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PG Previews:

August 2011

We all know there is way too much stuff being published right now, it’s becoming impossible to keep up. How do you find those glistening, gold-plated needles in such a giant haystack? Each month I help you to discriminate, in a good way, by shortlisting the comics, manga and graphic novels I’m most looking forward to based on publisher advance listings. These are all due to be released in August 2011 (although actual dates may vary).

Bad Island
by Doug TenNapel
Scholastic Graphix

The publisher says:
Something on this island is up to no good… When Reese is forced to go on a boating trip with his family, the last thing he expects is to be shipwrecked on an island-especially one teeming with weird plants and animals. But what starts out as simply a bad vacation turns into a terrible one, as the castaways must find a way to escape while dodging the island’s dangerous inhabitants. With few resources and a mysterious entity on the hunt, each secret unlocked could save them… or spell their doom. One thing Reese knows for sure: This is one Bad Island.

Paul Gravett says:
Maybe “In Search of the Castaways” meets “New Gods” might be one pitch for this, but TenNapel makes this 240-page, all-ages romp something all his own. What with Ghostopolis as well, he’s becoming among the best kid-friendly fantasists in American comics, delivering maverick, unexpected, all-in-one-chunky-volume shebangs. Get a glimpse of his pages in progress and a demo of his annoyingly rapid acquisition of digital inking chops on this YouTube video doc and have any doubts erased by the School Library Journal‘s mightily positive review. Oh, and Bad Island also comes in a $24.99 hardcover edition.

Bubbles & Gondola
by Renaud Dillies

The publisher says:
Poetry, fantasy, and Django Reinhardt are woven into a fairy tale about solitude and awakening the creative spirit in this graphic novel. Charlie is a mouse who enjoys his solitude, staying up late nights indoors to listen to records and play his guitar; he experiences the outside world only through the windows of his house. As Charlie begins to stumble with writer’s block, a bluebird named Mr. Solitude arrives to encourage Charlie to search for inspiration outside of himself and his home. Told with a melancholic and heart-warming lyricism, this tender story combines pithy observations with whimsical illustrations to create a simple yet poignant tale for readers young and old.

Paul Gravett says:
Not come across this Belgian whizkid before but this 80-page hardcover bande dessinée translation looks extremely appealing. Originally published by Dargaud, France in 2009 as Bulles & Nacelle, NBM have released just a one page sample from it as a sneak peak. There are loads more in French, though, which you can find at BDGest which look super-sweet and almost reminiscent of that other cartoon mouse, Ignatz, from George Herriman’s Krazy Kat. A poetic charmer.

Gon Volume 1
by Masashi Tanaka
Kodansha Comics

The publisher says:
Gon is a small dinosaur that has managed to survive extinction. He goes on fun adventures in a world of vibrant creatures and fauna.

Paul Gravett says:
Is that all that Kodansha have to say about this manga masterpiece? Personally, I LOVE Gon, and even have the Gon glove puppet to prove it! Without a speech bubble or sound effect in sight, Tanaka transports you to an utterly surreal wildlife documentary where all kinds of different mammals, birds and sea creatures, often in vast numbers, have to adjust to or accommodate this one, last, extremely fierce junior T-Rex. I spotlighted Gon on a whole page in my book Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics, where I wrote: “The natural world as you have never seen it before. Meet Gon, a lone survivor from prehistoric times. With jaws of steel, this unstoppable baby dinosaur bites the big bullies and protects the weak. Masashi Tanaka’s intensely rendered panels dramatize the animal kingdom’s survival instinct without a sound.” DC’s Com-X manga line released it in the States before but now he’s back from Kodansha. Two unflipped Japanese-direction Gon stories are online, including one of my absolute favourite Gon episodes, where he rides an ageing, starving lion to near-collapse but finally spurs him so they eventually both catch some prey and share the kill together. I can’t help seeing some sort of subtle symbolism to this unique lizardy relic, small but unbeatable, making a solo stand like this. Take a bite!

by Craig Thompson
Pantheon / Faber & Faber
$35.00 / £20

The publisher says:
Habibi, based on a Middle Eastern fable, tells the story of Dodola, who escapes being sold into slavery and rescues an abandoned baby she names Zam. They live in isolation in an old boat in the desert. As they age their relationship shifts from mother and son, to brother and sister and eventually lovers. In the meantime however Dodola is forced to prostitute herself to desert traders in order to provide for Zam. When he seeks an alternative means of income Dodola is captured by the Sultan and Zam is forced into a quest to try and rescue her. At heart Habibi is, like Blankets, a profound love story, but it also functions as a parable about the environment and the state of the world. Set in the place where Christianity and Islam began, it explores the fundamental connection between these religions, and also the relationship between the first and the third world and the increasingly important battle for the earth’s resources.

