Yen for ICE

July 24, 2007

In the just-arrived Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Kai-Ming Cha answers all our questions about the future of ICE Kunion: they’re joining forces with Yen Press, who will be picking up the current roster of ICE Kunion titles. That’s good news for people who’d been enjoying them. (I had wondered precisely what former ICE editorial director Ju-Yuon Lee’s presence on the SDCC Yen Press panel meant, and I’m glad to see she took their titles with her when she joined Yen.)

Well, okay, maybe all of our questions aren’t answered:

“Fans curious about the promises of free manhwa on the ICE Kunion Web site should note that the site will soon redirect people to the Yen Press Web site, where they can find all of ICE’s series now under the Yen Press label. Although [Kurt] Hassler said there was some confusion over who owned the URL, he said the matter is being resolved.”

Anything that keeps me in Goong

Previews review

June 11, 2007

It’s time for a look through the latest Diamond Previews catalog! (Only slightly related, but it’s also time for a lot of publishers to updated their web pages!)

Sometimes all it takes is a gorgeous illustration to make me want a book, and that’s certainly the case with Mi-Kyung Yun’s Bride of the Water God (Dark Horse, page 44). In my defense, the plot sounds interesting too, with a human sacrifice getting even more than she bargained for.

Sample pages (and great-looking art) go a long way towards piquing my interest in Mike and Louise Carey and Aaron Alexovich’s Confessions of a Blabbermouth (DC – Minx, pages 118-120). The fact that it’s about a blogger probably doesn’t hurt either.

For those of you who passed on Andi Watson and Simon Gane’s Paris (Amaze Ink/SLG, page 218) in single issues, it’s being released in collected form. The story is okay – two very different girls meet and fall in love in the City of Light – but the art is truly wonderful.

I snickered at part of the solicitation for Hoyuta Fujiyama’s Ordinary Crush (DMP – Juné, page 286) – “in an all boys school where 90% of the students are gay” – until I remembered the rumors about some of the parochial schools in the area where I grew up.

Well, lots of people have been wondering about the health of Ice Kunion, given shifting shipping dates and an unresponsive web site, but they’ve got listings in this month’s catalog (page 309). Take that for whatever it’s worth, which might be nothing.

My adorability sensors have been triggered by Mizuo Shinonome’s Chibimono (Infinity Studios, page 319). It’s about a guardian spirit for household items with some serious memory problems.

Bryan Lee O’Maley’s Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together (Oni Press, page 330) is almost here. That is all.

Vertical offers more classic stuff from Keiko (To Terra…) Takemia with Andromeda Stories (page 368), the first of a three-volume science fiction story.

There’s no cover image to lure me, but I’ll give anything in Viz’s Signature line a look. The latest addition is Taiyo Matsumoto’s TEKKONKINKREET: Black and White. (Okay, so it’s just a repackaging of a series that Viz has published previously. It’s still nice that they’re giving older, weirder books from their catalog another shot at an audience.)

Alternate universes

January 16, 2007

This week’s Flipped is up and running, with reviews of Goong (Ice Kunion) and the galley of To Terra… (Vertical).

To Terra… is crazy gorgeous, even in preview form, so it should be quite spectacular once Vertical puts its customary production touches on it. Christopher Butcher has posted a number of preview pages from the first volume at

I need to come up with a tag for these Wednesday posts

December 19, 2006

Major booksellers seem to be on a mission to clog my e-mail in-box with in-store and on-line offers. I think I’ve made pretty good use of some of them, though I managed to resist the one-day discount thing Barnes and Noble sent yesterday, since it was only usable yesterday and, well, I had things to do that didn’t involve extra left turns.

And I do have to save some of my retail expenditures for the local comics shop, because I’ll feel like a soulless Big Box pawn if I don’t. So let’s look at the week’s ComicList, shall we?

If the season’s huggy, over-stuffed sentiment is getting to you and you want something a little faster and leaner, Dark Horse offers a tonic in the form of the second volume of Banya: The Explosive Delivery Man. While the title character hasn’t actually exploded yet, he’s done just about everything short of it in terms of action-adventure behavior. It’s a lot of fun, and Kim Young-Oh’s art is gorgeous.

