The following titles are scheduled to ship to The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada, on Wednesday October 5th 2005. Title availability may vary by comic store. These lists and all PreviewsReview.com-type information will be appearing here for the forseeable future.
Certain to be a rarity in comic-stores, Killoffer is nonetheless an essential purchase. Published at roughly 10" x 15", it is an outstanding, engaging story of a man who comes to crossroads in his life and, splitting himself off into duplicates (and triplicates and...) never needs wonder about the path not taken. The problem being of course, is that all 676 of him have to share the same apartment. Yes, it's expensive, but it's also both beautifully produced and good comics. The hit book of the show at SPX (I picked mine up there) and my boyfriend picked it off the shelf and read it of his own volition--a rare feat. If your local comic shop doesn't have it (I have a feeling that many won't), we'll be shipping it out from The Beguiling starting Wednesday. JUL050032 AEON FLUX #2 (OF 4) 2.99 AUG053270 ALL NEW TENCHI MUYO VOL 7 TP (C: 3) 8.95 AUG052970 ANGEL DIARY VOL 1 GN 10.95 JUL052554 ARMORQUEST GENESIS #2 (OF 6) 2.99
AUG053294 ART OF FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST (C: 3) 19.99 AUG053298 ART OF MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (C: 3) 29.99 JUL053210 ART OF SHONEN JUMP ONE PIECE COLOR WALK VOL 1 14.99
What could dampen my enthusiasm for easily sold and beautifully produced artbooks at a reasonable price? Shipping three of them on the same goddamned day. None of us is made of money, Viz.
That said, I'll be getting the Totoro one, as the Japanese edition was lovely and Viz's editions to date have been quite lovely.
AUG053048 ATTITUDE FEATURING STEPHANIE MCMILLAN TP 12.95 SEP053504 AVENGERS ULTIMATE GUIDE HC (C: 4) 24.99 SEP053050 BACKWARDS FOLDING MIRROR 2.50 SEP050212 BATMAN GOTHAM COUNTY LINE #2 (OF 3) 5.99 AUG053271 BATTLE ANGEL ALITA LAST ORDER VOL 6 TP (C: 3) 9.95 AUG053312 BEAUTY IS THE BEAST VOL 1 (C: 3) 8.99 JUN053151 BEOWULF #5 2.99 AUG052704 BETTY #151 2.25 SEP050230 BLOOD OF THE DEMON #9 2.50
AUG053266 BO BOBO VOL 1 (C: 3) 7.99
Apparently this is a stand-alone manga volume, and an interesting, unique title at that. Funny, wacky, and off-the-wall, this seems like it'll be a great little book. BoBoBo (not it's full title) is part of the Shonen Jump line, and considering I enjoyed their last stand-alone produce, Akira Toriyama's SANDLAND, I'd say that this one will be worth a shot too.
SEP051686 BONE REST #5 (MR) 2.99 AUG052968 BRING IT ON VOL 1 GN 10.95 SEP051948 CAPTAIN UNIVERSE HULK 2.99 SEP051999 CAPTAIN UNIVERSE POWER UNIMAGINABLE TP 19.99 AUG050190 CATWOMAN WHEN IN ROME HC 19.99 AUG053304 CERES CELESTIAL LEGEND VOL 13 TP (C: 3) 9.95 JUL052602 CHISUJI #2 (OF 6) 2.99
AUG052971 CHOCOLAT VOL 1 GN 10.95
Following up on the launch of GO COMI!'s manga line a week or two back, this week we get all four new books from ICE! KUNION. Here's hoping.
