From the Eisner-nominated creator of…

April 24, 2007

This is turning out to be one of those weeks where I wishfully assume more days have already elapsed than actually have. I currently seem to be telling myself it’s Thursday, and the disappointing realization that it isn’t is mitigated by the fact that a ton of great comics are coming out on Wednesday. In fact, it’s sort of an Eisner Nominee Showcase New Comic Book Day!

The sixth issue of the second volume of Linda Medley’s wonderful revisionist fairy tale, Castle Waiting, arrives courtesy of Fantagraphics. (The collection of the first volume of Castle Waiting has been nominated for Best Graphic Album – Reprint and earned a nod for Adam Grano for Best Publication Design.)

Joann Sfar, writer of The Professor’s Daughter (due out in paperback and hardcover from First Second) was nominated in the Best Writer/Artist category for his work on Vampire Loves and Klezmer. Artist Emmanuel Guibert didn’t get a nod this year, but give him time. John Jakala has reviewed The Professor’s Daughter at Sporadic Sequential, confirming my suspicions that I’ll enjoy it very much.

Joining Sfar on the Best Writer/Artist slate is Renée French for her unsettling yet strangely uplifting The Ticking (Top Shelf). The book also earned a spot in the Best Graphic Album – New category, and Jordan Crane was recognized with a Best Publication Design nod. So, yes, The Ticking is superb, which raises my hopes very high for French’s Micrographica, also from Top Shelf. (Reading Tom Spurgeon’s review didn’t hurt either.)

Vertical’s lovely productions of classic manga have been a regular presence in the Eisner nominations, and I wouldn’t be surprised if their release of Keiko Takemiya’s To Terra… made its presence known next year. The second volume of To Terra… shows up in comic shops this week.

When Setona Mizushiro’s After School Nightmare (Go! Comi) earned a nomination for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan, some of the reaction was “After What Who?” Consider the arrival of the third volume of this creepy, psychologically nuanced shôjo thriller incentive to find out just why it deserves the nod. Sure, plenty of manga series focus on extracurricular activities, but Mizushiro’s take is disturbing and unique.

But really, a book doesn’t need an award nomination to be worth picking up, does it? This is my way of saying that I’m stupid-happy over the imminent arrival of a new volume of Sakura Tsukuba’s Penguin Revolution (CMX). So far, this romantic comedy has leaned heavily on the “com” and largely neglected the “rom,” which is partly due to the fact that the heroine is far too focused on professional concerns to consider the possibility that the world of teen idol management could pose romantic complications, on top of all of the secrecy and backstabbing. Things shift a bit towards the “rom” side in the third volume, but the book is still an awful lot of fluffy fun.

Who are you wearing?

April 24, 2007

This is a question that will best be reserved for the actual Eisner ceremonies, but a bunch of people were kind enough to respond to a number of other inquiries for this week’s Flipped.