Upcoming 5/12/2010

May 11, 2010

This week’s ComicList is pretty much dominated by Viz and Yen Press.

Viz rolls out the first volume of Maoh: Juvenile Remix, written and illustrated by Megumi Osuka based on a novel by Kotaro Isaka. It’s one of the books that Viz is serializing on its Shonen Sunday site, so you can check it out for free. As we’ve discussed previously, any series that features community redevelopment strategies can’t be dismissed out of hand.

This brings us to the fifth volume of Motoro Mase’s Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, which features a government that promotes civic engagement through the vehicle of random murder of citizens. These volumes are always about 10 percent awesome (when Mase looks at the underlying structure of this government program), 45 percent pretty good (one of the two featured arcs), and 45 percent weirdly mawkish (the other featured arc), but I keep buying and reading them, for whatever that’s worth.

If you prefer your urban renovation projects to feature serious ordinance, sometimes wielded by a talking bear, than I’m probably being redundant in recommending the second volume of first-person-shooter-in-comic-form Biomega, written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. Because word of armed, talking bears spreads quickly, because the online manga community is engaged, and not just because of the nanotechnology that has been injected into our bloodstreams.

That’s the Viz highlights, so let’s move on to Yen Press. I think the first volume of Black Butler, written and illustrated by Yana Toboso, has been on The New York Times Graphic Book Best Seller List since it was released, so it seems safe to assume that the second volume will join it starting Friday. I almost immediately lost patience with the series and its grab-bag of fandom-friendly bricks and mortar, but I don’t have to like every title that gets published. It’s easier on my wallet if I don’t.

In terms of having its back catalog freshly printed, is anyone having a better year than CLAMP? Yen releases the first and second volumes of Kobato, which sounds like it covers very familiar CLAMP territory: “a magic bottle which must be filled with the suffering of wounded hearts that Kobato herself has healed.” That’s either for you or not. I suspect, in my case, it’s not, but I’m in the camp that admires the super-group for its illustrative skill and canny commercial sense but can generally take or leave its stories. I also suspect they each have vehicles that combine to form a massive battle robot manga-ka.

Last but not least, Yen debuts My Girlfriend’s a Geek, written by PENTABU and illustrated by Rize Shinba. It’s about a lonely college student who starts dating a hard-core yaoi fangirl. The original novel, also by PENTABU, was blog-generated, I think. The comic adaptation ran in Enterbrain’s comic B\’s log, and no, I can’t explain the punctuation of that magazine title. I can say that there seems to be a high level of enthusiasm for this one, though I can’t quite figure out of it’s niche or will translate into charts-worthy numbers. I’d guess the latter.