Upcoming 1/27/2010

January 26, 2010

Beyond offering some enjoyable and promising material, this week’s ComicList gives me the opportunity to review a couple of likeable titles that I received from the publishers.

Remember how the producers of Saturday Night Live used to try and turn characters that worked in five-minute sketches into the stars of full-length movies and how rarely that worked? That could have been the fate of Afrodisiac (AdHouse Books), the powered-up pimp who guest-starred in Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s terrific Street Angel mini-series (SLG). Fortunately, Rugg and Maruca are smart enough to keep their creation in sketch contents, assembling an amusing “best of” volume of adventures that satirize both blaxploitation and, to a lesser extent, the ups and downs of a super-hero franchise. Afrodisiac pays homage to the marginally distasteful, fad-driven characters that publishers like Marvel created over the years, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, taking him just far enough beyond his predecessors to make the joke worth telling. The formula is basic – the unflappable, irresistible flesh peddler keeps his neighborhood and stable safe from the schemes of stupid, greedy white guys like Dracula and Richard Nixon. Those stories are fun, but I liked the random covers even better. They suggest a publisher trying to build a character franchise by any means available, wedging him into crossovers, true-romance comics, and even a Marvel Knights-style revamp. Afrodisiac isn’t ambitious in its satire, but it’s smartly presented and consistently amusing. It’s just right for its aims and given its raw materials.

Miku Sakamoto’s Stolen Hearts is another worthy entry in CMX’s roster of amiable, endearing shôjo manga, and it has three elements in particular that work in its favor. First, it’s about maintaining an established relationship, which I always like. Sunny, short Shinobu and scowling, tall Koguma get their romantic act together fairly quickly, allowing Sakamoto to spend the rest of the volume cementing their bond. They work together in Koguma’s grandmother’s kimono shop, which covers the other two aspects. I like the detail Sakamoto expends on kimono culture. I’m partial to books that focus on a specific activity or enterprise, as it adds an extra layer of interest to the proceedings. Last but not least is Grandma, who falls into that category of funny, formidable senior citizens that I enjoy so much. Grandma’s product maybe old-fashioned, but her business practices are aggressively modern. Her marketing schemes set the stage for profits and push the romance forward.

Now, on to the rest, though that hardly seems like a fitting phrase for the range and appeal of the items I haven’t yet read.

I’m not quite ready for the fifth volume of the breathtakingly beautiful, not-always-entirely-coherent Bride of the Water God (Dark Horse), written and illustrated by Mi-Kyung Yun, but I’ll certainly catch up at some point. This is one of those titles that’s best read in the bathtub with a glass of wine close to hand, possibly sparkling. I’m glad to see that Dark Horse is sticking with this series, as it gives me hope that the rumored solicitations for new volumes of Kazuhiro Okamoto’s Translucent will someday result in me being able to purchase new volumes of Kazuhiro Okamoto’s Translucent.

Last Gasp concludes its admirable effort to release Keiji Nakazawa’s deservedly legendary Barefoot Gen. The ninth and tenth volumes arrive Wednesday. What more do I need to say?

You’ll probably need to lighten the mood a bit after that, so how about a little super-dense comedy about a suicidal schoolteacher? Yes, it’s time for another volume of Koji Kumeta’s Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Del Rey). This installment promises a visit to a hot spring, and I can only imagine what bizarre tangents such an excursion will yield. I also really like the color palette for this cover. It suggests both delicate gentility and decay. This series was among my favorite debuts of 2009.

So was Karuho Shina’s Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Viz), a delightfully off-kilter shôjo title. Thinking about the subject of yesterday’s Flipped column, it occurs to me that this book is a delightful subversion of the peasant-prince model. The heroine of this book is so socially disadvantaged that she doesn’t even realize that the boy of her dreams is probably already in love with her. But I’m confident that she’ll catch on in time, and then I will cry and giggle in equal measure.

And if you’re curious about this week’s debuts from Tokyopop, tangognat has you covered with reviews of Alice in the Country of Hearts and Portrait of M and N.


Upcoming 1/6/2010

January 5, 2010

2010 hits the ground running, at least in ComicList terms. I hope you got cash for Christmas or are fit enough to supplement your income by shoveling the driveways of neighbors.

