This week’s shipping list isn’t as terrifyingly huge as last’s, which is a welcome development. There are still plenty of items of interest, though. (I’ll appreciate the distraction, because the phone has been ringing off the hook with enthusiastic college students trying to sing the praises of presidential candidates. I’m not used to West Virginia mattering during primary season. While it’s a nice change to be in the national spotlight for reasons not involving a deadly mine collapse or the annual legislative pork report, it’s hard not to by cynical about the intensive wooing underway. Anyway…)
There’s a long-ish wait between new volumes of Hitoshi Awaaki’s Parasyte (Del Rey), a retro-cool horror series about a boy and his murderous, sentient hand. It’s worth it, though, as this is a smart, twisty horror story. The art isn’t great, but even that shortcoming adds a certain charm to the proceedings. If your appetite for shape-shifting aliens plotting our downfall has been whetted, give it a look.
As Del Rey goes, I tend to favor their less easily categorized offerings like Love Roma, Genshiken and Mushishi to stuff that’s more in the mainstream shônen or shôjo veins. There have been a couple of recent releases that buck the trend, though. I thought Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail was charming, and I’ve really liked what I’ve read of Yuko Osada’s Toto! Brigid Alverson has a review of the first volume.
It didn’t exactly change my life, but I really enjoyed Takako Shigematsu’s Tenshi Ja Nai!! (Go! Comi). It was a great example of a certain kind of highly polished, amiably trashy, slightly mean-spirited romantic comedy that hit the spot. Shigematsu’s King of the Lamp (Go! Comi) struck me as a throw-away, but the manga-ka’s credit is still good with me. Hence, I’m looking forward to the arrival of the first volume of Ultimate Venus (again, Go! Comi). Bring the trashy, mean polish, Shigematsu.
Kamisama Kazoku (Go! Comi), by Yoshizaku Kuwashima and Tapari, sounds like it will be neither trashy nor mean, but I’m intrigued all the same. It’s about a boy who just wants a normal life, even though he’s the offspring of a pair of over-protective gods.
A four-panel comic about a tomboy who carries a coffin around and has a bat for a best friend? What kind of stone need I be made to resist such a thing? Yen Press offers the first volume of Satoko Kiyuduki’s Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, and it will be mine.