Upcoming 9/9/10

September 7, 2010

There are new volumes of three very enjoyable series due out this week, according to the ComicList.

In addition to being a sensitive and intelligent look at young people with big dreams (space travel, in this case), Kou Yaginuma’s Twin Spica (Vertical) is also one of the titles on the list of 50 Essential Manga for Libraries assembled by Deb (About.Com) Aoki. The third volume arrives Thursday.

The main story in Hinako Ashihara’s Sand Chronicles (Viz) came to an end in the eighth volume, but the creator still has a relative wealth of side stories to offer. Some of them arrive this week in the ninth volume. Sand Chronicles didn’t make it on the aforementioned library list, but it certainly could have. It’s a sensitive look at a girl’s gradual maturation from pre-teen to independent woman.

Yuki Yoshihara’s Butterflies, Flowers (Viz) offers further proof, if proof were needed, that women can be just as adept at smutty slapstick as men. The fourth volume delves further into the disastrous, dysfunctional office romance of a former aristocrat (now an office minion) and her former servant (now her boss). For added interest, this is the series that’s launching Viz’s sneaky, sideways steps into the josei market.

What looks good to you?

Just one more link

January 20, 2010

The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association has posted its 2010 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens which, as you know, is something of an obsession of mine. Here are the Top 10.

Update: Just because I’m curious about these sorts of things, I broke down listings by publisher to see who got how many. Marvel scored the largest number of listings, divided about equally between their super-hero properties and their comics adaptations of other works of fiction. Viz came in second in terms of the number of recognized titles and actually had the largest number of books, by which I mean that multiple volumes of individual titles earned spaces on the list. If you add up all of its individual imprints, DC ranked next with seven titles and the same number of books, with three coming from its super-hero line and the remainder coming from imprints.

Marvel – 10 titles, 10 books, 1 title in the Top 10
Viz Media – 9 titles, 15 books, 3 titles in the Top 10
Del Rey – 5 titles, 5 books
First Second – 4 titles, 6 books
Tokyopop – 4 titles, 5 books
Dark Horse – 4 titles, 4 books, 1 title in the Top 10
Yen Press – 3 titles, 5 books
DC Comics – 3 titles, 3 books
Cinebook – 2 titles, 3 books
IDW – 2 titles, 3 books
Candlewick – 2 titles, 2 books
DC/Vertigo – 2 titles, 2 books
Hill and Wang – 2 titles, 2 books
Oni Press – 2 titles, 2 books
Archaia Studios Press – 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top 10
Bloomsbury – 1 title, 1 book
Bodega Distribution – 1 title, 1 book
BOOM! Studios – 1 title, 1 book
Classical Comics Ltd. – 1 title, 1 book
DC/CMX – 1 title, 1 book
DC/Zuda – 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top 10
Disney Press – 1 title, 1 book
DMP – 1 title, 1 book
HarperCollins – 1 title, 1 book
Henry Holt – 1 title, 1 book
Image – 1 title, 1 book, 1 Top 10
Image/Shadowline – 1 title, 1 book
Pantheon Books – 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top 10
Quirk Books – 1 title, 1 book
Simon & Schuster/Aladdin – 1 title, 1 book
SLG Publishing – 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top 10
Top Shelf – 1 title, 1 book
Walker and Company – 1 title, 1 book

VizBig dreamin’

February 18, 2009

Looking over the Viz titles that Diamond plans to de-list, I see several series that really deserve the VizBig treatement–if not for the casual consumer (i.e. me), then for the libraries that are making a commitment to buying manga and graphic novels. Here are the books I’d most like to see re-issued in that three-for-one format:

  • Banana Fish
  • Basara
  • The Drifting Classroom
  • Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President
  • Firefighter Daigo of Company M
  • Flowers & Bees
  • From Far Away
  • Kekkaishi
  • Maison Ikkoku
  • Mermaid Saga
  • Please Save My Earth
  • Red River
  • The Return of Lum: Urusei Yatsura

I’d add Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs to the list, but then I’d have to publicly admit that I enjoy such a totally schlocky series.

As for titles that are already out of print, my top candidates would be Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Trilogy and Mitsuru Adachi’s Short Program. I’d also love to see X/1999 re-issued in omnibus format, as many of the early volumes are exceptionally difficult to find in stores. And it goes without saying that I’d love to see Viz re-issue No. 5 in any format, though I realize I’m more likely to see a woman in the White House first.

In addition

January 30, 2009

At Good Comics for Kids, Snow Wildsmith rounds up graphic novels recognized on other American Library Association lists like “Best Books for Young Adults” and “Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.”

One, the “Death and Dying” category in “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults,” reminds me to ask a question: where’s Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows (First Second) on any of these lists? I didn’t think it was a perfect book, but it was packed with sensitivity, ambition and craft, and it was a noble attempt at spinning a new fable.


January 28, 2009

The American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association has released its 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, along with the Top Ten. The group recognized 53 titles total from 27 different publishers or imprints. The big winner was Viz, with 9 titles and 23 books recognized, though if you add up the entries from all of DC’s various imprints, it comes close with 9 titles and 14 books recognized. Viz dominated the Top Ten, with 3 titles earning recognition.