JUL050036 CHOSEN TP (RES) (MR) (C: 4) 9.95 AUG052831 CLASSIC ILLUS JR #124 WAR OF THE WORLDS 9.99 SEP053440 CLIVE BARKER VISIONS OF HEAVEN & HELL HC (C: 4) 50.00 SEP050029 CONAN & THE DEMONS OF KHITAI #2 (OF 4) 2.99 SEP050258 DAY OF VENGEANCE TP 12.99 AUG053251 DEAD AT 17 PROTECTORATE #1 (OF 3) (MR) 2.95
AUG053265 DEATH NOTE VOL 2 TP (C: 3) 7.99
Speaking of Shonen Jump titles, I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. DEATH NOTE is an amoral little affair about a boy who gains the power to kill anyone he wants, the demon egging him on, and another boy trying to catch him. I can see how it would appeal to kids and teens: The adults are all dimwits and the lead characters take their...and everyone else's... lives in their hands. The art is gorgeous, the action is upbeat, and it's pretty fucking Goth too. Heh. All-told, I really liked it a lot and am looking forward to volume 2. SEP050292 DESOLATION JONES #4 (MR) 2.99
Enjoying this also.
SEP050210 DETECTIVE COMICS #813 2.50 DEC041524 DETONATOR #4 2.95 AUG053091 DOGWITCH #18 FINALE SPECIAL (MR) 3.50 AUG052940 DONALD DUCK AND UNCLE SCROOGE VOL 1 SOMEWHERE IN N 6.95 AUG053256 DR SLUMP VOL 4 TP (C: 3) 7.99 AUG053393 DR WHO MAGAZINE #362 (C: 4) 7.99
AUG053223 EARTHIAN VOL 1 GN (MR) 14.99
Ah! This is the first of Tokyopop's arms-length-boy's-love titles, the BLU line. EARTHIAN is a long-awaited story, the inspiration for a popular anime and a 'classic' of the genre. Curious to see if the production standards on this will be more in-line with Tokyopop's regular output, or closer to the much-improved material that DMP is producing on their BL line.
AUG050045 EDEN VOL 1 TP ITS AN ENDLESS WORLD (C: 3 & 4) 12.95
Ah! I wrote about this one in Pre-Re. Here, I'll repeat:
"On my first pass through Previews I was a little surprised at the choice of Eden for release as part of Dark Horse's manga line. It didn't seem to tie-in to anything, it wasn't by a name creator, and Dark Horse's experiments with sci-fi manga had, in the past, been very poorly received (anyone remember Chronowar? Drakuun?). On the second pass, though, I thought I recognized the name of creator Hiroki Endo – and after checking my scanlations directory, I discovered that Endo is responsible for some of my favourite short stories of the past few months. Thanks to the scanlation circuit, I've read and enjoyed his stories "Boys Don't Cry", "For Those of Us Who Don't Believe in God", and "The Crows, the Girl, and the Yakuza," and am now eagerly anticipating his first full-length English-language release! The shorts I've read are all set contemporarily, told in a naturalistic style and with art that's certainly influenced by Akira's Katsuhiro Otomo, but with more angular and longer-limbed characters. I have no doubt he'll excel at a Sci-Fi genre tale. Looking forward to it, and I hope that if it does well we'll see some of his non-genre tales make it to this shore as well."
AUG053438 ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO WORLD COMICS TP (C: 4) 19.95
This sounds like a really good book, actually. Here's a summary I pulled from the publisher's website:
"Most people’s perception of comicbooks is one of superheroes like Spider-Man and Batman. But it belies an art form that is not unique to the UK and USA. Practically every country in the world has its own thriving comicbook industry. In some countries like France, they are a highly regarded form of expression – The Ninth Art. While in Japan, comics are so integral to its culture and society that it would be impossible to imagine the country without them.
