This week’s ComicList constitutes almost an embarrassment of riches. Maybe it’s because of the extra day before shipment. There’s even a three-way tie for Pick of the Week, with some serious runners-up.
Any week that offers a new title from Fanfare/Ponent Mon is going to be special. This boutique nouvelle-manga publisher has a sterling track record for quality, and I can’t imagine that new work from Jiro Taniguchi will do anything to undermine it. With The Ice Wanderer, Taniguchi seems to be channeling Call of the Wild, offering six man-versus-nature short stories. The subject matter isn’t automatically my cup of tea, but it’s Taniguchi, so it will be gorgeous.
A new paperback volume of Rick Geary’s A Treasury of Victorian Murder series (NBM) is also cause for celebration. The Bloody Benders might well be subtitled “Deadly Inn on the Prairie” from the solicitation text.
It’s a great week for Del Rey in general, but I have to make special mention of the last volume of Kio Shimoku’s Genshiken. Nothing much has really happened in nine volumes, but the characters are so great that I really don’t care. The charming interpersonal dynamics and the insanely detailed art are more than ample compensation.
As to the rest of Del Rey’s large-ish slate of releases, I’ve gone from really liking Fuyumi Soryo’s ES to absolutely loving it. The seventh volume arrives on Thursday, and the tension ratchets up considerably as Soryo forces just about everyone in her cast into dark and dangerous corners. On the lighter side, there’s the third volume of Ai Morinaga’s very funny anti-sports manga, My Heavenly Hockey Club. I devoted half of last week’s Flipped to Ryotaro Iwanaga’s very promising Pumpkin Scissors, so go take a look if you haven’t already.
I don’t think I’ll ever be inclined to read comics online if there’s a print alternative. Take Morim Kang’s 10, 20, and 30 (Netcomics). I sampled some chapters via the Internet and liked them a lot, then read the first paperback and liked it quite a bit more. Either way you consume it, it’s got charming cartooning and wonderfully rounded characters offering multi-generational slices of life. The second volume arrives this week.
I’m still kind of on the fence about MPD Psycho (Dark Horse), written by Eiji Otsuka and illustrated by Sho-U Tajima. I read the second volume over the weekend, and while I found it less aggressively lurid than the first, I thought it was a little harder to follow. I’m inclined to give Otsuka a lot of leeway based on his work on The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, so I’ll stay on board for a bit longer.
I was quite taken with the first volume of Kyoko Shitou’s The Key to the Kingdom (CMX), a race-for-the-crown fantasy adventure. I’m eager to see what happens in the second installment.