Paul Gravett says:
If there’s one graphic novel you buy this month, and I’m tempted to say this year, it is this one. I’ve just been sent an advance proof and it’s too huge in scope (672 pages!), astonishing in execution and audacious in ambition for a quick summation here. I can reveal though that Habibi made it into my brand-new guide, 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die as the very last, 1001th entry, and that, last seen here for Comica in 2004, Craig Thompson will be in London again for an exclusive Comica event in late January 2012, around the time of the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, where he’s a special guest. Meantime, take a look at a few example extracts from 2007 here and on Craig’s blog here.

His Dream Of The Skyland
by Anne Opotowsky & Aya Morton
Gestalt Publishing

The publisher says:
Imperialist controlled Hong Kong, the British ruling classes, the ambitious dynasty-influenced Chinese, all create an amazing labyrinth for His Dream Of The Skyland; Book One in The Walled City trilogy. The Chinese-colonial inspired illustrations create an utterly distinct experience, immersing the reader in a world that is opulent, dark and absorbing. Anne Opotowsky, is a multi award winning writer, living in California. Her career spans documentaries books and feature films. Her work in film includes Emmy award winning documentaries, distinctive films for Paramount, Fox, MiraMax, and Disney. An internationalist at heart, she has lived and worked around the world her entire life. She was in Cuba at age two, smuggling film out in her sundress, in Central America at 19, dodging cross fire, hovering atop molten Mt. Kilauea at 24, and delving the South China Sea at 29. She fell in love with South East Asia early. That has never changed. In fact, her adoration grows with each passing day. Aya Morton grew up in rural Oregon where she wrote and illustrated many stories, mostly about talking animals. She went on to study at Brown University where she majored in Religious Studies, traveling extensively in India and southeast Asia. Aya eventually returned to her first love and received an illustration degree from The Art Center College of Design in 2007. Since then she has lived and worked as a freelance illustrator in London and now in Portland, Oregon with her husband and one year old son.

Paul Gravett says:
This stood out to me as a highly intriguing period item by this American team, running to 304 pages. Gestalt editor-in-chief Wolfgang Bylsma kindly whisked some sample pages to me and it really is something different and exciting, evocatively written and visualised with Aya Morton’s lively, sinuous linework, dizzying perspectives and vibrant colouring, starting from a limited palettes of pale blues and blossoming from there. This first part opens on an “auspicious” day, the sounds of fortune-telling and hasty lovemaking waft from early morning balconies as young Song sets out for his new job at the new Post Office in Kowloon. He’s even been issued with a bike, and one he doesn’t have to share. Definitely one to watch out for and I hope to give you a fuller review shortly. 

Home and Away
by Mawil
Blank Slate Books
$15.99 / £11.99

The publisher says:
One of Germany’s best loved comic artists tells his story of growing up in the East German school system prior to the fall of the Berlin wall, his first visit to West Berlin after the wall came down and his adventures with his much loved first car - a Skoda. Further tales include his visit to a hippie commune summer camp - in search of girls and self-enlightenment - and his deep obsession with the video game Hitman. Funny and bittersweet, Home and Away is a perfect portrait of growing up between two worlds.

