I’m just not feeling the ComicList love this week. So, for a change, I’ll recommend some old (or “old”) comics.

The Walking Man, by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon): This is one of the most soothing, serene comics reading experiences you’re ever likely to enjoy. It’s basically about a suburban guy who goes on walks, taking in the scenery as he goes. That’s all, and that’s plenty, because the gentle spirit of the stories marries beautifully with Taniguchi’s richly detailed visuals.

Paris, by Andi Watson and Simon Gane (SLG): A sweet, slight story of young women in love, masterfully illustrated by Gane. Watson’s observations about class and youth provide a nice enough spine, but the real appeal is Gane and his rich, odd renderings of Paris in the 1950s. I had never seen Gane’s artwork before, and there’s really nothing else like it.

Polly and the Pirates, by Ted Naifeh (Oni Press): Is it possible to be both a proper schoolgirl and the terror of the high seas? It is if you’re being written and drawn by Naifeh, who can combine tight plotting with fanciful, funny bits that don’t disrupt the flow.

Livewires: Clockwork Thugs, Yo, by Adam Warren and Rick Mays (Marvel): Even when working for Marvel, Warren (creator of the demented and thoroughly charming Empowered for Dark Horse) can turn out a funky, smart comic. This one’s about a black-ops group of android teens who are tasked with cleaning up a proliferation of similarly covert tech cells. Imaginative violence, smart plays on the “even an android can cry” motif, nifty fad jokes, and eye-popping art by Mays are more than enough to render the tiny, tiny lettering a non-issue.

Only the Ring Finger Knows, by Satoru Kannagi and Hotaru Odagiri (Juné): This sweet, squeaky clean example of shônen-ai is still one of my favorites. It’s a gentle, character-driven romance between two temperamentally opposite high-school students (try and contain your shock at the novelty of such a concept, I beg). I keep meaning to read the novels based on the property.

7 Responses to Downgoing?

  1. jun says:

    Hee. I find it amusing that your description convinced me that I need to read a manga about a guy walking around. 🙂

  2. Eva says:

    Honestly, we share a brain. I must now buy Livewires, as it’s the only book on your list I haven’t already read and loved. Polly and the Pirates is made of win and Paris makes me want to wander around naked in a garret in Paris (not that my neighbors would thank me…).

  3. davidpwelsh says:

    Jun: Oh, please, please, please read it. Everything from Fanfare is worth a read, but I think this is my favorite.

    Eva: When, when, WHEN is there going to be a sequel to Polly?

  4. jun says:

    I’ve begun looking for it already, but it’s temporarily out of stock at Amazon. I suppose I could buy one of the marketplace ones, but the cheapest of those would have international shipping. 😦

  5. Deb Aoki says:

    If you’re going to Comic-Con, stock up on your Fanfare / Ponent Mon graphic novels there. Until they get their distro deal with Atlas fully set up, it’s the best place to get their awesome books (and often before they’re widely available in bookshops, online or offline.)

  6. Huff says:

    I’d buy the second Polly series whenever it comes out but compared to Courtney Crumrin I never thought it was all that amazing. And seeing Livewires listed makes me wish that Darkhorse would reprint the Dirty Pair books, the best of which are still my favorite Warren comics.
    But Red Colored Elegy supposedly comes out this week, and I can’t imagine a more important work of manga being released this year.

  7. […] could swing by the Fanfare/Ponent Mon booth (C04) and buy some of their lovely, lovely books. As Deb Aoki noted, Fanfare’s distribution system with Atlas isn’t quite 100% yet, so SDCC is probably your best […]

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