As usual, there’s a terrific breadth of material on display, from romance to biography to history mystery to super-heroes to slice-of-life to fantasy and so on. Here’s the breakdown of entries by publisher/imprint:

Viz: 9 titles, 23 books, 3 titles in the Top Ten

Marvel: 5 titles, 7 books

CMX: 3 titles, 6 books
Tokyopop: 3 titles, 4 books
Hill and Wang: 3 titles, 3 books
Image: 3 titles, 3 books

Go! Comi: 2 titles, 4 books, 1 title in the Top Ten
Vertical: 2 titles, 4 books
DC: 2 titles, 3 books
Yen Press: 2 titles, 3 books
Dark Horse Comics: 2 titles, 2 books, 1 title in the Top Ten
Vertigo: 2 titles, 2 books, 1 title in the Top Ten

DrMaster: 1 title, 2 books
Oni Press: 1 title, 2 books
Wildstorm: 1 title, 2 books
Cinco Puntos Press: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
First Second: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
Groundwood Books: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
Red Five Comics: 1 title, 1 book, 1 title in the Top Ten
Abstract Studio: 1 title, 1 book
Bloomsbury: 1 title, 1 book
Cellar Door: 1 title, 1 book
Graphix: 1 title, 1 book
Minx: 1 title, 1 book
Riverhead Trade: 1 title, 1 book
Slave Labor Graphics: 1 title, 1 book
Villard: 1 title, 1 book

Readily available

December 12, 2008

Over at Good Comics for Kids, Robin Brenner has some good advice for comics publishers who want a presence on library shelves: keep your catalog in print:

“Unlike the general public, librarians cannot just walk down to the local book store or comics store and buy what they need. We have to go through vendors, and often we are limited to the vendors that our library is contracted to use. When our vendors are out of titles, we may or may not have an alternative option (say, ordering them via Amazon with a library credit card or purchase order), but this is not possible everywhere. When our vendors are out of stock, we’re stuck with kids clamoring for more titles that we cannot provide. When I brought up the problem with the Diamond Comics folks at the fair, including that juggernaut of comics advocacy John Shableski, they assured me that they could help me get whatever volumes I needed. On the one hand, yay! On the other hand, most librarians don’t have that direct option.”

And the nominees are…

December 2, 2008

The Young Adult Library Services Association has posted the final roster of nominees for the 2009 list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens. It’s a really eclectic list with wealth shared among a whole bunch of publishers and categories, so go take a look, and then we can start a pool on which books will make the final cut.

Circulatory systems

August 21, 2008

For no other reason than that I felt like it, here are five graphic novels that I think should be in libraries. (Disclaimer: they probably already are, and I’m not coming anywhere near saying that these are the only five graphic novels that would be essential to a well-rounded library collection, but these are the five that came to mind. Also, I’m focusing primarily on stand-alone books, or books that could stand alone even though subsequent volumes have come out, though I could easily do a similar list on series I think are deserving, and probably will at some point.)

Aya, by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie (Drawn & Quarterly): A funny, vibrant look at life in the Ivory Coast of the late 1970s.

Northwest Passage: The Annotated Collected Edition, by Scott Chantler (Oni Press): It’s a marvelous adventure story, wonderfully drawn and meticulously researched, and this sturdy package has some great extras.

The Rabbi’s Cat, by Joann Sfar (Pantheon): Maybe I should just say that every library should have something by Joann Sfar, but this was my first encounter with his work, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. Also, it stars a largely amoral cat.

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, by Fumiyo Kouno (Last Gasp): Simply one of the most beautiful graphic novels I’ve ever read. It’s that weird alchemy of seemingly contradictory elements coming together in unexpectedly wonderful ways.

Treasury of Victorian Murder: The Bloody Benders, by Rick Geary (NBM): Okay, I could have picked any of the books in Geary’s series, but this is the one I read most recently, so it’s the one I love the most at the moment. (I’m fickle.) Seriously, though, if a library has the budget, it should get all of Geary’s smart, gruesome looks at bygone crimes.

So which make your list?


July 28, 2008

NPR’s All Things Considered has a nice piece on librarians at Comic-Con International:

“The librarians at Comic-Con report that the manga shelves at their libraries are often nearly empty because the comics get checked out so quickly. Many manga storylines have multiple volumes, so kids come back to the library to keep up with the plot. Librarians select manga titles with staying power that they hope will attract new readers of different ages.”

It’s a nice alternative to “People wear costumes!”, “Hollywood courts nerds!” and “San Diego prefers medical conventions!”

Thinking ahead

March 7, 2008

The first wave of nominations for 2009’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is up, and it includes my beloved Sand Chronicles (Viz). Anyone can nominate a title, though creators and publishers can’t nominate their own works.

I like a lot of things about this particular award, but I really appreciate the fact that the nomination process is ongoing. It seems like worthy books that come out early in the process are less likely to be forgotten.