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Showing posts from February, 2010

Pick of the Week 2/24

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Here's the book that you should be paying attention to tomorrow at your local comic shop...
Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman (Volume 1) HC - The latest run on Fantastic Four has been getting a lot of buzz, featuring writer Jonathan Hickman. If you haven't been reading the floppies, you may want to jump on board with this first collection.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Blackest Night #7 (of 8)
Dinosaur King (Volume 1)
Jet Scott (Volume 1) HC
Ms Marvel #50 - Final Issue
Weird World of Jack Staff #1

Manga Monday: Black Butler

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Black Butler (Volume 1)
Yana Toboso

There are a lotofmixedreviews of the first volume of Black Butler out there, but I for one, found it rather impressive.  The art, on one hand, is rather lackluster.  It looks generic without any real stand-out scenes.  At one point, the butler in question, Sebastian, points out what is supposed to be a fantastic stone garden to a guest, and the art just isn't strong enough to bring the vision to life.  But for the most part, the art is executed competently, with the action scenes illustrating clearly what Toboso is trying to convey.  And what Toboso lacks in artistic skills is more than made up for with storytelling prowess.
I wasn't sure what to expect when going into this book, and for all intents and purposes, it begins as a story of a butler in charge of the house of a young master.  Sebastian is competent at his job and makes up for what the rest of the staff (including a gardener, a nosy chef, and a clumsy maid) lack, often fixing the mis…

Meanwhile

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Jason Shiga

Meanwhile took creator Jason Shiga a decade to create.  It's an intricate puzzle that has you choosing where to go from panel to panel, from page to page, much like the narrative "choose your own adventure" books, except in comic book form.  At first glance, it can seem pretty intimidating, with lines swirling from all the panels on each page (and some pages consisting of pretty much only swirling lines that you have to follow), but once you get into the groove of how it works, it's really easy to continue.  It starts off rather simply enough, on what flavor of ice cream you'd like to eat, and gets a little more complicated from there.  Shiga makes good use of color and space for the type of story he's telling here, which is basically the same story, of Jimmy, a boy who stumbles upon an inventor and his laboratory, where he has a time machine, a machine that can transfer memories between people, and a doomsday device called the killitron.  You can …

Pick of the Week 2/17

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The book you should be paying attention to when you stop by your local comic book shop on Wednesday...




King Aroo (Volume 1) HC - IDW is really digging out some quality comic strip projects for their Library of American Comics line. This collection contains all dailies and Sundays from the King Aroo strip published between 1950 and 1952.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Almost Silent HC - Jason
Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #1 (of 4)
Bokurano Ours (Volume 1) - Read my review here.
Kick Ass HC
Meanwhile: Pick Any Path - 3856 Story Possibilities

Manga Monday: Bokurano Ours

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Bokurano Ours (Volume 1)
Mohiro Kitoh
The science fiction title Bokurano Ours was one of Ikki magazine's flagship titles in Japan, and recently ended its serialization in 2009 after a seven year run.  It now begins its publication stateside through Viz's signature Ikki line, following in the footsteps of Children of the SeaBokurano Ours is a story about fifteen children at a Summer camp, who uncover a strange cave full of computers.  The man they find there offers them a chance to play a game piloting a giant robot, which all but one of them accept and are under contract to play to its end.  Once the game begins, they find out that it's not the computer game they were expecting, but an honest-to-god robot that they navigate to engage an opposing robot.  Each new enemy sees another one of the children in control of their robot, and each storyline follows the same pattern of relating an episode from that child's life that speaks to their personality and how they engage …

The Troublemakers

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Gilbert Hernandez

The latest graphic novel from master cartoonist and Love & Rockets co-founder Gilbert Hernandez is good pulpy fun.  It's a part of the Fritz "B movies" that Hernandez is "adapting" to comics.  On the inside front covers of this book, there are movie posters for other "films" in this collection, his first one, Chance In Hell, making an appearance, as well as a little corner of Speak of the Devil that Hernandez published through Dark Horse.  Truth be told, I'm really really looking forward to seeing some of the other books in this series.  Chance In Hell was a great debut for the project, and The Troublemakers was a lot of fun, full of swindeling and back-stabbing, but how can they compete with books with titles like Scarlett by Starlight, King Vampire and The Midnight People?  Not to mention the cool posters for Three Mystic Eyes and The Earthians.  Anyways, lots of sex and violence in a really fun pulpy atmosphere make The Tro…

Pick of the Week 2/10

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Provided the snow doesn't delay comic shipments in your area, here is the book you should be paying attention to in your local store tomorrow...


