Let me just clear a little paperwork out of the way before we delve into this week’s ComicList. I’m keeping a running list of reactions and coverage of yesterday’s grand and glorious news from Fantagraphics, so feel free to drop me a line if you’ve shared some thoughts that I might have missed. Also, the second iteration of the Manga Moveable Feast is in full swing, with Matt (Rocket Bomber) Blind keeping track of everyone’s thoughts on Kaoru Mori’s Emma (CMX), which was originally serialized in Enterbrain’s Comic Beam, the same magazine that hosted Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son. It all comes together.
Back to the ComicList and sticking with CMX, DC’s manga imprint has some fine comics shipping on Wednesday. I posted a review of the first volume of Mayu Fujikata’s My Darling! Miss Bancho last week, and Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey rounds up some other early word of mouth in her look at this week’s arrivals.
But, as exuberant pitch persons remind us, that’s not all! There’s also the second (and final) volume of Asuka Izumi’s adorable The Lizard Prince. And in a timely arrival, CMX reminds us that they’ve been putting out classic shôjo for ages. This week’s reminder comes in the form of the 15th volume of Yasuko Aoike’s From Eroica with Love.
If for some inexplicable reason you missed Scott Chantler’s Northwest Passage in its original, three-volume form or in its hardcover annotated version, Oni Press gives you yet another opportunity to enjoy this terrific period action yarn in the form of a softcover edition of the annotated collection. Chantler does an amazing job combining history and adventure, so treat yourself.
As with Miss Bancho, I’ve already reviewed the first volume of Yuu Watase’s Arata: The Legend (Viz), and so has Danielle (Comics Should Be Good) Leigh. I’ll quote Danielle so as not to bore you by repeating myself:
“In the end, the categorization of ‘shonen’ really only tells us that this was published in a shonen magazine and I suppose that makes it useful in some ways. What is more important, though, is the name of the creator attached to the work and in this instance, that name is a tried and trusted ‘brand’ in the world of fantasy manga aimed at a teen audience. Yet in spite of the Watase brand, I want to stress that nothing feels formulaic or stale here — somehow this work feels fresh and energetic and I’m quite looking forward to seeing how the two Aratas’ journeys progress in upcoming volumes.”
In a very different corner of the Viz catalog, there’s the fourth volume of Kiminori Wakasugi’s Detroit Metal City, a distasteful and hilarious tale of an acoustic kind of guy thrust into the death metal limelight. It’s in the middle of its first multi-part epic, so you might want to pick up the third volume before you read this one. Of course, you probably already own all of the available volumes, right?
And this is less a recommendation than an inquiry: I remember thinking the first volume of naked ape’s switch was kind of pallid Wild Adapter fan fiction, but I recently got a random later volume in a batch of review copies, and at some point it seems to have become very readable Wild Adapter fan fiction. So my question is this: when did that happen, and is it worth rounding up the previous volumes? Or was the 12th volume just an aberrant quality spike?
Oh, and in case you were wondering what would top the next Graphic Book Best Seller List at The New York Times, Yen Press is releasing the first volume of the graphic-novel version of Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight, adapted by Young Kim. The only question is whether it will topple Crumb in the hardcover section or Akamatsu in the manga list. I’m sure I’ll read it eventually. I don’t see any reason to rush, though.