Paul Gravett says:
I first met Mawil (pronounced pretty much like ‘Marvel’) at the 2nd Boomfest comics festival in St. Petersburg in 2008, where we shared a self-catering mini-apartment and enjoyed a day getting lost in the city together. You can see from this 2007 anthology of comics why he’s won numerous awards and such a following in Germany. Mawil’s cartooning balances along that tightrope line between control and looseness, between broad caricature and humane observation, sometimes tilting towards comedy exaggeration, other times towards recording people and places with realism and warmth. It’s a pleasure here to see his work in colour for the first time in English, notably flashbacks to his spraypainting graffiti phase, originally made for the online version of major German magazine Der Spiegel, and a selection of reflections on his very first auto, a turquoise - oops, sorry “bluish green” - Skoda, from customising it with a fiery flames paint-job to a photo-style album of Scenes from a Marriage. There’s also a great opening story on computer game Hitman 2 which Blank Slate have generously made available for free on their site here as a taster. Other short highlights are his funny, frank account of his childhood stuttering from the DDR to today, and the perfect slapstick timing of “The Day I Had No Food in the House” - except for a lethal, laughable cocktail of candies, including leftover Xmas liqueurs. He spreads out for the longest piece at 46 pages, “Welcome Home”, to record his experiences visiting a hippie summer camp and yearning for often unattainable girls. It’s good to see him vary his style here, bringing in soft smudgy crayon to distinguish the nocturnal revellers from his stand-offish self-portrait in hard outlines, or pages of sketches drawn from life, or a black-background trippy interlude where a guru version of himself helps him realise “total harmony” with himself. Get Home and Away and while you’re at it pick up his other new release this month from Blank Slate, the earlier, excellent, full-length The Band from 2004. It’s the Mawil Age of Comics!

Horror Hospital Unplugged
by Dennis Cooper & Keith Mayerson
Harper Perennial

The publisher says:
Dennis Cooper and Keith Mayerson’s groundbreaking black comedy follows the misadventures of Trevor Machine - the twenty-something, sexually confused lead singer for L.A.‘s Horror Hospital, an indie rock band on its way to fame and fortune - as he struggles with love, lust, drugs, fame, and carnally charged visits from the ghost of River Phoenix. A coming-out tale as well as a coming-of-age story, Horror Hospital Unplugged is a heady distillation of Generation X’s most piercing insights into creativity, sexuality, and stardom. It’s perfect for readers who walked a similar road to Trevor’s in the mid-1990s as part of the West Coats’ burgeoning indie rock scene, and ideal for younger readers who identify with modern America’s strongly resurgent punk subculture. Building upon a rich visual and textual foundation of cultural, artistic, and literary allusions, ‘Horror Hospital Unplugged’ erects a towering commentary on the ineffectual detachment of the art world, the stagnancy of Hollywood, and - most centrally - the stifling superficiality of the music industry. Keith Mayerson’s eye-popping artwork, which The Los Angeles Times praised as post-slacker surrealism, is the perfect partner to Dennis Cooper’s cerebral plotting and deeply nuanced characters.

Paul Gravett says:
Slightly stunned to see this out-on-a-limb sui generis, angst-ridden art-comic oddity from 1996 getting a second stab at connecting to a readership. I have the original Juno Books edition and must admit it was a pretty challenging object to read and decode as Mayerson adapts Cooper’s short story and darts from Kirbyesque to manga to Expressionism and whatever style seems apt, on the same page, even in the same panel. There’s also a real-life late River Phoenix who shows up as a well-meaning ghost. Ahead of its time, perhaps it’s time has now come.

Johnny Hazard Vol One:
The Newspaper Dailies 1944-1946

by Frank Robbins
Hermes Press

The publisher says:
Frank Robbins’ masterpiece, one of the all-time greatest action/adventure newspaper comic strips, Johnny Hazard, is back! When Johnny Hazard first saw newsprint it was near the end of the Second World War. The first storyline in the feature finds Johnny escaping from a Japanese prisoner of war camp by stealing an enemy airplane. From there his adventures were packed with never-ending action, Veronica Lake-esque women, and classic bad guys. Now you can see it all from the beginning, complemented by the work of one of the master artists of the comic strip medium, Frank Robbins. Reproduced entirely from original King Features press proofs.

Paul Gravett says:
Like many American comic book fans of the Seventies, I first discovered Frank Robbins not as an artist but as a writer on Batman, and then discovering his artwork too, also on Batman, plus The Shadow and at Marvel on The Invaders. I know I didn’t really like it at first, it was too jagged and eccentric for someone who loved Neal Adams’ operatic realism. But in time I came to see his masterful newspaper strip Johnny Hazard, up there with the work of Noel Sickles and Milton Caniff as a high-flyer in the adventure genre. Here’s where it all began, 256 pages of Robbins in his prime. For a flavour, check out this Spanish blog posting with lots of fine examples, plus some covers of those old Dragon Lady Press reprints from the Eighties drawn in great admiration by Alex Toth.

