Bumper crop

Enough with the shadowy portents for a bit. Let’s see what lurks in the current Diamond Previews catalog, shall we?

Dark Horse offers the fourth volume of Adam Warren’s brilliant Empowered about the ups and downs of a good-hearted super-heroine with a singularly unreliable costume and a loyal band of friends. The third volume got a little dark for my tastes, but it was hardly enough to keep me from reading more. (Page 30 and 31.)

Do I owe it to myself to see if any of the plot points so irritatingly left dangling in The Plain Janes (Minx) are addressed in the sequel, Janes in Love? Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg revisit their group of art guerillas and promise that the teens “discover that in art and love, the normal rules don’t always apply.” I thought they already knew that. (Page 113.)

Someday I’ll get around to writing about Rutu Mordan’s Exit Wounds (Drawn & Quarterly), which I thought was very good. (I don’t know if I would have put it on my “Best of 2007” list, whatever that might have looked like, but I’d certainly recommend it.) D&Q is following up with a collection of Mordan’s short works, Jamilti and Other Stories, and I’m looking forward to it. I love short stories, and I’m eager to see what Mordan does with that kind of flexibility. (Page 288.)

Many people, myself included, have written nice things about Hideo Azuma’s Disappearance Diary, due from Fanfare. Anything from this publisher is worth a look, and this book offers an intriguing if slippery look at the low points in the life of the manga-ka. (Page 297.)

I’ve been having a hard time finding a copy of Jason Shiga’s widely acclaimed Bookhunter (Sparkplug Comic Books) in my retail wanderings, so I’m glad to see it being offered again. (Page 349.)

Weirdness alert: people are tracking the fates of Tokyopop’s various global titles, and here’s one more to add to the tally. The publisher is offering a prestige collection of one, Boys of Summer: The Complete Season. The solicitation of the Chuck Austen/Hiroki Otsuka baseball comic indicates that the unpublished third volume will appear for the first time here, along with the first two. I’m not recommending, because I’ve read too many comics by Austen as it is, but I thought it was interesting to note. (Page 353.)

I thought Top Shelf had already solicited Ulf K.’s Heironymus B, but maybe it got delayed. I’ve heard good things about it, so I’ll just gently remind the local shop owner that I’d like a copy. (Page 362.)

Takehiko Inoue’s much-loved basketball manga Slam Dunk gets another bite at the apple courtesy of Viz in its $7.99 Shonen Jump line. (Page 384.) The publisher is maximizing its Death Note profits with a new series of collector’s editions that offer “color art… premium packaging… new cover art on the dust jacket” and other bonuses. (Page 386.) I’m not quite certain about the plot of Ayumi Komura’s Mixed Vegetables, which seems to be about using marriage to further professional ambitions, but I can’t turn my back on shôjo cooking manga. (Page 387.)

I swear this had a cooler name when it was first announced, but the first issue of Yen’s anthology magazine, Yen Plus, arrives in August. It features a mix of original and licensed work, and if you ever wondered what hack thriller author James Patterson would do with sequential art, this is your moment. It’s also got Svetlana Chmakova’s follow-up to Dramacon (Tokyopop), Nightschool, so that’s certainly a point in its favor. (Page 390.)

2 Responses to Bumper crop

  1. John Jakala says:

    I’m not interested in the Death Note collector’s edition, but I wonder if those same sort of extras will be included in the Bleach collector’s edition? If so, I may have to break down and buy that.

    Also, I just noticed a listing on Amazon for a Death Note box set. Wonder if it has the diorama and little finger toys?

  2. Huff says:

    LMAO @ the Boys of Summer omnibus. My love for Ed Wood-type material temps me to seek it out. Then again Austen seems to works best (or should I say “only works at all”) with this kind of stuff, so maybe it’s decent after all.

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