"Arranged geographically, this book assesses the medium in every major area of the world, discussing the history of the genre, the comics and characters, the publishers, creators and artists. Regions covered include the UK and United States, central Europe (France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy), Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Japan and Asia, Africa, India, Central and South America, and Australasia. Including key feature spreads and a wealth of colour images – many of them unseen – this book is the first of its kind to provide a global picture of an often-underrated art form. "
AUG052669 EIKEN VOL 2 GN (MR) 9.99 SEP052008 ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO IN ONE VOL 1 TP 16.99 AUG053243 EXALTED #1 REG ED 3.49 SEP052002 EXCALIBUR CLASSIC VOL 1 THE SWORD IS DRAWN TP 19.99 SEP050234 FIRESTORM #19 2.50 AUG051676 FLAMING CARROT COMICS #4 3.50 AUG053307 FROM FAR AWAY VOL 7 GN (C: 3) 9.99 JUL053027 FURRLOUGH #152 3.50 JUL052731 GALAXY ANGEL BETA VOL 1 GN (C: 3) 9.99 SEP052887 GI JOE AMERICAS ELITE #5 4.50 JUL052996 GIVE IT UP AND OTHER SHORT STORIES BY KAFKA SC 8.95 AUG052800 GRIM REAPER HALLOWEEN FEISTA 2.95 AUG052956 HEAVY METAL FALL 2005 5.99 AUG051883 HOUSE OF M #8 (OF 8) 2.99 JAN058167 HOUSE OF M BACHALO VARIANT COVER #8 (OF 8) (PP #68 2.99 AUG053297 HOWLS MOVING CASTLE FILM COMICS VOL 4 TP (C: 3) 9.99 MAR053521 HTDM NINJA & SAMURAI PORTRAYAL (C: 4) 19.99 AUG053267 HUNTER X HUNTER VOL 5 TP (C: 3) 7.99
JUL052853 INSOMNIA #1 7.95
This is the third release in the IGNATZ line, an international publishing effort distributed in North America by Fantagraphics. I enjoyed this release, by Matt Broersma (who was also in this year's DRAWN & QUARTERLY SHOWCASE 3), probably the most out of any of the three initial releases. A collection of shorter stories that thematically (and maybe even narratively) connext together, it was a very good first 'issue' though I'm not sure where it's going to go from here, with the entirety of the line being developed as a series of ongoing series'.
JUL051626 INVINCIBLE VOL 5 FACTS OF LIFE TP 14.99 AUG053268 IS VOL 4 GN (C: 3) 7.99 JUL052575 JET PACK PETS TP 14.95 SEP050242 JONAH HEX #1 2.99 SEP050248 JSA #79 2.50 SEP050268 JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #15 2.25 AUG052616 KEIF LLAMA VOL 1 PARTICLE DREAMS TP 9.99 AUG052617 KEIF LLAMA XENOTECH #1 (OF 6) 2.95 APR052835 KING OF FIGHTERS 2003 VOL 2 TP 13.95 FEB058043 KING OF FIGHTERS MAXIMUM IMPACT #1 (OF 4) 2.95 FEB058044 KING OF FIGHTERS MAXIMUM IMPACT #2 (OF 4) 2.95 JUL052808 KING OF FIGHTERS MAXIMUM IMPACT #3 (RES) 2.95 AUG053257 KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC VOL 12 TP (C: 3) 7.95 AUG053040 KOLCHAK TALES OF NIGHT STALKER #7 3.50 JUL052558 LEGEND OF ISIS #5 2.99 AUG053258 LEGENDZ VOL 3 GN (C: 3) 7.99
SEP058106 LOCAL #1 & MORE PROMO PACK (NET) PI
This should be good. Is your store getting a promo pack? More importantly, did your store order LOCAL #1? I got to read a copy and, while I haven't commented on it yet, I really liked it quite a bit. It should be in stores any week now, and thanks to Oni for giving us some material to help sell it in store!
