim creates next.”

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From the “Grab your pointers” category:

Dave Carter at Yet Another Comics Blog is looking for good sources of manga news. In addition’s to the ones already suggested in the comments, I’d add the always-interesting ComiPress and the weekly round-ups from ChunHyang.

Joe Gross at Austin360.com is looking for manga recommendations. (Found via The Comics Reporter.) He already seems to be making a pretty good start with books like Eden, Monster, and The Drifting Classroom.

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Kevin Melrose has re-launched Comics, Covered. The more Melrose the better, I say.

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And this week’s Flipped is up, celebrating the recuperative power of fluff.


From the stack: The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Vol. 2

February 12, 2007

I capped off the weekend’s manga read-a-thon with the second volume of Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and liked it even better than the first. Otsuka and Yamazaki set aside the episodic structure for a single story that consumes the entire volume, and while I really enjoyed the short-story structure of the debut, the change is tremendously successful.

The story starts with the execution of a convicted murderer and spirals out into a number of unexpected, entirely satisfying directions. Without giving anything away, things become extremely personal for some of the Kurosagi sleuths. That’s not a direction I generally enjoy in mysteries and thrillers, but Otsuka uses it exceptionally well here.

Beyond the added layers of personal resonance for the characters, it’s also an extremely well-constructed mystery. Otsuka plays fair with the mechanics of the story while carefully emphasizing the moral ambiguities of the scenario. The long-form story coalesces gradually, asking as many questions as it answers along the way while providing some appropriately gruesome moments of suspense.

The peril and complexity of the scenario doesn’t lead Otsuka to neglect the quirky charms of his core cast. They’ve got more on their minds, but it doesn’t fundamentally change who they are. It just deepens readers’ understanding of them.

It’s great stuff. Mystery fans looking for a polished, substantial graphic novel would really be doing themselves a favor by picking it up.