Upcoming 11/10/2010

November 9, 2010

It’s one of those neat ComicList weeks where all kinds of interesting comics from throughout the space-time continuum are due to land.

Sean (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Gaffney tweeted about this book, and it has a definite allure for me as a person who read a lot of Archie comics in the back seat of the station wagon on long drives to various vacation destinations during his childhood. It’s Dark Horse’s Archie Firsts collection, which promises “first issues, first appearances, and other milestones, collected for the first time in one hardcover volume!”

I was a huge fan of Scott Chantler’s Northwest Passage (Oni Press), so it would stand to reason that I should pick up a copy of his Two Generals (McClelland and Stewart), which promises “poignant graphic memoir that tells the story of World War II from an Everyman’s perspective.” I’m not a history buff, per se, but Chantler is phenomenally talented.

The first volume of Lars Martinson’s Tōnoharu (Top Shelf) was very intriguing, so I’m looking forward to Martinson’s second look at a fish out of water teaching English in rural Japan.

Erica (Okazu) Friedman is crazy about Hayate X Blade (Seven Seas), written and illustrated by Shizuru Hayashiya, and that’s reason enough to seriously consider the purchase of the first omnibus collection of the series.

And I am crazy about Kou Yaginuma’s Twin Spica (Vertical), and I would never consider delaying in the purchase of the fourth volume. This is easily one of the great series debuts of 2010.

What looks good to you?

Upcoming 11/3/2010

November 2, 2010

I’m about to go vote, because the alternative is just too horrible. When I vote with my dollars in tomorrow’s ComicList election, the big winner is likely to be Viz.

A new title by Usumaru Furuya is a big reason why. He’s so weird and smart. Here’s what Viz says about the Genkaku Picasso:

“Hikari Hamura, nicknamed Picasso because of his natural artistic abilities, survived a horrible accident, but his friend Chiaki wasn’t so lucky. Suddenly, Chiaki appears in front of him and tells him in order to keep living he must help the people around him. Can Hikari save people with his sketchbook and a 2B pencil?”

In the interest of full disclosure, I’d pick up a new Furuya series no matter how it was described, but this one sounds fun.

Viz also offers some new volumes of fun series:

  • Gin Tama vol. 20, written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi
  • Hikaru no Go vol. 21, written by Yumi Hotta, illustrated by Takeshi Obata
  • Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You vol. 6, written and illustrated by Karuho Shiina
  • What looks good to you?

    Upcoming 10/27/2010

    October 26, 2010

    It’s time for another look at the week’s ComicList!

    Tokyopop has a bunch of titles coming out, and my pick of that lot would be the tenth volume of Banri Hidaka’s V.B. Rose, a romantic comedy about a budding designer of accessories working in a high-end bridal shop.

    Random House’s Del Rey manga imprint may be on its last legs, but it’s releasing a healthy volume of titles all the same. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the first volume of Akimine Kamijo’s Code Breaker, so I’ll be looking for the second.

    I’ve also been surprised by how much I’ve been enjoying Marvel’s Secret Avengers series, so I’ll also grab a copy of the sixth issue, which features a visit from the Master of Kung Fu.

    I have no excuse for not yet sampling Beasts of Burden from Dark Horse, and perhaps the Beasts of Burden/Hellboy One-Shot isn’t the best introduction to the series, but I think I’ll grab it all the same, just because I know my comic shop will probably have a copy handy.

    What looks good to you?

    Upcoming 10/20/2010

    October 19, 2010

    Goodness, but it’s a dense ComicList this week!

    Dark Horse continues to work its way through some of CLAMP’s most-loved back catalog. This week, it’s the first omnibus volume of Cardcaptor Sakura, originally published in English by Tokyopop and with an associated, legendarily butchered anime dub, if I remember correctly.

    I liked the first volume of Chigusa Kawwai’s Alice the 101st (DMP) quite a bit. It’s about kids at a music school in Epcot Europe, and the second volume arrives Wednesday.

    I’m also very fond of Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home (Vertical), a slice-of-life tale about an orphaned kitten settling in with her new family. The third volume is due, and I’m working on a review of the series for later this week.

