Gosh, it’s getting so you can’t even use the phrase “the recent unpleasantness” with confidence, because there’s always something new. Aside from noting that I think the much-discussed Heroes for Hire cover is really grotesque, I think I’ll focus instead on things that don’t make me nauseous and do, in fact, bring joy, or at least the promise of future joy.
I’m just not feeling the ComicList love this week. Maybe it’s because I’m in the midst of minor home improvement chaos and the thought of bringing new items across the threshold is kind of terrifying.
The clear highlight is a book I already own in hardcover, but it’s still exciting to see a paperback version of Joann Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat be released by Random House’s Pantheon imprint. This is one of my favorite works by Sfar, and it makes for lovely companion reading with Klezmer (First Second), if you liked that. Dare I hope that this means that another collection of The Rabbi’s Cat will be coming from Pantheon soon?
And hey, since I’m already in the wayback machine, I’ll take the opportunity of a lean week to mention some underappreciated books that you might want to check out if you’re hard-pressed to pull together a respectable shopping list on Wednesday:
In this week’s Flipped, it’s all Fumi Yoshinaga, all the time. I think I’ve finally figured out what distinguishing factor makes Ichigenme 801 and The Moon and the Sandals Juné, which isn’t really relevant to my central thesis that she’s generally awesome.
You would think that little could stand up in the face of the combined Direct Market power of the terms “Civil War” and “X-Men,” but a certain orphan and her passel of cursed friends and acquaintances managed it, with Fruits Basket Vol. 16 (Tokyopop) trumping some of the masses of Marvel event trades that compose most of the top 10 graphic novels for April.
Another group of orphans are hot on Tohru’s heels, however, as the seventh collection of Marvel’s Runaways comes in 9th place. In fact, two of Marvel’s digest-sized books cracked the top 100, the second being the eighth volume of the much-admired but almost-always-nearly-canceled Spider-Girl, landing in 67th place. These books are similar in size and price point to, say, Viz’s Shonen Jump Books, though they’re printed in full color. Runaways is, I believe, the last survivor of Marvel’s vaguely manga-influenced Tsunami line, and Spider-Girl pretty much lives in its own little world, continuity wise. (I wish more regular and complete bookstore figures were readily available, as I suspect both titles do pretty well there.)
I had wondered about last month’s somewhat lackluster performance of the 12th volume of Fullmetal Alchemist (Viz). It’s back this month, slightly higher in rank that it placed last month, but well below the 13th volume, which earns a more customary placement on the list (23rd in GNs overall, 4th in manga). Frequency of publication doesn’t seem to be hurting Death Note, with the 11th volume coming in 2nd in manga and 15th in graphic novels overall, compared to last month’s 2nd in manga and 7th in graphic novels overall. (Last month didn’t present quite so many Civil War trades.)
It’s another happy month for yaoi in the Direct Market, with three Juné titles making the top 100. When Dark Horse does manage to ship titles like Oh My Goddess, they do well in this market, with vol. 26 placing fifth in the manga pack and leading the rest of Dark Horse’s releases. And Del Rey has an unusually good Direct Market month, with three titles making the top one hundred. Genshiken isn’t surprising, but School Rumble? Who knew?
Oh, and kudos to not-safe-for-work Icarus for landing three titles on the top 300 comics list. How often can a manga publisher say that?
Newsarama has the Direct Market graphic novel figures for the month of April, and 32 manga titles made the top 100. That’s about 10 more than usual. More on the list later, but for now, here are the manga entries (and a couple of interesting digest-sized successes from Marvel) after the cut.
News comes from the Del Rey Manga Newsletter that Dean Koontz (aided by Queenie Chan of The Dreaming fame) will join Avril Lavigne in the imprint’s original graphic novel roster, bringing Koontz’s Odd Thomas to OGN life.
(Press release after the cut.)