SEP050275 LOONEY TUNES #132 2.25 AUG053224 LOVE MODE VOL 1 GN (MR) 9.99 JUL052561 LULLABY #1 2.99 AUG053287 MAR VOL 4 GN (C: 3) 7.99 SEP051973 MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #9 2.50 SEP051991 MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN VOL 1 HC 29.99 SEP051997 MARVEL NEMESIS IMPERFECTS DIGEST TP 7.99 SEP051938 MARVEL TEAM-UP #14 2.99 AUG052941 MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES VOL 6 TP 7.95 MAY051602 MITH VOL 1 OPERATION SMOKING JAGUAR GN 9.99 AUG053299 MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO PICTURE BOOK (C: 3) 14.99 APR052600 NEOTOPIA PKT MANGA VOL 4 TP 9.99 JUL052584 NEXT EXIT #6 2.95 AUG051952 NIGHTCRAWLER #11 2.99 JUL052586 NIGHTMARES AND FAIRY TALES #14 (MR) 2.95 AUG053288 NO NEED FOR TENCHI VOL 5 2ND ED TP (C: 3) 9.99
SEP052879 NOTHING BETTER #1 (MR) 2.95
Creator Tyler Page sent me preview copies of the first three issues of his new series. Having read them, I can tell you that they were competently assembled but not for me. This series, about two very different girls who become roomates at college, seemed to move a little slowly for my tastes. Page is previously know for creating three (3!) original graphic novels in the "Stylish Vittles" series, which again were books that I appreciated but didn't perticularly enjoy. I think that maybe we just have different asesthetics, though I know SV had its fans and I'm sure Nothing Better will find an audience as well. Check it out for yourself at the very thorough website, http://www.stylishvittles.com/. Actually, checking again, it looks like you can read the complete first three issues online...
SEP050257 OMAC PROJECT TP 14.99
Does this one come with its own refund?
AUG050289 ORIGINALS SC (MR) 17.99
Now in softcover!
JUL052563 OPPOSITE FORCES VOL 2 #3 (OF 4) 2.99 AUG053314 OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB VOL 3 TP (C: 3) 8.99 SEP050254 OUTSIDERS #30 2.50 AUG052682 OZ THE MANGA #5 (OF 8) 2.99 SEP052701 PIRATE CLUB VOL 1 BRAINWASH ESCAPE VICTIMS TP 12.95 AUG053309 PLEASE SAVE MY EARTH VOL 13 TP (C: 3) 9.99 JUN052725 POTLATCH PROJECT VOL 4 TP (MR) 6.95
JUN052044 POWERS #14 (MR) 2.95
I have been assured this is almost back on-time. August issue coming out in November isn't that bad I guess. :)
SEP051975 PUNISHER #27 (MR) 2.99 AUG053289 RANMA 1/2 VOL 21 2ND ED TP (C: 3) 9.95 AUG053290 RANMA 1/2 VOL 32 TP (C: 3) 9.99 AUG053310 RED RIVER VOL 9 GN (C: 3) 9.99 SEP052702 REX LIBRIS #2 2.95 AUG053111 ROCKETO #3 2.99 AUG053262 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 20 TP (C: 3) 7.95 AUG053126 SAMURAI CHAMPLOO VOL 1 GN 9.99 AUG052670 SAMURAI MAN VOL 2 GN (MR) 9.99 JUL052616 SCIENCE FAIR #2 (OF 8) 2.99 SEP051945 SENTINEL #1 (OF 5) 2.99 AUG051910 SENTRY ROUGH CUT #1 3.99
SEP050259 SEVEN SOLDIERS THE BULLETEER #1 (OF 4) 2.99
Apparently this was in the preview pack, but I didn't get a chance to read it. Still really enjoying the SEVEN SOLDIERS books though!
JUN052766 SHADOWMAGIC GN 9.95 MAY052756 SHEEP OF FOOLS A BLAB STORYBOOK HC 14.95 AUG053225 SHINOBU KOKORO VOL 1 HIDDEN HEART GN (MR) 9.99 SEP050243 SHOWCASE PRESENTS JONAH HEX VOL 1 TP 16.99 AUG052806 SIMPSONS CLASSICS #6 3.99 AUG053483 SIMPSONS COMIC BOOK GUYS BOOK OF POP CULTURE HC (C 9.95 AUG053484 SIMPSONS RALPH WIGGUM BOOK HC (C: 4) 9.95
SEP050303 SMAX TP 12.99
Now in convenient softcover format! If you skipped this for any reason, MAKE SURE to pick it up. SMAX was an excellent little mini-series, integral to the Top Ten "mythos" but also a great standalone work even if you've never read Top Ten before. At $13, you've got no excuse!