One of these days, I’m going to have to delve further into Clamp’s xxxHOLiC (Del Rey). I read the first two volumes long ago, was baffled and put off by the irrelevant crossovers with other Clamp series, then read the third and became intrigued. So perhaps I’m not quite ready for the eighth volume, but I will be someday.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about So-Hee Park’s Goong (Ice Kunion). In spite of a massive recent overhaul of its web site, the publisher still doesn’t seem to have any previews available for the series, but it’s a what-if story about what Korea might be like if the monarchy was still in place. It was popular enough in Korea to be adapted into a television drama, which I believe is still an unusual development. Wikipedia has a spoiler-y summary of the manhwa.

Oni launches Maintenance, a sci-fi workplace comedy from Jim Massey and Robbi Rodriguez. I read a preview a while back and really enjoyed it.

Viz provides new volumes of Monster and Train Man: Denha Otoko. Monster is always reliably entertaining, and this volume seems to promise more of the Knots Landing antics of saintly Tenma’s hell-on-wheels ex-fiancée, so there’s really no down side. As for Train Man, Hidenori Hana’s adaptation of the story is easily my favorite of the competing versions.

February debuts

December 3, 2006

Here are the manga, manhwa, and global manga debuts from the latest Previews, covering titles shipping in February. Whenever possible, I’ve linked directly to title information. As always, if I’ve missed something, let me know.


Works, by Eriko Tadeno


The Time Guardian, written by Daimuro Kishi and illustrated by Tamao Ichinose
Go Go Heaven!!, by Keiko Yamada

Dark Horse

Appleseed Book 1: The Promethean Challenge, by Shirow Masamune

Del Rey

Mamotte Lollipop, by Michiyo Kikuta

Digital Manga Publishing/Juné

The Moon and the Sandals, by Fumi Yoshinaga
Wagamama Kitchen, by Kaori Monchi


Chinese Hero, by Wing Shing Ma

Icarus Publishing

Taboo District

Ice Kunion

You’re So Cool, by Young Hee Lee

Kitty Press

Thunderbolt Boys Excite


Unholy Kinship, by Naomi Nowak


In the Starlight, by Kyungok Kang


Divalicious, written by T. Campbell and illustrated by Amy Mebberson
Kedamono Damono, by Haruka Fukushima
Metamo Kiss, by Sora Omote
The Twelve Kingdoms, by Fuyumi Ono

Tokyopop Blu

Innocent Bird by Hirotaka Kisaragi

Viz Shojo Beat

Backstage Prince, by Kanoko Sakurakoji
Gentlemen’s Alliance, by Arina Tanemura

Yaoi Press

Yaoi Volume 1: Anthology of Boy’s Love, by Izanaki, Wilson, and Studio Kosaru
Desire of the Gods, by Insanity Team

The suspense is killing me!

November 30, 2006

Well that was a pleasant surprise. I thought NBM was only shipping a new printing of Rick Geary’s The Borden Tragedy, but a copy of the paperback version of The Case of Madeleine Smith showed up in my reserves yesterday. New installments of A Treasury of Victorian Murder are always gratefully accepted.

Speaking of the accused Glaswegian, she’s made her way onto the list of nominees for the American Library Association’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens. (Yes, I’m still obsessively tracking those. Thanks for asking.) Nominations are now closed with a projected drop date for the final list in mid-winter of 2007.

It’s a little hard to tell what joined the list when, but accounting for my shaky memory, recent additions include:

  • Action Philosophers: Giant-Sized Thing #1 (Evil Twin)
  • American Born Chinese (First Second)
  • Brownsville (NBBComics Lit)
  • Chocalat (Ice Kunion)
  • Crossroad (Go! Comi)
  • Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall (Vertigo)
  • Infinite Crisis (DC)
  • Inverloch (Seven Seas)
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Dark Horse)
  • Livewires: Clockwork Thugs, Yo! (Marvel)
  • Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo)
  • Same Cell Organism (DMP)
  • To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel (Simon and Schuster)
  • Young Avengers Vol. 2: Family Matters (Marvel)

I hope the nomination list is still available after the final roster is chosen, because there are some great books on it. But barring some bizarre failure of decision-making, it’s hard to see how the final list could be anything but excellent.