Killing Velazquez
by Philippe Girard
Conundrum Press

The publisher says:
On hearing a radio report of an accused priest, Philippe is thrown back to a difficult time in his youth. He is faced with his parents’ impending divorce, moves to a new city, goes to a new school, and needs to make new friends. To help him adapt to his new surroundings his mother urges him to join the ‘Snow Geese’, a youth group led by a nonconformist priest who challenges Philippe to rethink his values. But as Philippe becomes more acquainted with the group and its charismatic leader, masks begin to slip, and he finds himself plunged into the centre of an unexpected drama. With his life turned upside-down, he seeks comfort in reading, and manages to find his bearings again when he discovers the old-fashioned adventure series of Jack Bowmore. Killing Velazquez is an autobiographical tale that gives us a glimpse into the complexities of manipulation and reminds us that sometimes an old book can actually save a life.

Mike Landry of the Toronto Telegraph-Journal says:
I still have chills a day after reading Killing Velazquez. The cover art, innocuous and serene, puts a panic in my chest like drowning. But this graphic novel is as important as it is disturbing. Translated from its original French, Killing Velazquez is Philippe Girard’s shocking confession of his first-hand encounter with a priest sexually abusing teenage boys in the 1980s in Quebec. In sparse, haunting panels of unsettling silence, Girard perfectly imparts the terror he faced as he became familiar with the priest, eventually winding up at his cabin. With an epigram by Brazillian author Joao Guimaraes Rosa - “To tell is to resist” - Conundrum Press deserves to be lauded for putting out this translation of Girard’s story.

Paul Gravett says:
From Jimmy Beaulieu to Line Gamache, Conundrum Press’s imprint BDAng is bringing some really interesting Quebecois bandes dessinées into English and Girard’s latest 216-page black-and-white softcover promises to be one of their strongest titles in this list so far. Reminiscent of the staggering, similarly themed and titled Why I Killed Peter by Frenchmen Olivier Ka and Alfred, which I reviewed in depth here, Killing Velazquez shines the light of autobiographical comics into some disquieting shadows. Girard reveals more in an interview at Whazamo! Profiles.

Malinky Robot
by Sonny Liew

The publisher says:
Street urchins Atari and Oliver are out to steal bicycles, watch Giant Robot movies and spend some Large Denominational Bills! Malinky Robot collects five tales by Eisner-nominated artist Sonny Liew (My Faith In Frankie, Wonderland, Sense & Sensibility) featuring stinky fish, philosopher-labourers and summer rain. A recipient of the Xeric Award, the Utopiales Sf Festival’s Best Sf Album award and featured in the acclaimed Flight anthologies, Malinky Robot blends dystopian sci-fi and indie sensibilities into a uniquely charming, off-kilter world. Plus pinups by Mike Allred, Roger Landgridge, Skottie Young and more!

Paul Gravett says:
I’ve been warming to the work of Singapore-based comics creator Sonny Liew for a while now. He has worked with some pretty big-name writers like Mark Hempel, Mike Carey, even Jane Austen, but on the basis of his contributions of the anthologies Flight and Liquid City(the latter edited by him), I think he’s possibly at his best when crafting quirky characters and worlds of his own, where he can really pour his storytelling imagination out onto the page. This book of Malinky Robot has been out now for a while in French and I think other languages, but now the wait is over and the English edition of this compilation of his solo strips is almost with us. To give you an idea, check out some pages from “Stinky Fish Blues” here and you can read a brand-new interview with Sonny here.

Oil & Water
by Steve Duin & Shannon Wheeler

The publisher says:
A devastating look at the worst environmental disaster in US history. When ten Oregonians travel to the Gulf Coast in August 2010 to plumb the devastation wrought by the Deepwater Horizon spill, they discover that ‘Oil and Water’ is just the first of the insoluble contradictions. Between the tarred sands of Grand Isle and the fouled waters of the Louisiana bayou, they come to find out that Gulf Coast residents are economically dependent upon the very industry that is wreaking havoc on their environment. In the shadow of the greatest ecological disaster of our time, they are forced to reassess their roles as witness, critic and environmental steward. In this 120-page graphic novel readers will tour the shark-pocked beach at Grand Isle with the local head of Homeland Security; step aboard the crabbing boat of a 20-year-old Mississippian who works 16-hour days and spends his nights dreaming of M.I.T.; enter the ‘Hot Zone’ where volunteers work desperately to save brown pelicans drenched in British petroleum; and hear shrimpers, Vietnamese and good ol’ boys alike, describe what happens to their livelihood when 200 million gallons of oil flood the scene. The readers’ perspective on what hope and what mission remains along a ravaged coastline, and one awash in both seafood and oil, will be changed as irrevocably as that of these ten Oregonians.

