The run of relatively low-key weeks is apparently over, as the comics industry unleashes an avalanche of interesting-sounding new releases and new volumes of much-loved series. (The ComicList even goes so far as to pull out a manga-only version of the Wednesday roster.)
The Aviary, by Jamie Tanner (AdHouse): The publisher sent me a review copy of this, and it’s a very odd work. Visually, it reminds me of Rick Geary’s work on the Treasury of Victorian Murder series (see below) with a bit of Rebecca Kraatz’s House of Sugar (Tulip Tree) thrown into the mix. Tonally, it’s somewhere near Renee French territory, but bleaker and more caustic. It’s going to take a few more readings before I can pin down exactly how I feel about it, but it’s certainly interesting, unsettling, and great looking.
King of Thorn, by Yuji Iwahara (Tokyopop): You’re probably sick of me mentioning how much I loved Chikyu Misaki (CMX), but that’s the reason I’m so excited about this series. Iwahara demonstrated a great blend of complex plotting, thoughtful characterization, and stylish visuals, and I’m hoping those qualities recur in this series.
Shojo Beat (Viz): I love a lot of the series in the Shojo Beat roster, but I generally don’t bother to pick up the magazine since I’d rather buy the ones I like in digest form. But this issue features and excerpt from Osamu Tezuka’s groundbreaking shôjo series, Princess Knight, so it’s a must-buy.
Re-Gifters, by Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Mark Hempel (DC-Minx): Interest in the Minx initiative aside, I loved My Faith in Frankie (DC-Vertigo), also from this creative team. I’m glad to see them reunited.
Treasury of Victorian Murder Vol. 9: The Bloody Benders, by Rick Geary (NBM): I’m cheap, so I generally wait for these to come out in paperback, but I’m a huge fan of Geary’s retellings of twisted crimes from days gone by. I’m completely unfamiliar with the featured case this time around, so this installment should let me increase my stores of grisly trivia.
And here’s the daunting list of new volumes of manga series I enjoy:
The Drifting Classroom Vol. 6, by Kazuo Umezi (Viz – Signature)
Emma Vol. 4, by Kaoru Mori, (CMX)
Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Vol. 3, by Yukiya Sakuragi (Viz)
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Vol. 8 (Viz – Signature)
Sgt. Frog Vol. 13, by Mine Yoshizaki (Tokyopop)
Wild Adapter Vol. 2, by Kazuya Minekura (Tokyopop)