It’s been available in English for a few years, but that doesn’t stop me from making the hardcover collector’s edition of Fumiyo Kouno’s glorious Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms (Last Gasp) my pick of the week. In my opinion, this is still one of the finest comics from Japan ever to be licensed. Don’t believe me? Check out reviews from Lorena (i ♥ manga) Nava Ruggero and Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey.

I only know what Drawn & Quarterly tells me about Imiri Sakabashira’s The Box Man, but I do know that they’ve got excellent taste in comics from Japan (and everywhere else). What does the publisher promise? An “absurdist tale in a seamless tapestry constructed of elements as seemingly disparate as Japanese folklore, pop culture, and surrealism. Within these panels, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the animate and the inanimate, the real and the imagined, a tension that adds a layer of complexity to this near-wordless psychedelic travelogue.”

Quick, something a little more undemanding! CMX to the likely rescue! They debut The World I Create, written and illustrated by Ayami Kazama. It’s about students with the ability to create virtual realities, and it looks kind of charming.

I was crazy about godly pantheons as a kid, particularly the Greek. It never translated into a particular love for comics versions of characters like Hercules, but I was always fascinated, probably because the mythology was so much like a soap opera with extra smiting. As I really admired George O’Connor’s abilities as a cartoonist in Journey into Mohawk Country as well, I’ll definitely give First Second’s Zeus: King of the Gods a good long look.

I’m apparently not supposed to call them “pamphlets” any more, though I thought that was the preferred term over “floppies.” “Flimsies” it is. There are two such publications out this week that show much promise: the fourth issue of Brandon Graham’s King City (Image) and the second issue of Stumptown (Oni), written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Matthew Southworth, and colored by Lee Loughridge. Thanks again for making my browser crash, Image.

Now, for the costliest portion of our program: the new shôjo, which I will simply list in alphabetical order because there’s so much of it:

  • Happy Café vol. 1, written and illustrated by Kou Matsuzuki, Tokyopop: I love romantic comedies set in restaurants, so I’ll certainly pick this up at some point.
  • Nana vol. 20, written and illustrated by Ai Yazawa, Viz: More awesome rock-and-roll drama.
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends vol. 1, written and illustrated by Yuki Midorikawa: I thought this supernatural series got off to a strong start.
  • Sand Chronicles vol. 7, written and illustrated by Hinako Akihara: Oh, the beautiful ache of growing up.
  • V.B. Rose vol. 7, written and illustrated by Banri Hidaka, Tokyopop: Awesome stuff about wedding dress designers and their impulsive apprentice.
  • So what looks good to you?

    Update: I forgot to mention this one, but Marvel does a really quick turnaround on producing a trade paperback of its Marvel Divas mini-series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Tonci Zonjic. I enjoyed it very much in flimsy form, though I’m sad to see that they apparently use that hideous J. Scott Campbell cover for the collection. You’ll understand if I don’t illustrate this paragraph with a thumbnail, won’t you?


    For your Eisner consideration

    December 20, 2009

    ‘Tis the season for lists of the best comics and graphic novels of 2009, an event I always enjoy more as a spectator than as a provider. I would feel comfortable listing my favorite comics of the year, but some pocket of insecurity blocks me from using the word “best.” Fortunately, ‘tis also the season to nominate titles for the 2010 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards.

    As you might recall, there was some disgruntlement over the rather narrow field of manga nominees in last year’s Eisner slate. This came on after a couple of years where there was a healthy sprinkling of comics and creators from Japan throughout the roster. While complaining afterwards is always fun (it’s the peak pleasure of “Best of” season, after all), I thought it certainly couldn’t hurt to throw out some suggestions for various Eisner categories while it might still make a difference.

    Just looking at the aforementioned “Best of” lists, we can be reasonably certain that at least two titles are locks for some form of Eisner nomination: Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka (Viz) and Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life (Drawn & Quarterly). They’re the two comics from Japan that have appeared most frequently on lists of the best comics and graphic novels of 2009. They’re fine choices and among my favorite new works from 2009, but their respective inevitability makes me disinclined to dwell on them too much, except to recommend that A Drifting Life be nominated in the Best Reality-Based Work category.

