Showing posts from March, 2010

Pick of the Week 3/31

This is the title you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop tomorrow!

Hernandez Brothers Collections - Tomorrow sees the release of collections from both Gilbert and Jaime featuring works from their Love & Rockets universe.  From Jaime we get the Penny Century TP in the new-reader-friendly format that Fantagraphics has been releasing recently.  And from Gilbert, High Soft Lisp GN in the thinner, taller format.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Blackest Night #8 (of 8) - The conclusion.
Creeper by Steve Ditko HC
It Was the War of the Trenches HC - More Jacques Tardi!
The John Stanley Library: Melvin Monster (Volume 2) HC
Nomad: Girl Without a World TP
Pluto (Volume 8) - Final volume!

Manga Monday: Bunny Drop

Bunny Drop (Volume 1)
Yumi Unita

Bunny Drop is a moe manga where, like Yotsuba&, a little girl is raised by a young man, in this case a thirty-year-old.  Jason Thompson wrote an interesting article on moe manga at ComiXology worth checking out if you'd like to know more about this side of manga.  But while Yotsuba& is a humor series that focuses on a young girl's funny interactions with the world around her as she grows and learns, Bunny Drop aims for something a little more dramatic.  There's plenty of humor involved in the title, but it has a much more serious edge as Daikichi, the young bachelor, takes in his grandfather's secret six-year-old daughter Rin after he dies (because no one else is willing to, given the scandal), and has to grow up quickly, making responsible decisions to raise her, such as stepping down at work so that daycare will work with a more reasonable schedule.  He has a lot to learn about children, but with Rin's help, is able to make …

The Week In Awesome! Dragons & More!

Here are some things that got me excited over the past week!

I'm Still Here - My favorite country singer Mindy McCready released her first new CD in eight years!  And it was well worth the wait.  Same beautiful, strong voice and full of great songs.  Download this:  Wrong Again, Songs About You.
An awesome trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was unveiled.
The animated film How To Train Your Dragon opened in theaters in 3D to rave reviews.  I am so going to see it.
An Education comes to DVD on Tuesday.  One of the Oscar-nominated films that I never got to see in theaters last year (and one that I really wanted to see).
The programming schedule for Chicago's new C2E2 comic book convention was announced (Link via Articulate Nerd).
Fantagraphics Books announced a new imprint that will be edited by Rick Marschall called Marschall Books that will reprint many overlooked artists as well as major artists.
Innovative publisher IDW achieves premiere status through Diamond Distribution, ear…

Uncanny X-Men #522

Matt Fraction & Whilce Portacio

Kitty Pryde returns to Earth in the latest issue of Uncanny X-Men written by Matt Fraction and pencilled by Whilce Portacio (with a minor back-up story drawn by Phil Jimenez).  She's been MIA since the final issue of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's run on Astonishing X-Men a few years back.  But while Kitty has been my favorite superhero since I was about eight years old (I started picking up comics period because I thought she was "pretty" on the Marvel Universe trading card I had, thus Excalibur was my first comic experience), I can't say I've really noticed her absence.  Since she's been gone from the Marvel Universe proper, Whedon has revitalized fans' enthusiasm for the character to such a degree that she's been in more series lately than when she was actually present (Wolverine: First Class, Exiles, X-Men Forever...)  That being said, I'm certainly not going to complain that she's back, because I…

Pick of the Week 3/24

Here's the book you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop tomorrow...and please forgive another laundry list of titles following my pick, as it's another great week for comics.

Black Blizzard GN - Early crime comics that Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life) created during the gekiga movement in manga.

Other Noteworthy Releases
120 Days of Simon GN
The Art of Jaime Hernandez: Secrets of Life and Death HC
Book of Grickle HC
Complete Peanuts (Volume 13): 1975-1976 HC
Donald Duck Classics (Volume 1): Quack Up HC
Hey Princess GN
Newsboy Legion by Simon & Kirby (Volume 1) HC
Night Owls (Volume 1) TP
Phonogram (Volume 2): Singles Club TP
Uncanny X-Men #522 - Kitty Pryde returns!