Newave!: Underground Mini Comix of the 1980's HC - Almost 900 pages of minicomix from the 1980's!  This highly anticipated anthology includes offerings from the likes of Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, Steve Willis, Mary Fleener and Rick Geary.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Chocolate Cheeks GN
Human Target #1 (of 6)
Little Nothings (Volume 3): Uneasy Happiness GN
Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Ultimate Collection TP
Savage Dragon: Back In Blue TP

Manga Monday: Crown of Love

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Crown of Love (Volume 1)
Yun Kouga

Retelling her manga series from ten years earlier, Loveless creator Yun Kouga flushes out her story Crown of Love, about the relationship between an established idol, and one rising.  Hisayoshi Tajima is a charming guy, idolized by the women in his class, but very arrogant.  He knows he's good-looking and doesn't reciprocate any interest in his classmates.  The only one good enough for him is idol Rima Fujio, whom he happens to bump into on a train.  From that moment on, this ace student drops everything in his pursuit to know everything about this beautiful girl, from attending video tapings to becoming an active member of her fan club.  Luckily for him, her former talent manager wants him to be an idol as well, and offers him stardom as a way to get close to Rima, who does not reciprocate his affection.  There are definitely some interesting things happening in this manga, particularly when it comes to Hisayoshi's relationships with those…

The Week In Awesome! Oscar Buzz!

The Academy Award nominees were announced this week, debuting their ten nominations for Best Picture in place of just five.  Of the nominees, I'm rooting for The Hurt Locker, although I wouldn't mind seeing underdogs Inglourious Basterds or An Education win.  A little disappointed that A Single Man wasn't nominated for Best Picture, that Ponyo wasn't up for Best Animated Picture, and that Julianne Moore didn't get a supporting actress nod for her role in A Single Man.  Ah, well.  See the full list of nominees here.

Previews HYPE: April '10

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Diligently wading through the phone book that is Previews Catalogue so you don't have to...here are twenty choice books (that's right, I just couldn't narrow it down to ten this month - lots of good stuff is coming out!) shipping to comic shops in April that I think may get overlooked or that I'm just plain excited about...

1. Wilson HC - New original graphic novel from Daniel Clowes!  Nuff said.

2. Bodyworld HC - When Dash Shaw's graphic novel was being serialized as a webcomic, it appeared on plenty of people's best of the year lists, so I'm excited to see it come out in print form from Pantheon.

3. Art In Time: Unknown Comic Adventures 1940-1980 HC - Dan Nadel edits a sequel to the excellent Art Out of Time anthology, featuring overlooked adventure comics from the 40's through the 80's.

4. Black Blizzard GN - A full-length graphic novel from important manga creator Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life), from the late 50's.

5. Artichoke Tales HC - A …

Pick of the Week 2/3

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The book you should be paying attention to when you stop by your local comic book shop on Wednesday...



Viz Manga Releases - Viz is really churning them out this week.  There's a new shojo debut with Crown of Love (Volume 1), and there's also Ultimo (Volume 1), which is a book created by Stan Lee and written by Hiroyuki Takei, creator of Shaman King.  The new issue of Shonen Jump comes out, as well as new installments in several series including Black Bird, Happy Happy Clover, High School Debut, Hikaru No Go, Otomen, Slam Dunk, Vampire Knight and the ever-popular Naruto.Some series also see their final volumes come out this week: Beast Master and Knights of the Zodiac, while Viz continues to throttle their readers with another wave of One Piece (volumes 29 - 33).

Other Noteworthy Releases
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #32: Twilight (Part 1)
Demo Volume 2 #1 (of 6)
Komiks: Comic Art In Russia HC
Little Lulu (Volume 22): The Big Dipper Club TP
Siege #2 (of 4)

Manga Monday: Butterflies, Flowers

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Butterflies, Flowers (Volume 1) Yuki Yoshihara
Choko Kuze is desperate for a job since her family's wealth disappeared.  Coming from a priveleged background forces her to take whatever comes her way, but she certainly never expected to work for one of her former servants.  It makes for an interesting dynamic, as Masayuki Domoto makes many ridiculous demands on his new employee (and even asks her if she is a virgin during the interview), but turns on a dime to praise her and call her Milady, particularly when off the clock (and even drives her to and from the office).  Choko recalls her childhood friendship with Domoto fondly, and admits pretty early on that she's fallen pretty deep for the handsome guy, something that hits home when she sees women throwing themselves at him.  The illustrations are really beautiful in this title, as the book's title suggests, but this is another one of those shojo manga titles that too abruptly bounces from serious and emotional to goofy and…