    I make that suggestion because 2009 saw a whole lot of extraordinary comics from Japan, so the real estate in the Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material – Japanese category will be costly indeed. To start, there’s Urasawa’s other series in current release, 20th Century Boys, which I actually prefer to Pluto. I’m not saying it’s a better comic point by point, but I enjoy reading it more. It may lack Pluto’s seriousness of purpose and craftsmanship, but it’s compulsively readable and friendlier. Perhaps the solution is to nominate Urasawa in the Best Writer/Artist – Drama category or to nominate Pluto in the Best New Series slate. Urasawa has popped up in a variety of categories in the past, and I see no reason for that trend to stop now.

    Of course, I would hope that there’s room in the Best Writer/Artist roster for Takehiko Inoue, who has three series currently in English release, all from Viz: samurai epic Vagabond, available in regular and VizBig editions; shônen hoops classic Slam Dunk; and the achingly good, criminally underappreciated Real, which examines the lives of wheelchair basketball players. If the judges can’t bring themselves to give Inoue a Writer/Artist slot, I urge them in the strongest possible terms to save a space in Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material – Japanese or Best Continuing Series for Real, because it’s one of the finest comics currently in release, magnificently drawn and faultlessly written.

    On the subject of magnificently drawn and beautifully written manga, this will be judges’ final opportunity to recognize Kaoru Mori’s breathtaking period drama, Emma (CMX). The tenth and final volume came out earlier this winter, offering a satisfying conclusion to the driving storyline and a sentimental farewell to the rich cast of supporting characters that made this series so rewarding. Intelligent, meticulously researched, emotionally resonant, and all-around glorious, a lot of people are going to miss this book terribly.

    In a rather different vein, one devoid of delicacy or refinement but brimming with genius, please don’t forget Junko Mizuno’s subversive Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu (Last Gasp). Mizuno is a household name, assuming that household name counts a hardcore comics omnivore among its residents. She should be more famous, with her inimitable aesthetic and subversive sensibilities, and Pelu could be the book that pushes her over the top. It’s a profane, hilarious look at the intersection of sex, love and obsession from the perspective of a sentient space ovary. It’s the comic equivalent of a hallucinogen mixed with an amphetamine, and it’s my favorite new manga of 2009. But I would also hope that there’s room for Daisuke Igarashi’s Children of the Sea (Viz), the first release in that publisher’s tremendously promising SigIKKI imprint of alternative manga. It’s a contemporary environmental fable with absolutely immersive artwork and subdued storytelling all around.

    Speaking of the SigIKKI iprint, I see nothing that would prevent anyone from nominating the SigIKKI site in the Best Anthology category. One of the great pleasures of 2009 has been the ability to read new chapters of around a dozen exciting, alternative manga titles each Thursday. Beyond the extraordinary quality of some of the comics in rotation (many of which will be likely Eisner candidates when they see print), the whole thing strikes me as a very forward-looking initiative, a smart and generous loss leader to build an audience for books with perhaps marginal commercial potential.

    Back on the subject of taking your last chance to recognize worthy work, judges might also do something really nervy and give a slot in the Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material – Japanese to Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket (Tokyopop). Commercial success has never been a barrier to nomination in the past, and Fruits Basket is so much more than the piles and piles of money it made. It was a wrenching and lovely series throughout, and it ended with all of the grace and emotion its fans had every reason to expect. The Eisners haven’t nominated a shôjo title in this category since Fumi Yoshinaga’s Antique Bakery in 2007. (And while it’s not shôjo, nor is it explicitly for teens, keep an eye on Yoshinaga’s Ôoku from Viz for 2011. It’s off to a promising start, but I suspect it will hit its full stride next year.)

    Of course, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Fruits Basket was nominated in the Best Publication for Teens category, which manga could handily pack from top to bottom and still have partisans crying out at the injustice of some exclusion or another. I’ll limit myself to one suggestion for this category, Karuho Shiina’s Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Viz). It’s a hilarious romantic comedy about an outwardly creepy but inwardly sparkly girl trying to make friends on her own terms. It seesaws smartly between laughter and tears and speaks to the odd kid out.