AUG052714 SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #155 2.25 SEP051909 SPIDER-GIRL #92 2.99 AUG051894 SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #5 (OF 5) 2.99 SEP051910 SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED #12 2.99 AUG050080 STAR WARS X-WING ROGUE LEADER #2 (OF 3) (C: 3) 2.99 AUG053406 STARLOG DEC 2005 #341 (C: 4) 7.99
AUG053296 STEAMBOY ANI MANGA VOL 1 TP (C: 3) 19.99
Apparently many of my friends hated STEAMBOY? I really liked it, and it was gorgeous. If the reproduction is good on this, I think I'm going to bring it home with me this week.
Hey there, sorry for the radio silence this week, it's been pretty busy. Hope you're all well?
First things first: I forgot to send out a mailing on Monday from The Beguiling mentioning that we have two signings this weekend. Tonight (Friday the 28th), Charles Burns and Chip Kidd are at the store from 8-9pm, free event. Tommorow night (Saturday the 29th) Chris Ware is signing from 8-9pm. If you're going to be in the city anyway (nudge nudge) I'd like to make sure we get the warm bodies out. This is a pretty rare event? Rare events? So, if you could come out, that'd be cool.
If you could mention it on your own blog, particularly if you're Tom or Heidi with huge readerships that I can't reach, that'd be pretty excellent too. :)
Today in Now Magazine, The Beguiling was chosen as the best comic store in Toronto. Which is pretty fucking excellent, actually. Thanks to Brook for the blurb that got chosen, thanks to our customers who voted, and thanks to Now for the award, actually. Oh, and if you're curious, the ad I was stressing about for the signings earlier in the week is in the paper on 120. I'm pretty happy with it, actually.
I've been informed by reliable sources that the Sunday Sun has a pull-out article on manga this weekend. I am given 'full credit' for my contribution to it. I don't know what that means? But if you're sick of seeing my name in print, you may want to avoid it. If you're my brother and/or my parents, I invite you to buy a copy or two and show all your friends, as proof that I'm not wasting my life.
Bored with your work-a-day life? Wish you could do something that spoke to your intense passions? Always wanted to live in San Francisco? Why not join the exciting world of (assistant) editing?:
"We are looking for an ASSISTANT MAGAZINES EDITOR to join our team!
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: Primary focus is to assist the Managing Editor in the magazine’s timely production, effectively utilizing related VIZ Media publications to maintain the company's position in the marketplace, and to ensure that the company's publications reflect the VIZ Media strategy and maintain engaged readers. This individual should have a strong interest in growing into an ongoing Editorial career. This position will be working on the monthly magazine, Shonen Jump, home to Naruto, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Shaman King, YuYu Hakusho, Hikaru no Go, and more."
If (unlike me) you do live in (or are willing to relocate to) San Francisco, don't let this opportunity pass. Check out Craigslist for full details.
Sure, the DC and Marvel solicitations have been released, but what about the books that the rest of us buy? It's a great month, with three 'floppy' comics from D&Q. Who says that art-comix is all about the graphic novel? Thanks to Chris and Peggy for these, and you can find the new Previews in comic stores everywhere next Wednesday.
Drawn & Quarterly Solicitations for NOVEMBER PREVIEWS (items shipping in JANUARY 2006). Click thumbnails for full-size images.
Berlin # 12 Jason Lutes Mature Readers Comic book, 32 pages, 6.25 x 9.25 inches, b/w $ 3.95 USD
This latest chapter in the acclaimed series by Jason Lutes marks the midway point in the epic saga of Berlin between the wars. Kurt Severing has an explosive confrontation with Margarethe von Falkensee, his scheming ex-lover, while Marthe Muller explores the demimonde of the city's lesbian nightlife. Meanwhile, the steamy affair between the American jazz clarinetist Kid Hogan and cabaret girl Pola Mosse continues.
