More summer reading

April 25, 2008

There’s a nice mix of promising items in the May 2008 Previews catalog. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Dark Horse gets a jump on a 2009 movie with the release of a repackaging of the first two volumes of Osamu Tezuka’s classic Astro Boy. It’s probably Tezuka’s best-known property, and I’m grateful that Dark Horse has made so much of it is available in English, but honesty compels me to admit that I haven’t felt any burning need to read all of it. (Page 56.)

I’ve heard good things about Kerry Callen’s Halo and Sprocket, and Amaze Ink/SLG releases the second volume of the series and offers the first again. Any series that inspires fan art by Andi Watson must be worth a look. (Page 206.)

Broccoli offers a series that looks both adorable and odd. It’s Honoka Level Up!, by Akiyoshi Ohta and Matsuda98, and it features a really young character developer “getting caught up in the confusing politics, crushing responsibilities, and difficult developmental aspects” of the video game industry. Salary ‘tween manga? Why not? (Page 247.)

Have you been suffering through Kio Shimoku withdrawal since the conclusion of Genshiken? Del Rey is here for you, offering the Genshiken Official Book and the first volume of Shimoku’s Kujibiki Unbalance, the property that inspired microscopic obsession among Shimoku’s gang of geeks. (Page 266.)

Fantagraphics switches gears with the work of the very gifted Los Bros. Hernandez, going straight to the trade with Love and Rockets: New Stories. I’m partial to Gilbert’s work, but both are gifted, and this sounds like an appealing way to consume their work. (Page 298.)

I can’t say I’m entirely sold by the premise of Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart’s The Apocalipstix, due from Oni Press. Josie and the Pussycats after Armageddon? I just don’t know. But I’m crazy enough about Stewart’s art that I’ll certainly have to sample it. (Page 320.)

I sort of glazed over on a lot of the manga announcements that came out of the New York Comic-Con, but when Kate Dacey takes the time to point out a title, and when it’s a title that Lillian Diaz-Pryzbl heartily endorses, I’m game. It’s Natsumi Itsuki’s Jyu-Oh-Sei (Tokyopop), and it’s described as having a classic shôjo sci-fi feel. (Page 353.)

Speaking of Kate, I’m guessing she’s as excited as I am to see Yen Press release the second volume of Jung-Hyun Uhm’s Forest of Gray City, originally published by ICE Kunion. A working woman takes in a sexy male roommate to share expenses in this beautifully drawn josei-style manhwa. (Page 389.)