    Moving down the age scale, someone really should recognize Yen Press for rescuing Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&! from publishing limbo. It was nominated in 2008 in the Best Publication for Kids category (or whatever it was called back then), and another nomination is in order. It’s still one of the funniest, freshest comics around, following a green-haired girl as she experiences the world’s many wonders, from riding a bike to running errands. Of course, it wasn’t conceived for kids, but who cares? And if you, like me, don’t read as many comics for kids as you feel you should, you can always check out this marvelous list of the year’s best from Good Comics for Kids.

    Given that it’s so damned funny, Yotsuba&! might also sit comfortably in the Best Humor Publication category, but I have other plans there. The first involves a nomination for Kiminori Wakasugi’s hilariously distasteful Detroit Metal City (Viz), about a would-be emo-pop crooner forced to moonlight as a vile, death-metal front man. The second involves a nomination for Koji Kumeta’s dense satire, Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: The Power of Negative Thinking (Del Rey). Beyond being a master class in the art and science of translation, this is a very funny book.

    Jiro Taniguchi is a good writer, and he’s a positively magnificent illustrator, so I would recommend he be nominated as Best Penciller for his work on The Summit of the Gods (Fanfare/Ponent Mon), written by Baku Yumemakura. For reinforcement, Taniguchi sturdily wrote and gorgeously drew A Distant Neighborhood (Fanfare/Ponent Mon).

    I can’t quite bring myself to recommend Inio Asano’s What a Wonderful World! (Viz) for a major category; there’s some outstanding work contained in these two volumes of short stories, but a goodly portion is merely very good. I’d have no reservations about suggesting “A Town of Many Hills” from the first volume for the Best Short Story prize, as it shows Asano at the peak of his considerable powers.

    I’m not really worried that Taiyo Matsumoto’s GoGo Monster (Viz) will be neglected. It’s just too good. The only question is in which categories it will be nominated. To my thinking, it’s eligible for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material – Japanese, Best Graphic Album – Reprint Material, and Best Publication Design. Judges may want to limit that last possibility to new designs rather than stateside reproductions, but the packaging is extraordinary.

    None of the Eisner categories will be easy to limit, but I suspect that Best Archival Collection will be particularly difficult. I’m not going to make it any easier. A year without a nomination for a work by Osamu Tezuka would just seem odd, and Vertical has been providing a valuable service (and really entertaining comics) by releasing a steady stream of Tezuka’s excellent medical melodrama Black Jack. At least some of the material in culinary classic Oishinbo (Viz), written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki, is 20 years old, and all of it is lively, informative, and enriches the scope of Japanese comics available in translation and available comics in general. If it doesn’t qualify for the archival award, put it in the Best Edition of Foreign Material – Japanese. Just put it somewhere. Beyond being very, very good on strictly qualitative terms, Susumu Katsumata’s Red Snow (Drawn and Quarterly) gives readers a glimpse of a different kind of gekiaga, a category of dramatic comics for grown-ups previously defined by the aforementioned Tatsumi.

    Entries for Eisner consideration are due March 8. Publishers, get cracking. Judges, get reading.


    2009 Great Manga Gift Guide

    November 26, 2009

    With Black Friday just around the corner, you may be trying to think up gift ideas for greed season, and some people on your list may be open to receiving the gift of manga. Here are some possibilities for your consideration. I stress that friends don’t give friends comics unless that friend has expressed an interest in receiving them. If friends insist on doing that, they at least keep the receipt.

    For the House fan in your life: Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack (Vertical). Decades before Hugh Laurie’s fictional physician was saving lives and alienating people, Tezuka’s outlaw surgeon was wrestling with bizarre maladies and guaranteeing that just about nobody liked him any better for it. You can pick up any volume of this series and not worry about being lost, since it’s all largely episodic. If you know someone with a taste for the medically gruesome and interpersonally abrasive, look no further.