Paul Gravett says:
In an interview for The Cartoon Bank, Shannon Wheeler, creator of cult hero Too Much Coffee Man and now also a regular New Yorker cartoonist, outlined the basics of this project. “Mike Rosen, a manager at the Bureau of Environmental Services, Watershed Division, organized a group of writers, scientists, activists, environmentalists, teachers, and students to go to the Gulf Coast to get a better understanding of the oil spill and its implications. It is possibly the greatest manmade disaster in our history. Steve Duin, metro columnist for The Oregonian, is fictionalizing our side of the story to build a strong narrative, keeping the local characters and situations real. Our main goal is to help keep the situation on the national radar.”

Having now read an advance pdf of this, Wheeler can rest assured that Duin’s and his goal will be more than met by their graphic reportage. Although they have fictionalised the party of all-white “Do-gooders from Orygun” or “liberal whack jobs” who arrive to “bear witness”, their differing perspectives, and those of the locals from “Nawlins” (New Orleans) and the area affected, come across as totally convincing, built on truths. Duin and Wheeler use short chapters to convey some of the complexities of the impact and reactions to this disaster. As their title suggests, outsiders and local don’t always mix smoothly, but some meaningful communications and relationships are built during the course of this investigative visit.

Wheeler adopts an unusually spacious three-tier grid leaving large horizontal gutter spaces between his panels,  giving room for speech and thought bubbles to escape into the empty spaces outside the frames. He draws in line with grey washes, adding in places black inky smudges for the spreading slicks or dark billowing plumes of smoke, and shifting to more rendered linework without wash for some flashback anecdotes. In places, I found it tricky to distinguish two of the young male visitors who looked too much alike to me, so that I could only tell them apart by whether they wore a shirt of T-shirt. There are also “science panels” sprinkled through the book, giving facts and figures and context. A haunting scene takes place inside the Hammon Oiled Wildlife Refuge Center, a virtually unmarked facility which only occasionally opens its doors to the media. The visitors see a oil-polluted pelican being treated. It’s a surprise that it is so quiet, not crying out in panic. But it’s explained that when bird get firghtened, their natural instinct from being in the wild is to become silent.

This is one environmental tragedy that is not going away, even if it is not always in the mass media’s spotlight. The cumulative effect of Oil & Water is not merely an angry diatribe, a simplified damning of British Petroleum or the oil industry in general, but is all the better and richer for providing a range of nuanced and highly individualised viewpoints and emotions. Often the situation looks utterly without hope, but as one local says, “Louisianans are resilient. We came back from Katrina. And if we came back from that, we can come back from this.” To see sample pages and find out more, read a revealing interview with Wheeler at Comics Bulletin with Jason Sacks. 

Optic Nerve #12
by Adrian Tomine
Drawn & Quarterly

The publisher says:
Optic Nerve was one of the most important indy comic book series of the 1990s and 2000s, and D+Q is very proud to announce that Adrian Tomine will return to the iconic series with this new 12th issue. Aside from featuring all new stories from Tomine, this new issue is notable for being the first Optic Nerve issue in full color. As well, at 40 pages, it’s also Tomine’s longest to date.

Paul Gravett says:
Now one of these doesn’t show up every month, or even every year for that matter. After Tomine’s endearing matrimonial mini-book Scenes from an Impending Marriage, we’re treated to a set of fresh short stories, and in the subtle colours he’s been using for his New Yorker covers and elsewhere.

Setting The Standard
Comics by Alex Toth: 1952-1954

Edited by Greg Sadowksi

The publisher says:
A massive anthology collecting one of the medium’s indispensable masters: Alex Toth. Toth’s influence on the art of comic books is incalculable. As his generation was the first to grow up with the new 10-cent full-color pamphlets, he came to the medium with a fresh eye, and enough talent and discipline to graphically strip it down its to its bare essentials. His efforts reached fruition at Standard Comics, creating an entire school of imitators and establishing Toth as the “comic book artist’s artist.” Setting the Standard collects this highly influential body of work in one substantial volume. Toth began his professional career at fifteen in 1945 for Heroic Comics, but quickly advanced to superhero work for DC. Responding to the endless criticism of editor Sheldon Mayer and production chief Sol Harrison, the young artist strove toward a technique free of “showoff surface tricks, clutter, and distracting picture elements.” Simply put, he learned “how to tell a story, to the exclusion of all else.”