Manga Monday: Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro (Volume 1)
Q Hayashida

The latest addition to Viz's Ikki line is Dorohedoro, a gritty urban fantasy that takes place on a world where sorcerers wield deadly magic and offer gifts to the devil in exchange for unique masks.  The story that Hayashida tells in this dark world follows Kaiman, a man who was left with a crocodile head by a sorcerer and now seeks to find the culprit to revert back to his normal form.  Kaiman also has a man living inside his body that he's unable to see, but gives him messages through his victims.  So when Kaiman encounters a victim, he engulfs their head with his mouth to let the man say something to them, before demanding to hear what he had to say.  If it's not what Kaiman wants to hear, he usually kills the sorcerer.  In one instance, a sorcerer is pulled out of his mouth prematurely, and her face is ripped off by his teeth, which is a pretty good example of how this book plays out.  Very ruthless and bloody.  There's plenty of act…

Pick of the Week 3/17

Holy crap!  It's a huge week in comics, so bear with me in the "Other Noteworthy Releases" section.  That being said, the book you should be paying attention to at the local comic shop tomorrow is...

Gunnerkrigg Court (Volume 2): Research HC - Finally the next volume of one of my top 5 books of last year hits comic shops.  This award-winning all-ages webcomic by Thomas Siddell has something for everybody: magic, mystery, an epic story, a demon-possessed toy cat and a great protagonist in fully-realized Antimony Carver.  And lots of awesomeness.

Other Noteworthy Releases
American Vampire #1
Backing Into Forward HC - A prose memoir by Jules Feiffer.
Bronx Kill HC
Dorohedoro (Volume 1)
The Killer (Volume 2) HC
Krazy & Ignatz: Tiger Tea HC
Mome (Volume 17) GN
Ristorante Paradiso GN - My review here.
Robotika (Volume 2): For a Few Rubles More HC
Siege #3 (of 4)
Superman: Nightwing and Flamebird (Volume 1) HC
Wonder Woman Chronicles (Volume 1) TP
X-Factor Forever #1

Manga Monday: Ristorante Paradiso

Natsume Ono

Ristorante Paradiso follows Viz's excellent release of Natsume Ono's not simple.  And while this book is very different from that first work (and much more light-hearted in tone), Ristorante Paradiso is still the beautifully-illustrated book that you'd expect from such a gifted creator.  This book is about a popular restaurant in Rome called Casetta dell'Orso, where the clientele must make reservations to get a seat and where the primary attraction (besides the delicious food) is the handsome waitstaff.  Women flock to the restaurant to moon over the men, all clad in eyeglasses (whether they need them or not).  But this isn't a typical kitchen manga about a girl who wants to learn how to make great food and finds she has the talent to do so.  Ristorante Paradiso views the restaurant through the eyes of Nicoletta, who was abandoned by her mother at a young age and put into the care of her grandparents, so that she could be with a man who did not want to b…

Spider-Woman canceled!

Following the fate of the excellent S.W.O.R.D., Marvel has announced the cancellation of another great book that they're putting out at the Emerald City ComicCon.  In fact, Spider-Woman was my favorite superhero comic of 2009, but issue #7 will be its last.  And with Incredible Hercules having ended as well, Marvel really needs to put out some A-grade material to fill these great losses.

The Week In Awesome: Sequels and more!

Here are a few things that got me excited this week!
Big announcement from Fantagraphics, as they are venturing into manga territory quite aggressively beginning this Fall with some big name offerings, including a "best of" of legendary creator Moto Hagio's short stories called A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, as well as Wandering Son from Shimura Takako.  Read an interview with Gary Groth here for more info. New trailers up for two of the most anticipated movies of the Summer:  Iron Man 2 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Boom! is going to be publishing a mini-series based on the excellent cartoon Darkwing Duck.
Also "Hands" by Little Boots is a great new dance CD.

Pick of the Week 3/10

This is the comic you should really be paying attention to when you stop by your local comic shop this week...

The Complete Milt Gross Comic Book Stories HC - Craig Yoe edits this new book that collects the entirety of creator Milt Gross' comic books.  An exciting new archival project.

