Dark Horse delivers the entire Dayan Collection, four hardcover children’s books by Akiko Ikeda. They’re about a mischievous cat, and Ikeda’s full-color illustrations look absolutely beautiful.
CMX delivers the fourth volume of Masashi Tanaka’s Gon, wordless, beautifully drawn stories about a tiny dinosaur with a big appetite for life.
Skewing slightly older is the fourth volume of Alive (Del Rey), written by Tadashi Kawashima and illustrated by Adachitoka. This series started with two gripping volumes that propelled its primary story – malevolent forces surreptitiously invade the planet and trigger a wave of suicides, and only a handful of people suspect what’s truly happening. The third volume was sort of a digression, with the heroic principals sidetracked from their quest by tangentially related perils. That threw me a bit, but it’s still a very entertaining comic with great characters and eye-catching art.
Would I hand the first volume of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo (Vertical) to a kid? I’m not really sure. On one hand, it’s Tezuka, and everyone should read some Tezuka. On the other hand, it’s on the gruesome side, packed with bloody battles and some seriously dark content. It’s about a young man, Hyakkimaru, who lost all of his body parts thanks to his father’s ambition and greed. Hyakkimaru is forced on a quest across a war-ravaged landscape to seek and destroy the demons who took his body in trade. He’s joined by young thief Dororo, whose background is almost as harsh. But it’s Tezuka. So I’ll recommend it to everyone else, and they can decide when their kids are ready for it. How’s that for evasion?