(Edited to note: If I missed anything new to the nominations, let me know, and I’ll add it to the list.)

Love manhwa

October 7, 2006

David Taylor at Love Manga wants to introduce you to the wonderful world of manhwa. He’s sponsoring a Manhwa Competition, and all you have to do is tell him why you want the titles that are up for grabs from publishers like DramaQueen, Ice Kunion, and NETCOMICS.

I want a bean feast

September 30, 2006

The latest Previews catalog has me in a Veruca Salt kind of head space.

David Petersen’s splendid Mouse Guard (Archaia) concludes with issue #6, but the solicitation text describes it as “the first Mouse Guard series,” all but promising there will be more.

I hadn’t noticed that Housui Yamazaki, who provides illustrations for the excellent Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, has his own book, Mail, also coming out from Dark Horse. This demands further investigation, particularly since the protagonist from Mail will apparently cross over into KCDS. (I don’t like typing “cross over” when discussing manga, but I’ll reserve judgment.)

As I like Hiroki Endo’s Eden: It’s an Endless World!, and I’m also a fan of collections of shorts, chances seem good I’ll also like Endo’s Tanpeshu, also from Dark Horse.

DC – Wildstorm gives me the opportunity to enjoy a comic written by Gail Simone without having to try and wade through seventy-three different crossovers with the debut of Tranquility.

DC – Vertigo revives a book I enjoyed a lot, Sandman Mystery Theatre, with a five-issue mini-series, Sleep of Reason. Based on the pages shown in Previews, I’m not entirely sold on the art by Eric Nguyen, but I love the protagonists in this series.

Do you like Masaki Segawa’s Basilisk? Del Rey gives you the opportunity to read the novel that inspired it, The Kouga Ninja Scrolls.

Evil Twin Comics unleases another Giant-Sized Thing on the comics-reading public with the second collection of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s excellent Action Philosophers!

Dave Carter notes that the singles of the second volume of Linda Medley’s marvelous Castle Waiting (Fantagraphics) series aren’t doing that well, despite strong sales of the beautiful collection of the first. Fantagraphics gives you the opportunity to correct this sorry state of affairs with the December release of the fourth issue.

Go! Comi rolls out its seventh title, Train + Train by Hideyuki Kurata and Tomomasa Takuma. (In the future, all manga publishers will have a book with “train” in the title.)

I’ve heard a lot of good things about SoHee Park’s Goong (Ice Kunion), a look at what Korea would be like if the monarchy was still in place.

Last Gasp, publisher of Barefoot Gen, offers another look at life in Hiroshima after the bomb with Fumiyo Kouno’s Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.

If Marvel’s current efforts at politically observant super-heroics make you roll your eyes, you might find respite in Essential Defenders Vol. 2, which includes mosst of Steve Gerber’s mind-bending Headmen arc. It strikes me as idiotic not to include the entire arc in one place, which this book just misses. It has Defenders 15-39 and Giant-Size Defenders 1-5, but not #40 and Annual #1, the conclusion of Steve Gerber’s deranged masterpiece of deformed craniums, clown cults, and women in prison.

NBM offers two books that go onto my must-buy list. The first is the paperback edition of the eighth installment of Rick Geary’s superb Treasury of Victorian Murder series, Madeleine Smith. The second is Nicolas De Crécy’s Glacial Period. De Crécy contributed a marvelous short to Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators, and I’ve been hoping to see more of his work in English.

Oni Press rolls out Maintenance, a new ongoing series from Jim Massey and Robbi Rodriguez. I reviewed a preview copy earlier this week; the book looks like it will be a lot of fun.

Seven Seas unveils another licensed title, Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, a gender-bending comedy by Satoru Akahori and Yukimaru Katsura. If you’ve been waiting for some shôjo-ai to come your way, now’s your chance.

Tokyopop – Blu promises that Tarako Kotobuki’s Love Pistols is “too crazy to be believed.” Human evolution isn’t just for monkeys any more, people.