More results

January 31, 2009

Deb Aoki revealed the results of two more reader polls over at About.Com this week.

In the Best New Seinen Manga category, Hiroya Oku’s ultra-violent Gantz (Dark Horse) took top honors, followed by Astral Project (CMX), written by marginal (also known as Garon [Old Boy] Tsuchiya) and illustrated by Syuji Takeya.

In the somewhat awkwardly titled Best New Classic or Reissued Manga category (though I can’t think of a more elegant way of phrasing it), Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack (Vertical) comes out on top of a strong pack of contenders. Second place went to the VizBig editions of Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond.

Update: I somehow missed the results from the Best New Josei Manga Poll, which are also posted. First place went to Tomoko Noguchi’s Object of Desire (LuvLuv/Aurora), with Kishi Torajiros’s Maka-Maka (Kitty Media/Media Blasters) claiming second.

Con jobs: Fanfare/Ponent Mon

January 30, 2009

In my ongoing effort to shamelessly favor nouvelle manga specialist Fanfare/Ponent Mon, I will share with you the publisher’s press release on its plans for the upcoming New York Comic-Con. If you attend the con, do yourself a favor and stop by Booth 2347 to browse and buy some really beautiful, unusual graphic novels. Or, y’know, don’t, and live forever with the nagging uncertainty of what might have been.

The release is after the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

In addition

January 30, 2009

At Good Comics for Kids, Snow Wildsmith rounds up graphic novels recognized on other American Library Association lists like “Best Books for Young Adults” and “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.”

One, the “Death and Dying” category in “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults,” reminds me to ask a question: where’s Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows (First Second) on any of these lists? I didn’t think it was a perfect book, but it was packed with sensitivity, ambition and craft, and it was a noble attempt at spinning a new fable.

From the comfort of my armchair

January 29, 2009

Over at Good Comics for Kids, Brigid Alverson has opened up discussion on the recently announced 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. Instead of clogging up the GC4K comments section, I’ll just jot down some of my impressions here:

It’s good to hear that the Young Adult Library Services Association will be expanding the creator credits. (Tom Spurgeon noted the shortcoming yesterday.) Now I’m thinking that I should always make a point of identifying the translators and adapters who work on manga when I write about it at length (as opposed to the kind of drive-by references that are to follow in this post), as they certainly play an essential creative role.

I agree with Dirk Deppey’s dismissal of Life Sucks (First Second). When I saw the list, I briefly toyed with the idea of re-reading the book to see if it was as slapdash and movie-pitch cynical as I remember, but I’d rather devote my time to reading books that might be good as opposed to re-evaluating ones that I already think are bad.

Normally, the inclusion of a Green Lantern comic written by Geoff Johns would make me scratch my head in bafflement, but I’ve seen so many unexpected people say nice things about the book that I might actually have to plop down with a copy at Barnes & Noble and see what all the fuss is about. I’m not so curious that I’d buy one, because Green Lantern always bored me to tears, and my memories of Johns will always be [Edited to note: incorrectly] defined by Identity Crisis and that issue of Avengers where Hank Pym went spelunking, but I’d browse the trades that made the list.

I think one of Brigid’s starter questions, “Why is there only one book from DC’s high-end teen imprint Minx on the list, when much-neglected CMX scored a number of hits?”, answers itself, though not in a particularly kindly manner for Minx, so I’ll just say that I’m happy for CMX, particularly Yuki Nakaji’s Venus in Love.

I love that Junji Ito’s Uzumaki (Viz) made the list. Older teens are still teens. And when you figure that teens are probably the primary audience for dreadful garbage like the Saw movie franchise, at least someone is trying to point them towards good violent horror.

Oh, how I love Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo (Vertical). I know it shouldn’t be, but it’s probably my favorite translated Tezuka manga.

I need to stop dragging my feet and get a copy of The War at Ellsmere (SLG) by Faith Erin Hicks.

House… of HORROR

January 29, 2009

Actually, I think it’s kind of cute. The Mainichi Daily News reports that legendary horror manga-ka Kazuo Umezu has won the right in court to paint his house however he likes. And when you consider the design choices he could have made…

Safe Haven?

January 28, 2009

Carnal Comics checked in the comments of a previous post with an update, noting:

“We are currently working an arrangement with Haven Distribution who sepcialize in carry the unique cutting edge comics. So we may still have a presence in the comic shop marketplace.”

Haven Distributors also came up this week in Rich Johnston’s Lying in the Gutters column at Comic Book Resources and in a wrap-up at Anime News Network. Newsarama’s Rick Offenberger interviewed Haven’s Lance Stahlberg earlier this week as well:

“Part of our mission is to help bring independent comics to the market. We give deserving titles a chance when Diamond won’t. We still have a submission and approval process, and you may get taken on consignment, but we boast a wide range of titles that cater to many tastes. Every new book we offer is treated the same.”

