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.


The year isn’t over yet

November 10, 2009

As if to provide additional evidence that “Best of…” lists might be a wee bit premature before Thanksgiving or, you know, New Year’s Day, Viz sent out the following press release:

VIZ MEDIA OFFERS AN EMOTIONAL MIX OF THE REAL AND IMAGINARY IN THE DEBUT OF TAIYO MATSUMOTO’S GOGO MONSTER

New Manga Release Blends Bold Art And A Clever Story Of A Young Boy Who Tries To Balance His Own Lonely World With a Fantastic Supernatural Realm Only He Can See

GoGoMonsterSan Francisco, CA, November 10, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the upcoming release of Taiyo Matsumoto’s celebrated manga GOGO MONSTER on November 17th. GOGO MONSTER will be published by the company’s VIZ Signature imprint, rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $27.99 U.S. / $36.00 CAN.

Third grader Yuki Tachibana lives in two worlds. In one world, he is a loner ridiculed by his classmates and reprimanded by his teachers for telling stories of supernatural beings that only he can see. In the other world, the supernatural beings vie for power with malevolent spirits who bring chaos into the school, the students’ lives, and even nature itself.

“Taiyo Matsumoto’s clever stories and striking art have placed him among the best of a new generation of influential manga artists and we are privileged to present GOGO MONSTER to U.S. audiences,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “This story continues to show Matsumoto’s fascination with youth as he seamlessly blends themes of alienation with the paranormal. For anyone with an overactive imagination or has even just daydreamed during class, GOGO MONSTER offers an emotional tale that shows how what we see and imagine, whether real or imaginary, shapes our personality in profound ways.”

Taiyo Matsumoto made his manga debut in the Japanese magazine Comic Afternoon with the short story STRAIGHT. He went on to travel throughout France and became heavily influenced by the French comics he studied there including those created by pioneering European artists like Moebius and Enki Bilal. Matsumoto has become internationally acclaimed for stories that capture the essence of disaffected youth and adolescent alienation. His other notable works include BLUE SPRING, NO. 5 and TEKKONKINKREET: BLACK & WHITE, which are all published in North America by VIZ Media. TEKKONKINKREET won a prestigious Will Eisner Award in 2008 and was also adapted for an animated feature film. Another Matsumoto manga story, PING PONG, was turned into an award-winning live action film that is available from VIZ Pictures.


While in Bethesda…

September 25, 2009

I’m sure I’ll miss a lot of excitement at the New York Anime Festival this weekend, but I’m profoundly consoled by one thing: Fanfare/Ponent Mon will be at the Small Press Expo. Here’s there press release:

FANAFARE/PONENT MON CELEBRATES FIRST SPX APPEARANCE WITH DUAL TITLE PREMIERE

Limited quantities of Years of the Elephant and A Distant Neighborhood #2 to be available to attendees.

yearsofelephantFanfare/Ponent Mon, publishers of quality translated European and Japanese graphic novels, makes its inaugural visit as exhibitor to SPX this year. To mark the occasion, the company is scheduling a special drop-shipment of two of its most anticipated titles — Years of the Elephant and A Distant Neighborhood #2 — to be available for purchase at the show a month prior to their official release. Pick up a copy at table F16!

Years of the Elephant by acclaimed Belgian artist Willy Linthout is the touching autobiographical exploration of his son’s suicide, a moving story made all the more powerful by Linthout’s use of pencils sans both color and inks.

Renowned Japanese manga creator Jiro Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood #2 is the haunting conclusion to middle-aged businessman Nakahara’s reliving of his childhood as himself only with his elderly thoughts and experiences left intact.

Both titles exemplify the quality graphic storytelling that is the hallmark of Fanfare/Ponent Mon, whose much-lauded The Summit of the Gods Volume 1 and A Distant Neighborhood #1 by aforementioned Jiro Taniguchi premiered at San Diego this year and will also be available at SPX.

SPX is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books and the discovery of new creative talent. In its fourteenth year, the show will held the weekend of September 26 and 27, 2009 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, MD.


PR: I’m not normally an anime fan, but…

September 17, 2009

I’ve heard that the animated version is even better than the comic, and I love the comic. Can this be true?