Other Noteworthy Releases
Greek Street (Volume 1): Blood Calls For Blood TP
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers: Unleased #1 (of 4)
The Mystic Hands of Dr. Strange #1
Twilight (Volume 1) GN

Manga Monday: Hikaru No Go

Hikaru No Go (Volume 18)
Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata

It's not too often that I review a series well into its run, but this is a good one-off issue of what is a really engaging manga series, so here I am taking a look at volume 18 of Hotta and Obata's book.  With this volume, the creators take a break from the escalating tension of Hikaru in his quest to beat Akira at the boardgame go and take the go industry by storm.  The six chapters focus on six different secondary characters from the unwieldy cast that has been built throughout the series.  First, we see Hikaru's rival Akira Toya right before he plays his first life-changing game of go against Hikaru, complete with scenes with his father and other talents his age that just aren't up to snuff.  Next is Tetsuo Kaga, who returns to his high school to encourage a group of boys to enroll in the school's go club (to much amusement).  Since Hikaru has been so caught up in the professional world of go, it's nice t…

The Week In Awesome! Ponyo and More

Here are the things that excited me the most this week!

Ponyo on DVD!  Hayao Miyazaki's latest animaton masterpiece hits DVD this week (one version with a stuffed Ponyo).  I'm still baffled on how the Academy could pass this film up for a nomination.

This beautiful movie trailer of Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians, based on the popular kids series Guardians of Ga'Hoole, featuring owls.

The Crazies getting crazy-good reviews makes me excited to see a horror movie again after a bunch of disappointments.

The Real Housewives of New York debuted on Bravo this week, bringing long-missed Bethany and Jill back to my TV!

Only a few more days until the Academy Awards are on!   My predictions:
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan - An Education (I want an upset here)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - P…

Previews HYPE: May '10

Diligently wading through the phone book that is Previews Catalogue so you don't have are ten choice books shipping to comic shops in May that I think may get overlooked or that I'm just plain excited about...

1. Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #1 (of 4) - This is a new anthology series that allows some great talent to explore David Petersen's Mouse Guard universe, including Ted Naifeh, Alex Sheikman and Mark Smylie.

2. Archie: The Best of Dan DeCarlo (Volume 1) HC - Collecting Archie stories from the 50's through the early 70's, this contains some of DeCarlo's best stuff from his legendary run.  A really exciting project.

3. Sky Doll: Space Ship #1 (of 3) - A new Sky Doll mini-series!  I loved the first mini-series, so I'm happy to see Marvel pushing forward with more Soleil offerings.

4. Brightest Day #1-2 - Hot on the heels of the mega-crossover event Blackest Night comes Brightest Day, which is sure to explore the consequences of Blackest Night


You can catch a blogger profile of me over at Manga Views where I talk about manga and why I blog.

Pick of the Week 3/3

This is the book you should be paying attention to at your local comic shop tomorrow...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight (Volume 6): Retreat TP - One of the strongest arcs of Joss Whedon's Season Eight of Buffy is the storyarc that just wrapped up by Buffy the television series veteran writer Jane Espenson, with Georges Jeanty on art.  Also in stores this week:  Big Bad Twilight is unmasked in issue #33, so people avoiding spoilers can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Other Noteworthy Releases
First Wave #1 (of 6)
Green Hornet #1 - New Kevin Smith.
One Piece (Volumes 34 - 38)
Planetary (Volume 4) HC - Final collection.
Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates #1

Manga Monday: Biomega

Biomega (Volume 1)
Tsutomu Nihei

From Blame! creator Tsutomu Nihei comes a postapocalyptic manga featuring a world where the N5S virus turns people into zombie-like creatures called drones.  There's a small percentage of the population who have a resistance to the virus, where it mutates into something else in the host body, more like an advanced healing factor (as is demonstrated by the girl Eon Green, who is run down by a motorcycle, her leg torn off, before it reattaches itself as if nothing had happened).  Zouichi Kanoe, a synthetic human, wishes to protect Eon from the many dangers around her and together with his motorcycle full of surprises and loaded with weapons and advanced technology (and an AI that guides Kanoe), attempts to do just that through this fast-paced first volume.  Biomega feels very much like a video game to me, like watching a long cinematic sequence, complete with talking bears, lots of shooting and buckets of blood.  It's extremely violent and since ma…