    March Story (Viz), written by Hyung Min Kim and illustrated by Kyung-il Yang, is more interesting to me conceptually than it is for its individual merits. It originally ran in Shogakukan’s Sunday GX, and it’s by Korean creators, so that’s kind of unusual. Other than that, it’s very well-drawn but kind of average comeuppance theatre. It’s a big week for Viz’s Signature imprint with new volumes of 20th Century Boys, Kingyo Used Books, and Vagabond.

    Yen Press is releasing a lot of product this week, but my clear favorite is the fourth volume of Svetlana Chmakova’s Nightschool, a complex, polished supernatural adventure about a school for mystical types.

    What looks good to you?

    Upcoming 10/13/2010

    October 12, 2010

    It’s not a wildly inspiring ComicList this week, so I’ll focus on one title that earned #mangamonday tweets from both Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey and Sean (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Gaffney.

    That would be Mitsuru Adachi’s Cross Game from Viz’s Shonen Sunday imprint. It’s about baseball, and there are few sports I find duller, but Kate assures me that she shares my view of America’s pastime and still found the comic to be a lot of fun. And it wouldn’t be the first time I enjoyed a manga in spite of not sharing any of the interests or obsessions of the characters.

    Here’s what Viz has to say:

    “The series centers around a boy named Ko, the family of four sisters who live down the street and the game of baseball. This poignant coming-of-age story will change your perception of what shonen manga can be.”

    And speaking of Shonen Sunday, several other titles from that imprint are due to arrive in comic shops Wednesday. You can sample big chunks of all of them at Viz’s online anthology site.

    Upcoming 10/6/2010

    October 5, 2010

    Time for a quick look at this week’s ComicList:

    Oni Press gives me a good opportunity to check out a series I always meant to try but could never find an easy point of entry. It’s Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits, and it features stories by Jen Van Meter illustrated by the likes of Chynna Clugston, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Ross Campbell and more. It’s about a pair of punk rockers raising a family in the not-so-quiet suburbs.

    Hey, it’s time for a new volume of the greatest shônen series currently being published in English! That would be Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece from Viz, which is in the midst of a big, crazy prison break story, but you can always head to the front with relatively cheap, three-volume omnibus versions, which I strongly recommend you do if you like really brilliantly crafted adventure stories.

    I’ve got to tell you that a really dismal adaptation of Kaori Yuki’s Godchild left me with a lingering aversion to her work, but many smart people find her work positively addictive, so perhaps I’ll use the arrival of Yuki’s Grand Guingol Orchestra (Viz) to try and reconsider my position.

    If that doesn’t work, I can always console myself with the fourth volume of Yuki Midorikawa’s excellent Natsume’s Book of Friends (Viz).

    Upcoming 9/29/2010

    September 28, 2010

    Only one item really pops out at me from this week’s Comic List:

    Did you like Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte (Del Rey) but wish it had more contemporary art? Vertical can accommodate you in the form of Nobuaki Tadano’s 7 Billion Needles. It isn’t as smart as Parasyte, but it has a number of elements working in its favor.

    I like the protagonist, for one thing. Hikaru is a high-school girl who, for reasons yet to be fully articulated, isolates herself from her fellow students via headphones and a media player of some sort. This state continues until her body is invaded by an interstellar entity on the hunt for a vicious killer. Hikaru and her uninvited guest must engage with people to find the poor soul who’s hosting this monster, known as Maelstrom.

    As I suggested earlier, I also like the art. It’s clean and imaginative, packed with detail. The best way I can describe it is to ask you to suggest a muted combination of Yuji (Cat Paradise) Iwahara’s imagination and Kio (Genshiken) Shimoku’s obsessive-compulsive streak. Tadano doesn’t quite reach Iwaaki’s gory heights of imagination, but Tadano is also more persuasive in rendering the quieter moments.

    The first volume is equal parts introduction to Hikaru and the concept and ensuing mayhem. It’s a solid starting point, and I’m looking forward to seeing her develop as a heroine and person. 7 Billion Needles was originally serialized in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper and was collected in four volumes. Comments above are based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.