After falling out with DC in 1952, Toth moved west. He freelanced almost exclusively for Standard over the next two years, contributing classic work for its crime, horror, science fiction, and war titles. But perhaps most revelatory to the reader will be the romance collaborations with writer Kim Ammodt, Toth’s personal favorites. “I came to prefer them for the quieter, more credible, natural human equations they dealt with - emotions, subtleties of gesture, expression, attitude.” To explain his take on comics, Toth would quote such proverbs as “To add to truth distracts from it,” or “The beauty of the simple thing.” He employed these axioms “to make clear how universal this pursuit of truth, clarity, simplicity, economy, in all the arts and many other disciplines really is - and has been for 6,000 years.” These and other observations regarding the comic book form will be collected in an essay based on Toth’s published and unpublished letters and interviews. Every page of Setting the Standard is restored to bring Toth’s unsurpassed graphics and page designs into full clarity, making this an essential edition for anyone with an appreciation of the art of graphic storytelling. A 416-page softcover of full-color comics.

Paul Gravett says:
These Toth classics have been reprinted before but erratically, for example in assorted Pure Imagination titles like Buried Treasure or Toth Readers always in Theakstonized black-and-white. I included his “Crushed Gardenia” when I edited the 480-page compendium The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics in 2008. This year, IDW’s first-rate biography, Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, featured that same story again, in monochrome, alongside nine more Standard stories from various genres, all but one shot from the original line artwork. But these make up only 74 pages. Apparently much delayed and eagerly anticipated, Setting the Standard at last gives us access to the motherlode, his sterling stories from these pivotal years at Standard in colour, offering lesson after lesson in the essentials of comics design and narrative clarity. 

The Show Must Go On
by Roger Langridge & Gordon Rennie
Boom! Studios/Kaboom!

The publisher says:
Come one, come all! Feast your eyes upon such marvels as Fred the Clown’s Flying Parsnip! See the Devil get outfoxed by the one and only Leppo! Behold the world’s greatest swordsman, the Kabuki Kid! Cower from our strobe-light-loving Undead Revue! Don’t miss the show-stopping song and dance of Frankestein Meets Shirley Temple! All this and more in this capricious collection of comics from Roger Langridge!

Paul Gravett says:
Fresh from his success on The Muppets, New Zealand’s Harvey Award-winning comedy-comics genius Langridge presents 224 pages of rare and previously uncollected classics, as part of the build-up for his brand-new solo comic-book project, Snarked, also from Boom! and coming in October. Look out as well in August for the S1 zero issue preview of Snarked, which spins off from Lewis Carroll’s tale told by the Walrus and the Carpenter in Alice Through the Looking Glass

Veleveteen & Mandala
by Jiro Matsumoto
Vertical Inc

The publisher says:
The world of Velveteen & Mandara is a dystopia. Tokyo where the youth used to waste their time search for answers, is now barren. For a pair of teens who still live along the outskirts of town, Velveteen and Mandala, Tokyo is a nightmare that can only compare to the nightmare that is slowly tring to take over the metropolis. These two teens are the last line of defence for a nation in ruins. Armed with a fully-operational tank the pair must fight off the zombie hordes while they catfight each other for food, entertainment and maybe even the affection and attention of the opposite sex. They have nothing to lose in this world except their humanity, but then again who are the zombies in this world? Are they the undead or are these two teens who must live among them even still human?

Paul Gravett says:
Upwardly mobile Vertical Inc. have proved themselves with their growing line of Osamu Tezuka manga, often compiled into one-shot mega-tomes, as well as other accessible series like Twin Spica and Chi’s Sweet Home. It’s exciting to see this publisher start to add more daring 18+ titles as well. I’m immersed right now in their translation of the distinctly weird and upsetting Lychee Light Club by Usamaru Furuya of Palepoli fame and a guest in May at the Toronto Comic Art Festival. Equally notorious for Freesia, Jiro Matsumoto debuts in English with this all-in-one 344-page volume collecting another series taken from the same magazine as LLC, Manga Erotics f from Ohta Publishing. Prepare yourself for Matsumoto’s feast of high school girls and the living dead. As the advert promises, “Unexpectedly moving, slyly profound - the manga renaissance continues!”

Posted: June 26, 2011


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