Previews review December 2009

December 8, 2009

Why just look at what’s arriving when you can look three months… into the future? Yes, it’s time to peruse the December 2009 edition of Diamond’s Previews catalog.

New shôjo from CMX is always worth a look. This month’s offering is My Darling! Miss Bancho, written and illustrated by Mayu Fujikata. It’s a reverse-harem romantic comedy about a girl whose dreams of starting a new life go south when she realizes she’s the only female student at her new technical school. It was originally published by Hakusensha in LaLa, which has also given the world Ouran High School Host Club, Penguin Revolution, Venus in Love, and Vampire Knight, among others. That would make the magazine what one might call a “reliable source.” (Page 119)

On the ongoing front, we have the second volume of Asuka Izumi’s adorable The Lizard Prince and the 15th volume of Yasuko Aokie’s mad classic, From Eroica with Love. (Page 121)

CLAMP fans, rejoice! Not only is Del Rey publishing CLAMP in America, a richly detailed history of the manga-making super-group, it’s being written by the inimitable Shaenon Garrity. Del Rey also promises “a detailed guide to their work; a rare behind-the-scenes look at their creative process, together and separately; CLAMP’s role in the explosion of manga in America; interviews, and more.” Sounds like an essential for CLAMP fans, Garrity fans, and manga watchers in general. So that’s basically everyone, right? (Page 224)

I loved Raina Telgemeier’s Smile mini-comics, so I’m thrilled that they’ve turned into a new graphic novel to be published by Graphix. Publishers Weekly calls it a “charming addition to the body of young adult literature that focuses on the trials and tribulations of the slightly nerdy girl.” Graphix doesn’t seem to have added it to its web site, so I’ll point you toward the Barnes & Noble listing. (Page 236)

NBM has been translating a series of graphic novels created in conjunction with the Louvre museum in Paris. I loved the first, Nicolas De Crécy’s Glacial Period, and thought the second, Marc-Antoine Mathieu’s The Museum Vaults: Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert, was intriguing but problematic. But honestly, I’ll buy any of these books that NBM chooses to publish. Next up is Eric Liberge’s On the Odd Hours, about “a deaf night watchman who somehow manages to communicate with the souls of these ethereal and timeless works of art.” (Page 256)

Oni offers a softcover edition of Scott Chantler’s terrific historical adventure, Northwest Passage. I’ve already reviewed the hell out of this series, so I’ll link instead of repeating myself. (Page 257)

While I don’t usually point out books that are being offered again without any significant format changes, I have to make an exception for Osamu Tezuka’s demented bit of gekiga brilliance, MW (Vertical). If you missed it the first time around, now’s your chance. (Page 272)

Viz sent me a preview copy of Natsume Ono’s not simple, and I’m even more convinced that 2010 will be the year she explodes in stateside critical (and hopefully consumer) consciousness. It’s an amazing book. This edition of Previews brings the happy news that Ono’s Ristorante Paradiso will soon be in our hands (if you consider three months soon). It’s about family secrets and a restaurant in Rome staffed by hunky men of a certain age. I can’t wait. (Page 277) You can check out Ono’s splendid House of Five Leaves on Viz’s SIGIKKI site.

Other noteworthy Signature arrivals include the fourth volume of Detroit Metal City and the eighth and final volume of Pluto. (Page 277)

And speaking of Viz’s online initiatives, a Shonen Sunday title sees print. It’s shôjo superstar Yuu Watase’s shônen debut, Arata: The Legend. (Page 280)

More MAF

December 8, 2009

Over at AICN Anime, Scott Green’s latest column includes the list of 19 Jury Recommended Works from this year’s Media Arts Festival Awards. The license request pool is deep and wide,

Upcoming 12/09/2009

December 8, 2009

Time for a look at this week’s ComicList:

Digital Manga brings us a little of that old-school shôjo charm in the form of Itazura na Kiss, written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. The book has already received warm welcomes from the likes of Danielle Leigh, Johanna Draper Carlson and Kate Dacey, which is a very promising sign indeed.

Viz unleashes the third volume of one of my favorite new series of 2009, Detroit Metal City, written and illustrated by Kiminori Wakasugi. Viz’s solicitation text is on the oblique side, as always (“Death metal screams the despair of dying heathens! What the hell kind of song would you sing?!”), but I feel safe in promising hilariously distasteful mistaken identity satire.

There’s a lot of other stuff apparently on the way from Viz, much of it wonderful, but it’s all got the disclaimer, “release not confirmed by Diamond Distribution.” Chances are it’s already in bookstores but won’t be in comic shops for a week or so.

Yen Press will make fans of funny manga very happy this week with two by Kiyohiko Azuma. They’ve taken a crack at an omnibus collection of Azuma’s hilarious comic strip, Azumanga Daioh, featuring the highs and lows of a group of high-school girls. ADV published something similar a couple of years back, but Yen is promising a fresh translation. I’m undecided as to whether or not to buy it over again.

Also from Azuma is the seventh volume of the charming and witty Yotsuba&!, which Yen also rescued from ADV limbo. If there was a comics industry award for good karma, Yen would be the frontrunner.