Warren words

March 18, 2008

K.D. Bryan offers thoughtful commentary on the third volume of Adam Warren’s Empowered (Dark Horse), and extrapolates the discussion to consider contemporary super-heroines in general:

“So my major problem here isn’t that Empowered vol. 3 has taken a misstep because an intelligent, thoughtful writer tried to deepen the series – taking the comedy out of the equation in two of the chapters to provide contrast between how she is treated and the true potential she wields. No, my real problem is that so many more well-known superheroines aren’t being given the same basic consideration as Empowered.”

Well worth your reading time, as is Bryan’s comment on my reaction to the book.

In other Adam Warren news, Marvel editor Tom Brevoort counts Warren’s Livewires (Marvel) among his “Unknown Greats.” I agree that this is a terrific comic, and it’s fascinating to read about just how meticulous Warren was in the process of creating it.

Upcoming 3/19/2008

March 18, 2008

Before I get into this week’s releases, let me just note that there could not be a worse time for Anime News Network to experience server problems than on the day when there’s news to be read about a new series called “Detective Puppy,” as was noted at MangaBlog. Since this is manga, chances are only about 50-50 that the comic will actually feature an adorable canine solving crimes, but I must know more. (As an example of this kind of misleading cuteness bait-and-switch, Penguin Revolution = cute + funny – actual penguins.)

Okay, I’ll shift my focus to the nearer future, as in Wednesday.

My pick of the generally strong week is the second volume of Keiko Tobe’s With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child (Yen Press). In addition to having the really admirable intentions, the first volume combined documentary and dramatic elements quite well.

It’s a strong week for Del Rey, or perhaps more accurately for me as a reader of Del Rey titles. There are new volumes of Fuyumi Soryo’s sci-fi psychodrama, ES: Eternal Sabbath, Ai Morinaga’s screwball sports-manga parody, My Heavenly Hockey Club, and Tomoko Ninomiya’s funny and charming look at music students, Nodame Cantabile.

Fans of Andi Watson’s Glister (Image) should definitely give Princess at Midnight (also Image) a look. It was originally published in the first Mammoth Book of Best New Manga, and Image is releasing it as a stand-alone with some additional material.

Oni offers the second trade paperback collection of Maintenance, a funny look at custodians at a mad-scientist think tank, written by Jim Massey and drawn by Robbi Rodriguez.

Tokyopop ensures high placement on the month’s sales chart with the release of the 19th volume of Natsuki Takaya’s extremely moving, often emotionally raw fantasy-romance, Fruits Basket. The story itself is still going strong, even if Takaya has been forced to resort to members of the student council for her cover subjects.

Fruits Basket might get edged out of the top sales spot by the 16th volume of Hiromu Arakawwa’s Fullmetal Alchemist. I’ve almost gotten used to bestsellers also being really entertaining comics. At least in this context.