    For the foodie in your life: Oishinbo (Viz), written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Hanasaki Akira. Aside from its microscopic attention to Japanese food and drink, this series lets you subdivide the recipient’s interests even further. Do they tipple? Try the Sake volume. Do they hold forth on buying locally and sustainably grown produce? There’s a volume for that. When you ask what they want for lunch, is their answer always “Sushi”? Do they blanch at the idea of a low-carbohydrate diet? Voila! As with Black Jack, there’s no real order to any of these volumes, so you can pick at random.

    For the comic strip fan in your life: Kiyohiko Azuma’s Azumanga Daioh (Yen Press). I think I recommended this in a previous gift guide, but it’s still awesome, and Yen Press is coming out with a freshened translation and production in December, so I think I’m allowed to repeat myself. This massive tome collects Azuma’s very funny strips about a group of classmates making their way through high school, and it’s a great mix of the recognizable and the absurd.

    For the autobiography buff/young artist/cultural historian in your life: Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life (Drawn & Quarterly). Tatsumi was one of the progenitors of gritty, grown-up comics in Japan, and the story of his evolution as an artist (and the associated evolution of comics publishing in Japan) is fascinating. For bonus points, Tatsumi opens a window on the economic and cultural evolution of postwar Japan as a whole.

    For the fan of films in limited release in your life: Jiro Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood (Fanfare/Ponent Mon). So you’re thinking of buying a graphic novel for someone you know who likes to read but isn’t entirely familiar with the whole “words and pictures” category. You know that Asterios Polyp is brilliant, but it’s so dense with visual reference that the recipient might not make it past the title page. Stitches is great, but it’s non-fiction and a big downer. But you’re determined. So why not try this beautifully drawn, undemanding tale of a middle-aged guy who gets the chance to relive his adolescence? It’s flipped, so there’s no barrier there, and the story should be very familiar from a number of similar examples. It’s smart but not too literary, it’s only two volumes long but still hefty enough to count as a decent gift, and the publisher deserves your money.

    For the freak in your life: Junko Mizuno’s Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu (Last Gasp). Do you have a friend who’s forlornly waiting for the next installment of Prison Pit? Do you want to help them pass the time? Then really, anything by Mizuno qualifies for recommendation, but Pelu is her newest available-in-English work. I don’t know if this book is remotely appropriate for anyone not wholly conversant in alternative comics, but man, how could such people not love it? I certainly do. I think it’s my favorite comic of 2009.

    For the Death Note fan in your life: Motoro Mase’s Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Viz). In her review of the series, Johanna Draper Carlson astutely noted the crossover potential between this series and the shônen mega-hit. Death Note has been over for a while, and many members of its audience may have reached the recommended age for this largely winning tale of government-sponsored murder. Try and keep it out of the hands of Glenn Beck fans, though, as they’ll turn it into a book of prophecy.

    For the environmentalist in your life: Daisuke Igarashi’s Children of the Sea (Viz). Have you ever noticed how some pro-nature stories can be really preachy and shrill and have next to no attractive drawings in them? Do you know of someone who enjoys tales with this kind of message and want to support them in their interests, but you’re still scarred by Captain Planet and don’t know where to turn? Look no further than Igarashi’s gorgeous, seaside fable.

    For the young fan of romantic fantasy in your life: Natsune Kawase’s The Lapis Lazuli Crown (CMX). If I had a teen-aged daughter (or son), I’d absolutely support them in just about whatever they chose to read. I’d probably voice my opinion about Black Bird, but I wouldn’t stop them from reading it. And my expression of that opinion might possibly spoil their fun in reading Black Bird, but I certainly couldn’t be held responsible for their overreaction to harmless, well-intended remarks that are entirely within my rights to state. And while they could spend their allowance on anything they wanted, they’d find this two-volume charmer in their stockings.

    For the hardcore Japanophile in your life: Koji Kumeta’s Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Del Rey).This is one of the densest licensed comics from Japan you’re likely to find on a bookstore shelf. It’s packed with cultural references, scrupulously annotated in extensive end notes. It’s also very, very funny. I only get about a third of the jokes, and I still think it’s hilarious. Plus, I enjoy reading the annotations, so it’s really like getting two books in one. If you know someone who loves, loves, loves Japan and is still willing to giggle at its foibles, this is the gift for them.