After a lengthy stint as a writer on Batgirl comics, Dylan Horrocks finally returns to his comic book series Atlas! Trouble is brewing in Cornucopia, homeland of the mysterious cartoonist Emil Kopen. On the eve of reporter Leonard Batts' arrival in the capital city Crieste, we spy on a clandestine meeting fraught with tension and intrigue and find out how to swear in Cornucopt. Also, a back-up "Sam Zabel and The Magic Pen" 10 page episode. Offered in Previews is Hicksville, a great companion to Horrocks' new issue.
Ed The Happy Clown # 5 Chester Brown Mature Readers Comic book, 6 x 9 inches, 24 b/w pages. $ 2.95 USD
This installment of the 1980s classic begins with Ronald Reagan back in the White House attempting to resolve one of the worst sewage catastrophes facing the U.S. His solution lies in another dimension... All of this, plus previously unpublished art, new covers and extensive commentary by Chester Brown.
Berlin: Book One (O/A) Jason Lutes Mature Readers Trade paperback, 212 pages, 7 x 10.5 inches, b/w $ 19.95 USD
The first volume in the ambitious Berlin Trilogy collecting issues #1-8. A novel with cinematic sweep, the lives of Weimar Berlin¹s glamorous and downtrodden denizens crisscross in the cold city streets and change the city¹s destiny forever. One of the most ambitious graphic novels ever.
Jar of Fools (O/A) Jason Lutes Mature Readers Trade paperback, 176 pages, 7 x 10.5 inches, b/w $ 16.95 USD
A new edition of this classic book features new covers and an introduction by Sherman Alexie. Chosen by Library Journal and The New York Times as an essential graphic novel.
A great companion to Atlas # 2, offered here. World-famous cartoonist Dick Burger has earned millions and become the most powerful man in the comics industry. However, behind his rapid rise to success, there lies a dark and terrible secret, as biographer Leonard Batts discovers when he visits Burger's hometown in remote New Zealand. Introduction by Seth.
Note from Chris: If you've never read Hicksville before, I can't recommend it highly enough. It'll be much easier to get it from even the most... well, from pretty much any comic store that will accept a preorder, starting next week. Make sure not to miss the opportunity!
Image’s Savage Dragon Set to Return in 2006: Kicking off the New Year with a bang, Image Comics will release its Savage Dragon #122 this January, the ongoing series’ first new issue in eight months!
I honestly hadn't noticed it wasn't coming out.
Anyway, the article appears on Diamond Comics Distributors' retailer website (which you cannot access), and it quotes Larsen as saying that the role of publisher took up a lot more time than he was expecting. He made sure to note that he was doing a lot of uncreditted work, but it would all make Savage Dragon better.
Have you subscribed to Publisher's Weekly's free "Comics Newsletter" yet? Editor Calvin Reid e-mailed me today to make sure that I saw the article on Tokyopop's OEL line that they ran in the latest comics suppliment, I assume because he was tipped off about my discussions of same last week. It's a good interview, when the first answer uses the word 'racist' right away, you know you're getting someone's real opinion.
"I've always felt like we had two very interesting diverse challenges. We wanted to work with kids who had steeped themselves only in manga and anime, and needed to mature as artists and storytellers. [We also] wanted to see which writers or artists could make the leap from indies or mainstream into manga." - Jeremy Ross, Editorial Director, Tokyopop
The interview is seemingly over when "the Web lit up with discussions of Tokyopop's contract[s]", and so there's a three-paragraph response from Ross about the controversy, and what I may or may not have first-hand knowledge of. It's interesting, particularly in that Ross's response doesn't comment on the other aspects of the controversy, specifically copyright, ownership, and 'royalty caps', just dismissing the idea of Tokyopop sueing their creators. Ross sums up Tokyopop's position thusly:
"We pay the creator and in exchange they give us their time and talent to deliver cool, creative stories and sequential art that we can publish and together promote."- Jeremy Ross, Editorial Director, Tokyopop
To which I would have asked "Do you think your payment and the services that the creators recieve compare favourably to any other book publisher?" Because I don't believe they do, on the whole. In the median, so to speak.