VIZ MEDIA BRINGS THE ANIMATED SHOJO TITLE – HONEY AND CLOVER – TO FANS IN A SPECIAL UNCUT DVD BOX SET

honeyclover01_boxSan Francisco, CA, September 17, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will release the first Uncut DVD Box Set for the animated Shojo title, HONEY AND CLOVER, on September 22, 2009. The 3-disc set featuring 13 episodes will be rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an MSRP of $59.90 U.S. / $85.99 CAN.

Based on the popular manga series created by Chica Umino, HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way through college. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result.

What do you get when you cross creativity with self-discovery and unrequited love? Art school! Yuta Takemoto has no idea what’s in store for his life when he enrolls at a Tokyo art college, but he finds out right away it’ll never be dull! Love triangles form as fast as friendships when both Takemoto and senior classmate Shinobu Morita fall hard for shy artistic prodigy Hagumi Hanamoto. And while architecture student Takumi Mayama secretly pines for an older woman, dazzling ceramicist Ayu Yamada pines for him! Confused yet? Welcome to the bittersweet world of HONEY AND CLOVER..

The HONEY AND CLOVER manga series was created by Chica Umino and has sold more than 5,300,000 copies in Japan. In 2003, the series won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award, Japan’s most prestigious comics award. The series was also adapted into an anime series in 2005 and finally into a live action film in 2006.

For more information please visit honeyandclover.viz.com.


I want them all

July 15, 2009

I just got back from the BBC-CW production of Harry Potter and the Awkward Silences, and I’m so glad Viz left something in my in-box to cheer me up, because dude

Anyway, here’s the joyous press release:

VIZ MEDIA PARTNERS WITH JAPAN’S IKKI MAGAZINE TO LAUNCH SIGIKKI.COM, AN ONLINE MANGA WEBSITE TO PRESENT A DIVERSE COLLECTION OF TITLES ACCLAIMED FOR CREATIVE QUALITY

Innovative Online Destination Pushes Boundaries Of Manga With New Content Available Each Month For Free

childrenSan Francisco, CA, JULY 15, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the full launch of its new SIGIKKI website, which represents a bold new partnership between the company’s VIZ SIGNATURE imprint and IKKI, a monthly magazine published in Japan since 2003 that has established itself as the home of some of the most innovative, bold, and compelling titles in the world of contemporary manga.

Located at www.sigikki.com, this groundbreaking online manga destination will present a broad range of seinen manga to audiences in North America. From action to comedy to drama, slice-of-life stories to surrealist fantasies, the uniting themes these works share are an uncommon emphasis on creative quality and on pushing the boundaries of the manga norm.

Earlier in May, the SIGIKKI site posted the first chapter of CHILDREN OF THE SEA by Daisuke Igarashi, with Volume 2 currently being serialized on the site. Starting this month, new chapters from half a dozen manga series will be offered for viewing online in their entirety – FOR FREE. After a particular volume completes its online serialization, that edition will be published as a VIZ Signature graphic novel (subject to reader demand). Additional content such as creator interviews, feature articles, news, and free downloads will also be posted on the website each month.

“We are very excited to formally launch our new SIGIKKI website in partnership with IKKI magazine,” says Shie Lundberg, Sr. Director, Strategy and Business Development, VIZ Media. “The convenience of web accessibility combined with some of the most compelling and diverse content manga will allow fans to sample a range of acclaimed new titles each month, for free. As these series begin to develop their own domestic following, audiences can then look forward to the eventual publication of these titles with the high quality VIZ SIGNATURE presentation befitting manga of this caliber.”

On July 23rd the SIGIKKI site will debut Bokurano: OURS, by Mohiro Kitoh; Dorohedoro, by Q Hayashida; Saturn Apartments, by Hisae Iwaoka; and I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow, by Shunju Aono. These titles will be quickly followed on July 30th with the opening chapters of Kingyo Used Books, by Seimu Yoshizaki; House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono; Afterschool Charisma, by Kumiko Suekane; and Tokyo Flow Chart, by Eiji Miruno.

Manga Summaries Follow Below:

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