The buried lead

November 15, 2010

Over on Twitter, Scott Green triggered a tweet-storm when he pointed to this press release from Viz on new licenses. Fabulous news for Tenjo Tenge fans, particularly those still bitter about CMX’s editing choices, but read deeper into that piece, and you will find the source of my giddy, giddy joy:

LA QUINTA CAMERA • Rated ‘T’ for Teens • VIZ Signature • MSRP: $12.99 US / $14.99 CAN • Available July 19, 2011

A charming suite of linked stories from the acclaimed author of not simple and House of Five Leaves, set in an apartment in Italy. In four of the rooms live four single men with singular personalities. Into this peculiar ménage steps an exchange student, the new tenant of the fifth room. Brought together by chance, friends by choice, they pursue their dreams together as the days drift gently by.

It originally ran in Penguin Shoubou’s Comic Seed! Odd that they didn’t mention it’s also by the creator of Ristorante Paradiso and Gente, what with the “bunch of guys in Italy” thing going on. Still… new Ono!


The sun may not come out

May 7, 2010

At least nine times out of ten, comics from Japan tend to be about winning. Characters win the person of their dreams or the national championship or the right to be called King of the Pirates, or what have you. So it’s always fun to see a little failure in manga form. It’s always possible that the schlub who stars in Shunju Aono’s I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Viz) will eventually succeed, or at least that he’ll stop quitting halfway through whatever he happens to be trying, but in the meantime, we can revel in the crushing disappointment. I should also note that the series is really funny and that Aono seems to be trying to eschew the “But isn’t this loser secretly really awesome?” undertones that inform similar schlub-centric comics. Viz has announced the print edition, and the press release is after the jump.

This also gives me a chance to remind you that you can read a whole bunch of IKKI series for free and that the folks at Viz who manage the initiative have a really nice blog where they cover an appealingly wide range of topics. Recent entries have featured an upcoming release from Vertical, excitement over the return of Lady Sif, and an appreciation of the ongoing Free Comic Book Day that is the webcomic.

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Swinging the AX

April 28, 2010

Speaking of people and things that start with the letter “A,” Brigid Alverson shares some joyous news at Robot 6: that Top Shelf has solicited its eagerly anticipated AX collection of alternative manga. Here’s the blurb from the Top Shelf newsletter that just arrived in my in-box:

PREORDER TOP SHELF’S JULY RELEASES IN THE CURRENT DIAMOND PREVIEWS!

The new May Diamond Previews catalog has THREE great titles available for pre-ordering: Top Shelf’s first foray into the world of alternative Manga with AX (VOL 1), the debut volume of James Kochalka’s new all-ages series DRAGON PUNCHER, and Renee French’s THE TICKING, finally coming back in print!

AX (VOL 1): A COLLECTION OF ALTERNATIVE MANGA

Edited by Sean Michael Wilson

Compiled by Mitsuhiro Asakawa

— A 400-Page Graphic Novel with French Flaps, $29.95 (US)

— Diamond: MAY10-1136

— ISBN 978-1-60309-042-1

Ax is the premier Japanese magazine for alternative comics. Published bi-monthly for over ten years now, the pages of Ax contain the most creative and cutting-edge works of independent comics from the world’s largest comics industry. Now Top Shelf presents a 400-page collection of stories from ten years of Ax history, translated into English for the first time! This groundbreaking book includes work by 33 artists, including Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life), Imiri Sakabashira (The Box Man), Kazuichi Hanawa (Doing Time), Akino Kondoh, Shin’ichi Abe, and many many more!

I was starting to worry that this might wind up on my “most anticipated titles” list for three years in a row.


Star search

April 15, 2010

We’ll wrap up Press Release Thursday with some information on Kou Yaginuma’s lovely Twin Spica (Vertical), which I reviewed here. I always appreciate it when a publisher shares a substantial online preview of their upcoming titles (heck, or stuff that they’ve already got in print, because everything is new to somebody), and the chapter Vertical chose is a haunting and lovely prequel to the main action of the series.

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Fanfare Eisner fanfare

April 15, 2010

Our next press release comes from Fanfare/Ponent Mon, and I have a sturdy tradition of shameless favoritism towards press releases from this fine publisher. This time around, it’s a run-down of their well-deserved Eisner nominations, which provides an opportunity for me to remind you that My Mommy Is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill is just grand in every conceivable way and should really win at least one of the awards for which it’s nominated.

Here’s hoping that Summit of the Gods (written by Baku Yumemakura and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi) gets nominated for something next year. I actually liked it better than Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood and am looking forward to the next volume.

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They presumably would know

April 15, 2010

I hereby declare it Press Release Thursday. There are a few interesting ones in my mailbox, and there’s nothing wrong with a little low-impact content generation.

We’ll start with Viz, who has formerly announced the drop date for Bakuman, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. You may recognize them as the creative team that brought us Death Note (also from Viz), and I hope you recognize Obata as the illustrator for Hikaru No Go (wonderfully written by Yumi Hotta, and also published by Viz). I’m somewhat less concerned that you recognize Obata as the artist behind Ral Ω Grad (written by Tsuneo Takano, also from Viz), which is a little fan-service-y for my tastes. You may also recognize Bakuman as one of the nominees for the most recent round of Manga Taisho Awards.

