Something for almost everyone

May 1, 2007

Time for the weekly stroll through the ComicList. It’s a big ‘un.

Dark Horse rolls out the seventh volume of Hiroki Endo’s Eden: It’s an Endless World! It’s an intriguing and solidly executed series, but I’m starting to wonder how long we’re going to spend with the gangsters and prostitutes. It makes a certain amount of sense that the drug and sex trades would survive near-apocalypse relatively unscathed, but I’d rather the focus turned back on things that have changed.

I can say with little fear of contradiction that there will probably be no prostitutes and that any gangsters who do appear will be unlikely to be the type to mutilate in the third issue of Jeff Smith’s Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil. The presence of either mutilating gangsters or sex workers would indicate a rather drastic change in the thus-far delightful series.

It seems inevitable that episodic series will lose some of their charm as ongoing subplots start to take prominence, but I’m not finding that to be the case with Meca Tanaka’s Omukae Desu (CMX). I’ve already read a preview proof of the fourth volume, which comes out this week, and the evolving romantic entanglements are balanced nicely with the restless ghosts who keep the cast gainfully employed.

Del Rey is moving an unusually high volume of manga this week. You already know what I think of the first volumes of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte and Yasunori Mitsunaga’s Princess Resurrection, and I’d also recommend the ninth volume of Tomoko Ninomiya’s charming musical josei, Nodame Cantabile, and the second volume of Yuki Urushibara’s moody, quirky supernatural series, Mushishi. Yes, I like Del Rey’s manga catalog a lot. Why do you ask?

I found an awful lot to like in James Vining’s First in Space, which arrives this week from Oni. It’s a fact-based portrayal of Ham, the chimpanzee who paved the way for human space exploration in the U.S.

Sure, Kindaichi Case Files (Tokyopop), by Kanari Yozaburo and Satoh Fumiya, is formulaic, but it comes out so infrequently that it does really matter to me. The fifteenth volume promises another cleverly constructed, gruesome, locked-room murderer solved by a smart-mouthed young sleuth.

Being a sucker for cute dogs and having seen some of the early reviews, there’s little chance that I’ll be able to resist Christian Slade’s Korgi (Top Shelf).

For other takes on tomorrow’s arrivals, check out this run-down by Chris Mautner and Kevin Melrose at Blog@Newsarama and the extremely-generous-with-free-comics Dave Carter’s assessment.

Botchan schedule clarified

May 1, 2007

Jog looks at the upcoming offerings from Fanfare/Ponent Mon and wonders if the publisher is really going to release seven volumes of The Times of Botchan during the remainder of 2007, as could be construed from this piece at Anime News Network.

I checked in with Fanfare’s Stephen Robson, who said that volumes four through ten are in the making but not on the 2007 calendar:

“I expect to get two more volumes out this year to bring us to the half way point then let’s see what pans out next year. But I do expect a quicker pace (but not too quick).”

Even without the five additional Botchans, 2007 does seem to promise a comparatively heavy line-up for Fanfare. That’s a good thing, obviously.