It would certainly be an interesting development if Diamond’s cost-cutting measures turned Haven into a major rival. Haven already seems like it’s in a good position for the “Offered Again” market sector.

Upcoming and incoming for 1/28/2009

January 28, 2009

A few quick links before we get to new arrivals from this week’s ComicList:

  • Deb Aoki posts results from the 2008 Best New Shonen readers’ poll at About.Com.
  • Johanna Draper Carlson shares a preview of Mijeong (NBM), another book from Byun Byung-Jun, the gifted creator of Run, Bong-Gu, Run!
  • GLAAD appreciates people who like us, who really, really like us.
  • Now, onto the Wednesday haul.

    Del Rey has three books that catch my eye: the fifth volume of Hiro Mashima’s fun, lively Fairy Tail, the second of Miwa Ueda’s twisted-sister drama Papillion, and the sixth of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s enduringly awesome Parasyte.

    HarperCollins delivers a second printing of Paul Gravett’s excellent Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know. It’s a terrific overview of a medium that’s tricky to summarize. Gravett pulled off a similar trick with his essential Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics.

    In a similar vein, Netcomics offers Manhwa 100: The New Era for Illustrated Comics, promising a compilation that represents the Korean comic book industry.

    Tokyopop’s big offering for the week is Benjamin’s full-color manhua Orange. Brigid Alverson shared a preview at MangaBlog, and Paul Gravett recently posted an interview with the creator conducted by Rebeca Fernandez. The other highlight from Tokyopop is the fourth volume of Ai Morinaga’s Your and My Secret, gender-bending comedy at its very best.


    January 28, 2009

    The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association has released its 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, along with the Top Ten. The group recognized 53 titles total from 27 different publishers or imprints. The big winner was Viz, with 9 titles and 23 books recognized, though if you add up the entries from all of DC’s various imprints, it comes close with 9 titles and 14 books recognized. Viz dominated the Top Ten, with 3 titles earning recognition.

    As usual, there’s a terrific breadth of material on display, from romance to biography to history mystery to super-heroes to slice-of-life to fantasy and so on. Here’s the breakdown of entries by publisher/imprint:

    Viz: 9 titles, 23 books, 3 titles in the Top Ten

    Marvel: 5 titles, 7 books

    CMX: 3 titles, 6 books
    Tokyopop: 3 titles, 4 books
    Hill and Wang: 3 titles, 3 books
    Image: 3 titles, 3 books

    Go! Comi: 2 titles, 4 books, 1 title in the Top Ten
    Vertical: 2 titles, 4 books
    DC: 2 titles, 3 books
    Yen Press: 2 titles, 3 books
    Dark Horse Comics: 2 titles, 2 books, 1 title in the Top Ten
    Vertigo: 2 titles, 2 books, 1 title in the Top Ten

    DrMaster: 1 title, 2 books
    Oni Press: 1 title, 2 books
    Wildstorm: 1 title, 2 books
    Cinco Puntos Press: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
    First Second: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
    Groundwood Books: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
    Red Five Comics: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
    Abstract Studio: 1 title, 1 book
    Bloomsbury: 1 title, 1 book
    Cellar Door: 1 title, 1 book
    Graphix: 1 title, 1 book
    Minx: 1 title, 1 book
    Riverhead Trade: 1 title, 1 book
    Slave Labor Graphics: 1 title, 1 book
    Villard: 1 title, 1 book

    Results, rewards, Re:

    January 27, 2009

    Deb Aoki has begun the results phase of her annual manga polls over at About.Com, starting with 2008’s visitor-selected Best New Shojo Manga. Honestly, I’d have been happy with any of the top three claiming titles first place, as I think they’re all fine series. But there’s a lot of crack in this category, so I’m not surprised that it provided a strong slate.

    Deb also points to a contest being sponsored by Go! Comi to help introduce readers to guilty-pleasure priestess You Higuri.

    Sometimes, all it takes is a partial e-mail title to send my hopes skyrocketing out of all proportion. I open my in-box and see “Digital Manga Publishing acquires classic shojo title:”. What is it? The Rose of Versailles? The Poe Clan? Well, no, it’s Itazura Na Kiss by Kaoru Tada, which sounds like fun, but I did have a breathless moment there before I could click the message open.

    The full press release on the book is after the jump.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    People… people who eat people…

    January 26, 2009
    A panel from "Parasyte" volume 1

    Come on. You know you want to see that panel in context. It’s from Hitoshi Iwaaki’s marvelous Parasyte (Del Rey), which is the subject of this week’s Flipped.