I had an off-the-record Tokyopop conversation last week too. It led me to believe I should make something perhaps a little more clear than I have. I will work diligently for little-to-no money to promote the work and careers of Tokyopop artists, and even Tokyopop as a whole. This does not preclude me from critisizing aspects of the company's business practices when I feel they are unfair, and this is specifically because I want the creators who work for the company (and even the company itself) to succeed. At the end of the week the one thing I'm really happy with that came to light from the discussion, is that as a few OEL creators had been told (or continued to maintain) not every TP contract was created equally, and some creators have VASTLY better contracts than others. If nothing else, the few details that have been leaked give creators a much stronger negotiating position for future projects, or the impetus to go elsewhere.
Getting back to it, I'm really enjoying PW's comics suppliment. It's still find its voice as a whole, but the quality of reporting is strong and consistant, with a focus on book-format product that does not place any genre or format above the next. This issue had an article each on Tokyopop, Fantagraphics, DC's Identity Crisis, Viz, Marvel, Bone Sharps by Jim Ottiavani, Watchmen, and a hell of a quote from Harvey Pekar:
"The Vertigo series [publisher of Pekar's new book The Quitter] is supposed to be for intellectuals only, but it isn't really that heavy. They think a normal comic book story is about super-heroes and an intellectual comic book story is about vampires or something like that." - Harvey Pekar, In an interview in the New York Post, Oct. 16.
1. Well, that mean-spirited little circle-jerk is finally over.
2. Fucking Graeme, FBR was my top referrer. Now I actually have to work for the hits... Hmm. Maybe I should drop more dirt on something Rivkah likes, that's good for the links.
3. I think what I'm going to miss the most is the absence of a good, focussed forum for internet trolls to fling crap at one another. Oh, wait, no I won't.
4. Maybe it can be like the WEF, where Graeme swears never to return to FBR until one day he does, except he changes the name and no one is allowed to talk about The Bendis Board?
5. It's just like Batman, right? See, Batman being in Gotham inspires all of the crazy fucks that come out of the woodwork. So with Graeme gone, they'll just shut down the Newsarama Forums, Bendis Forum, and Millarworld, and John Byrne will finally combust, right?
- Christopher PS: I'm mostly kidding. Good luck, Graeme.
In The Weeks To Come... I'm going to get to a point where TCAF seems like a calm, distant memory http://comics.212.net
Yesterday the Triple Threat ocurred at the library, much to all of your pleasure I'm sure as it means I'll stop talking about it here. It went really well, I think. We don't do a lot of young-person events, and with an attendence of 75 and over half that under 18, we counted it as a very successful day. I think all of the authors were quite pleased too, as they talked and sketched and signed for almost three hours. The Library folks are really happy, having brought a bunch of teens in to learn that the library is a great place for comics, and we made enough money on the event (and generated enough good will) to more than justify all the work we did. All in all, it was a success, we learned a lot from it to improve future events, and everyone went home happy and well fed.
I'll try and get some pictures and maybe more details up on Monday.
Today was my day off, planned to include some much-needed apartment cleaning, and I got a call from the store at about 2pm or so. Apparently, Shonen Jump editor Marc Weidenbaum was in the store and would I like to maybe come say hello? I met Marc (and a number of Viz folks) at SDCC this year, which was a blur of alcohol, sleeplessness, and heavy lifting, so I jumped at the chance to come say hello. We went out for Thai food and spent the afternoon talking about manga, copyright, media, Viz's corporate environment, and the future of Shonen Jump. Did you know that Shonen Jump's sales continue to increase every six months? That the January 2006 issue is going to be their biggest yet? That they're releasing a special SHONEN JUMP ZERO/ZERO issue any day now, for free? And that's just the stuff that I can talk about. Marc's a smart, passionate guy who loves comics of all stripes (he counted Ellis, Tomine, and Quitely as among is favs), it was a good afternoon, and I think I may have been able to assist the entire direct market a little bit, we'll see.
