Upcoming 8/20/2008

An intriguing new arrival and a couple of old favorites are the highlights of this week’s ComicList, at least for me:

Del Rey breaks into new territory with the debut of Faust, an anthology of manga-inspired fiction. CLAMP and Takeshi Obata provide illustrations for two of the stories. Perhaps you may have heard of them.

There are only three volumes left of Setona Mizushiro’s After School Nightmare (Go! Comi), and I’m going to miss it terribly when it’s done. The eighth installment of awesomely Freudian teen angst arrives Wednesday, promising “a mountain of new problems.” The thing about this series is that, when blurbs use words and phrases like “heartache” or “the breaking point” or “shocking,” it isn’t hyperbole. Mizushiro delivers.

There are only three (thanks, James!) volumes left of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (Viz Signature), so I have a little more time to gird myself for the inevitable grief. It took a while for this series to work its way into my heart. The early going, dominated by saintly fugitive Dr. Tenma, was at times laughably simplistic in its moral framework. Over time, though, and as the supporting cast has emerged and evolved, it’s become a tense must-read for me, and I’ve even reached the point where the ensemble is more interesting to me because of the ways Tenma has influenced them. (I still think he’s a goody-goody stick, though.)

7 Responses to Upcoming 8/20/2008

  1. James Moar says:

    There’s actually only three volumes of Monster left, including vol. 16. But after that, we get 20th Century Boys and Pluto….

  2. jun says:

    Yes, I love how they’re immediately launching into 20th Century Boys when Monster concludes. I hope Pluto is easy to follow for those who’ve not read Astro Boy. AB hasn’t really appealed to me, especially since it’s so long.

  3. Connie says:

    Holy crap, how did I not know about Faust? Thanks for pointing that out. I’m glad a sampler like this exists.

  4. […] Welsh looks at this week’s new releases at Precocious […]

  5. James Moar says:

    Jun, I think you should be fine. Awareness of the Astro Boy regulars and the particular storyline Pluto’s based on might deepen appreciation (I do like how Urasawa manages to make the regulars clearly themselves despite the drastically different tone of the story), but it’s not actually necessary.

  6. huff says:

    Like James said, knowledge of Astro Boy isn’t necessary to really appreciate Pluto. Urasawa uses the same basic plot as the third volume but completely makes it his own in addition to vastly expanding the scope of the story. While I think that 20th Century Boys is my favorite NU work (at least the first 3/4s of it) Pluto is the closest he’s ever come to perfection. Incredible twists, deft pacing and a gritty sense of malevolence that never reverts back to sentimentality, as was the case with Monster.

  7. Myk says:

    Monster was one of the first books I read after getting back into comics. I remember picking up the first volume at the train station on a whim. The I went back and bought the next two. Then I went to the comic book store and bought the rest (it´s been out a while over here).

    It is, cliche as it sounds, a real page turner while gaining extra levels and subtext with every chapter.

    I only hope VIZ will publish the addendum volume Another Monster, as, because Urasawa sales are traditionally low in germany, the series ended with volume 18 over here.

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