Upcoming 7/2/2008

July 1, 2008

If it doesn’t stop raining soon, I’m going to have to lease my back yard out for pasture. I will be reducing my dependence on fossil fuels and supporting sustainable production, and I will give all of the cows names and compost their manure.

And now, on to this week’s ComicList. You know what’s weird? I’m excited about a Marvel comic, and I am going to buy it, if the local shop orders any shelf copies. That comic would be Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1, written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn and inked by David LaFuente Garcia. Hellcat is one of those characters that I’ve always loved in spite of the fact that she’s been ill-used for the vast majority of her costumed career. So basically my attachment to the character is pure, masochistic sentiment, but Matthew Brady says it’s got “a fun, jaunty tone,” and it’s just so nice to see Hellcat claw her way out of the refrigerator and into a solo series that I feel strangely obligated to support the book.

Hm… it’s shaping up to be Women I Really Like Week, now that I delve deeper into Wednesday’s releases. I very much loved Kaoru Mori’s elegant, heartfelt Emma, so I can’t wait to read Mori’s Shirley (both books from CMX), which leaves the Victorians behind to explore the world of Edwardian maids. The uniforms may show more ankle, but I’m betting the meticulous angst will be just as plentiful.

It had its pleasures, but I didn’t enjoy the first volume of Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky (Drawn and Quarterly) as much as I did When I’m Old and Other Stories (Alternative Comics), but I’m sure I’ll pick up the second installment at some point.

I haven’t really thought too carefully about exactly which Tokyopop titles survive the coming purge, but I do know that I hope that Mari Ohazaki’s Suppli comes out on the other side. I don’t think any of us need to worry about Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket, which is as heartbreaking as it is popular.

Viz keeps the estrogen flowing with new volumes of Ai Yazawa’s Nana and Kazune Kawahara’s High School Debut. You all know how I feel about Yazawa’s work by this point, so let me just say how much I love High School Debut. I’m not going to say it’s as good as Hinako Ashihara’s Sand Chronicles, but it shares a lot of that book’s positive qualities: great characters, nicely developed relationships, carefully observed emotional moments, and very attractive art.

And now, for the token shônen book of the week. Okay, that’s not really fair, because it would be a meritorious entry on any Wednesday, even when the comics industry wasn’t trying to drown me in tears. Like just about everyone else, I enjoyed the first two volumes of Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail (released simultaneously by Del Rey), about a whacked-out guild of magicians. The third installment arrives Wednesday.