Extras, extras

September 29, 2009

In addition to really good free comics, Viz’s SIGIKKI site also posts some fun supplementary content. Senior Editor Eric Searleman asked a bunch of nerds (me included) to describe that moment when they knew they were irretrievably lost to manga, and the results (with photo evidence) are here.

And for a company known for its professional decorum, the site’s blog is pretty freewheeling. It even recalls the glory days when Anne Ishi was tearing things up for Vertical. By way of example, here’s a piece by Senior Editor Leyla Aker on her attempts to purchase a trade paperback that ended up spanning two coasts and running the gamut of unfortunate things that can happen in a comic shop:

“Stand in front of guy at desk for a minute. He’s reading. No reaction. Out of curiosity I continue to stand there, shift my bag/jingle my keys so I’m sure he knows I’m there. No reaction. Finally I hazard human speech, excuse myself, say I’m looking for a certain DC compilation, and ask if they might have it. Without lifting his eyes, he’s says ‘No.’ The end.”

It might be safest for comic shops to assume that someone with a blog is visiting their premises at all times, you know? But the main point of Aker’s post is a nice hands-across-the-water story:

“But, like mom always said, you need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and at some point I’d fallen into the blinkered trap of disparaging superhero comics. I became U.S. comics anemic.”

I thought the comic that inspired this quest was kind of awful, but I appreciate the overall sentiment.

Upcoming 9/30/2009

September 29, 2009

With recent travels significantly augmenting my already menacing “to read” pile, it’s not like I need new comics, but there’s a new ComicList all the same. Fortunately, it’s manageable.

aya3If you haven’t been enjoying Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie’s charming, multi-generational soap opera about life in the Ivory Coast during the 1970s, then you probably aren’t prepared for Aya: The Secrets Come Out, the third volume in the series. You should rectify this, because the book is a real treat with an endearing, cantankerous cast and pitch-perfect illustrations. The book sold out at SPX, which made me happy.

refreshrefreshI really enjoyed Danica Novgorodoff’s mini-comic, A Late Freeze, so I’m looking forward to Refresh, Refresh, Novgorodoff’s graphic novel adaptation of a screenplay by James Ponsoldt, which was in turn adapted from a short story by Benjamin Percy. It’s “the story of three teenagers on the cusp of high school graduation and their struggle to make hard decisions with no role models to follow; to discover the possibilities for the future when all the doors are slamming in their faces; and to believe their fathers will come home alive [from the war in Iraq] so they can be boys again.”

Ah, and it’s time again for a new volume of Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Comics anthology, this time guest-edited by Charles Burns with series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. The contributors list seems a little “usual suspects” to me, but the collection is always worth a look. And the seasonal outburst of “best according to WHO?” discussion may again warm us during these chilly early days of autumn.

One last thought

September 29, 2009

suitcaseI don’t go to enough conventions to know if this is now standard behavior, but I have to say that I ground my teeth whenever I saw someone dragging one of these around the crowded con floor. It’s more irritating when someone pretends they’re carry-on luggage on a plane and rolls them down the narrow aisle instead of just… you know… carrying them, but it’s also a nuisance to see them fully extended behind some con-goer who has no apparent regard for the ankles and shins of others.