While I’ve covered the nominees rather exhaustively in various license requests, I’ve purposely neglected Bakuman, as I knew it had been licensed and assumed we would be getting a press release eventually. And voila! Details after the jump.

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Viztube

March 17, 2010

I’m so much more of a manga fan than an anime partisan, but I do like to track publisher efforts to minimize the allure of pirated content, so I’m running this press release on the new Viz Anime portal after the jump. One thing does strike me, and that’s how un-sexy the adjectives are for this kind of initiative. I mean, “official” and “licensed” and “legitimate” just don’t set the pulse racing, you know? Of course, I’m also opposed to stupid lingo development, so I’m not about to suggest “hipper” alternatives. It’s just something that occurred to me.

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On the march

January 30, 2010

Oh, I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while:

Crogan’s March
Written and illustrated by Chris Schweizer
Due 2/3/2010

SIXTEEN INDIVIDUALS, THREE CENTURIES, ONE FAMILY. THE ADVETURE CONTINUES!

Legionnaire Peter Crogan has some hard questions to answer. Should he finish out his 5-year term of service with the French Foreign Legion, or become an officer for life? There’s not much time to consider his options as the armies of the Tuaregs arrive. And just when Crogan thinks there’s only the relentless heat still to overcome, the rag-tag group of hardened fighters are trapped in a cave by a terrible creature with a taste for human flesh!

*

Here’s my review of the first volume, Crogan’s Vengeance.


not simple as that

December 16, 2009

Hello, my name is David, and I’m obsessed with Natsume Ono. It’s been zero days since I last thought about how excited I am about the prospect of reading so many of her comics in the coming year. This is partly because I’m feeling validated by the fact that Shaenon Garrity shares my enthusiasm, and by the fact that Viz just sent out a press release about Ono’s upcoming not simple, which Garrity described as “scary good.” Viz sent me a review copy, and “scary good” sums it up nicely. You’ll be able to view a preview at the IKKI site tomorrow (Dec. 17), and I urge you to do so.

Viz’s press release is below.

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Famine looms

December 10, 2009

Oh, I am not happy to see this press release.

FINAL VOLUME OF THE ULTIMATE FOOD MANGA – OISHINBO RELEASING JANUARY 19TH!

The Last Hand-Selected Volume Out Of A 100+ Volume Hit Series Exploring Essential Elements Of Japanese Cuisine is coming to an end.
Volume 7 Izakaya-Pub Food Is Here!

DECEMBER 10, 2009 – VIZ Media announced today the release of the final volume of the mega hit food manga by Tetsu Kariya, OISHINBO due out on January 19th. Volume 7, Izayaya-Pub Food is rated ‘T’ for Teens and carries an estimated retail price of $12.99 US and $16.99 CAN.

Izakaya occupies the same vital space in the Japanese culinary landscape as tapas bars in Spain or tavernas in Greece. Unpretentious and frequently boisterous, they’re places to meet with friends or business partners to unwind over drinks and small dishes that range from hearty standards to refined innovations. In this volume of OISHINBO, Yamaoka and Kurita investigate classic Izakaya foods such as edamame and yakitori, devise new dishes to add to the menu of an old shop, and discover how the concept of “play” is essential to the enjoyment of food.

OISHINBO creator Tetsu Kariya, writer and essayist extraordinaire graduated from prestigious Tokyo University. Kariya was employed with a major advertising agency before making his debut as a manga writer in 1974 when he teamed up with legendary manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami to create Otoko Gumi (Male Gang). The worlds of food and manga were forever changed in 1983 when Kariya, together with artist Akira Hanasaki, created the immensely popular and critically acclaimed OISHINBO.

“Fans of Japanese cuisine and culture have been delighted with every volume of the critically acclaimed OISHINBO series and we are excited to bring them this final volume that covers the excitement of izakaya,” says Evelyn Dubocq, Sr. Director of Public Relations, VIZ Media.

OISHINBO (or “The Gourmet”) depicts the adventures of journalist Shiro Yamaoka, who writes for the fictional newspaper Tozai News. When the paper’s top executives decide to create “The Ultimate Menu” to celebrate the paper’s 100th anniversary, Yamaoka, known for his reputation as a foodie with culinary skills to match, is given the daunting assignment. With the help of his coworker Kurita, Yamaoka begins an epic saga to find unique and tasty dishes that will compose this ultimate bill of fare. Each volume of OISHINBO focuses on specific foods and culinary trends such as sake, sushi, vegetables, rice dishes, ramen, and Izakaya (pub food). VIZ Media has served up selected highlights from this epic 100+ volume series and compiled them into seven a la carte editions that can be enjoyed individually or as a series. OISINBO has further inspired a 136-episode anime series, a live-action film and TV dramas, video games, recipe collections, and TV shows in Japan.

For more information on OISHINBO and other VIZ Media titles please visit http://www.Viz.com.

It’s a good thing it’s about pub food, since I’ll need a drink or two to ease the pain. I’ve really enjoyed this series, and I hope Viz decides to do a second round. There are currently 50 volumes in the A la Carte series in Japan.