    Over at Okazu, Erica Friedman is tracking the various gift guides that will be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world over the next week or so.


    Previews review November 2009

    November 12, 2009

    There aren’t very many debuts in the November 2009 Previews catalog, but there are plenty of new volumes of excellent ongoing series. Let’s start with the new arrivals, though:

    OkimonoKimonoDark Horse releases Okimono Kimoni, written and illustrated by Mokona with assistance from the rest of CLAMP. “a fun and lavishly illustrated book full of drawings and illustrations, interviews (including an interview with Ami of the J-pop duo Puffy AmiYumi!), and even short manga stories from the CLAMP artists.” So that’s your “eye-popping-ly pretty” alert for the month. (Page 43.)

    OlympiansZeusI like Greek Mythology, and I thought George O’Connor’s Journey Into Mohawk Country had a lot of strong points. So I’ll definitely give O’Connor’s Olympians Volume 1: Zeus, King of the Gods (First Second) a look. “In OLYMPIANS, O’Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren’t sedate, scholarly works. They’re action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions.” (Page 232.)

    AliceCountryHearts1Alice in the Country of Hearts (Tokyopop), written by QuinRose and illustrated by Hoshino Soumei (Tokyopop) is triggering my “weird but crack-y” sensors: “Alice, who has fallen asleep in her garden, wakes up to find a white rabbit wearing clothes?! The rabbit forcefully drags Alice into the rabbit hole, where he turns into a young man with rabbit ears and leads her into a frightful world where the fairytale-like citizens wield dangerous weapons for an insidious cause… Unable to return home, will she be able to find happiness in a world full of danger and beautiful young men?” (Page 263.)

    bokuranoI can’t say that Mohiro Kitoh’s Bokurano: Ours is my favorite title in Viz’s SIGIKKI initiative, or even in the top five, but I’m always glad to see these titles see print, since it reassures me that the ones I really enjoy will follow sooner or later. “One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave. There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game. This game, he explains, pits one lone giant robot against a horde of alien invaders. To play the game, all they have to do is sign a simple contract. The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact.” (Page 273.)

    Swan15And now for the new volumes and new editions:

  • Black Jack vol. 9, written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, Vertical. (Page 272.)
  • Little Nothings Volume 3: Uneasy Happiness, written and illustrated by Lewis Trondheim, NBM. (Page 249.)
  • Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei vol. 5, written and illustrated by Koji Kumeta, Del Rey. (Page 222)
  • Swan vol. 15, written and illustrated by Kyoko Aryoshi, CMX. (Page 119.)
  • Hardcover edition of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kouno, Last Gasp. (Page 248)

  • Birthday book: Tekkoninkreet

    October 25, 2009

    tekkonkinkreetThe Comics Reporter notes that it’s Taiyo Matsumoto’s birthday. Matsumoto’s GoGo Monster won’t be available for a couple of weeks, and it’s certainly on my must-buy list, but I can happily recommend his Tekkonkinkreet: Black and White to tide you over. It’s a gorgeous, absorbing book that I like even more now than I did when I first reviewed it. (The animated movie is a snooze, to be honest, but the book is a joy.) The manga won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan over some very stiff competition, and it’s a legitimate win. I’d have been equally happy if Osamu Tezuka’s MW or Fumiyo Kouno’s Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms had taken the price, but I think that just illustrates how good Tekkonkinkreet is that it can sit comfortably in company with those excellent, excellent comics.


    Just a little fluffy gigolo

    October 19, 2009

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    This week’s Flipped takes a look at the latest translated example of Junko Mizuno’s jubilant, demented genius, Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu from Last Gasp. I want to know when Last Gasp is going to publish the other two volumes, and I want to know now. Really, who needs mind-altering substances when they’ve got Mizuno manga?

    While I was writing the column, I came to the belated realization that Enterbrain’s Comic Beam is an absolute gold mine. Any magazine that acted as cradle to Pelu, Bambi and Her Pink Gun, Emma, and Astral Project is a magazine to be treasured. And while King of Thorn isn’t my favorite comic by Yuji Iwahara, Comic Beam at least had the good sense to serialize something by him.