I’m not crazy about Diamond’s “and the rest” listing format, but the usual sources are being a little wonky, so let’s pop over to its roster of the week’s releases.
Drawn & Quarterly returns to the gekiga well for Susumu Katsumata’s Red Snow, a collection of short stories set in “the pre-modern Japanese countryside of the author’s youth, a slightly magical world where ancestral traditions hold sway over a people in the full vigor of life, struggling to survive the harsh seasons and the difficult life of manual laborers and farmers.” The setting alone is enough to intrigue me, as is the fact that Red Snow sounds like it explores gekiga’s softer side. The stories were originally published in the late but legendary Garo, published from 1964 to 2002.
It was published in French as Neige Rouge in 2008 by Editions Cornélius, whose web site is adorable but virtually impossible to navigate if you want to do anything so prosaic as find information about their books, so I’ll simply point you to the Amazon.Fr listing for the title. I was hoping to find some sample pages, but none seem to be available. It doesn’t even seem to have been pirated yet, but please don’t feel compelled to disabuse me of that happy notion.
In an entirely different category altogether, Marvel releases the fourth and final issues of its Marvel Divas mini-series, which I’ve enjoyed. Here’s the summary: Firestar’s got cancer, the Black Cat can’t get a start-up loan, Photon is being wooed by a booty call who won’t take the hint, and Hellcat is chronicling it all for her next book when not fending off unwelcome visits from her ex-husband, the Son of Satan. The series isn’t everything it could be, but it takes its cast more seriously than they might have reasonably expected, and the chances of any last-act evisceration seem promisingly slim.
And in a belated but welcome development, Tokyopop releases the fifth volume of Kozue Amano’s elegant fantasy travelogue, Aria. (They published the fourth volume last December.) So either rail at the delay or revel in the return, your choice. I’m inclined toward cautious revelry, just because it seems like another small sign of Tokyopop’s stabilization after a very, very bad year or so.
Update: In the comments, Travis McGee notes that one can find the catalog of Editions Cornélius “by clicking on the pig in the doghouse in the bottom right corner.”