(I should mention that we bumped into Mark Askwith (of PRISONERS OF GRAVITY and Canada's SPACE television network), and even though his daughter is more of a Tokyopop fan thanks to their TOKYO MEW MEW series, there was still an exchanging of business cards and discussion of the San Diego Comic Con smelling very bad by about 1PM on Thursday.)
Let's see. I put Rakoff on hold, because I was scared of finishing it too quickly (I like to drag favourite-reads out for as long as I can, because it's usually years and years between releases). So yesterday morning I read WRONG ABOUT JAPAN by Peter Carey, and earlier this week I finished TOKYO SUCKER PUNCH by Isaac Adamson. Both seek to explore Japanese culture through a lens of popular culture, Carey's book primarily through the inherent "Japaneseness" of manga and anime and connecting to them through his son, and Adamson's by casting much wider and using a general sort of Otaku-psychic-detrius method, designed to appeal to, well, people like me. People with a bunch of second-hand knowledge about Japanese culture, Yakuza and J-horror film-fans, manga and anime readers, subscribers to GIANT ROBOT, young and plugged-in and hipsters, I guess? I'm not much of a hipster though. Carey's largest point in WRONG ABOUT JAPAN seems to be that the less you think you know about Japanese culture when trying to deal with it, the better. This culminates in an unplanned meeting that goes un-recorded and un-photographed by the lead character, in which none of the parties involved attempts to understand the other so much as just enjoy the moment. Adamson's point in TOKYO is largely, "I am going to take all of my Otaku-knowledge and give it to a hard-boiled karate-detective version of me, making him the coolest character to ever walk the planet." They're both wildly disparate interpretations of Japan and the Japanese culture, though there is some consistancy there too, mostly coming down to "Oh, those inscrutable orientals!" Come to think of it, that was how LUCKY WANDER BOY ended too. One of the endings, anyway.
I enjoyed both of them though, I have to say. Not as much as David Rakoff's new one though, which I have to finish before I go to see him at Harbourfront this weekend. So the question becomes should I start on my laundry at 8pm at night, or finish the book knowing that I probably won't have time to for the rest of the week? Or should I just do Previews Review instead?
The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national newspapers, ran an article on TRIPLE THREAT today. It mostly focusses on the manga and library aspects (did you like how I made OEL part of the vernacular?) but it's a hell of a plug for comics, and our event in particular. Svetlana, Adrian, and Ken are amongst the most humble creators I've met. This should be fascinating...
Did I mention that in two weeks we're doing all of this again, with Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Seth, and Chip Kidd (whose new book is awesome!)? You really oughtta live in Toronto.
Oh, and if you live in Toronto, you really oughtta show up to these events.
I just wanted to post a quick reminder that the store that I work for, The Beguiling, and The Toronto Public Library system are hosting TRIPLE THREAT: A Manga, Superhero, and Video Game Event this Saturday October 15th from 2pm-4pm in Toronto.
On hand will be RUNAWAYS artist Adrian Alphona, DRAMACON (OEL Manga Creator) Svetlana Chmakova, and STREET FIGHTER 2 writer Ken Siu-Chong. They will all be promoting recently-released work, answering questions about working in the comics industry, and signing and maybe even sketching for fans.
The event is free, and it's just down the street from Bloor & Bathurst (for more details, visit www.torontocomics.com).
I'd really like to thank the folks that ran the press release or mentioned the event, as it's something a little different for the store (and for me) but something we're very committed to, and something we want to do well. There's going to be press about it on Saturday morning in the Globe & Mail, and maybe something in the Toronto Sun before Saturday with any luck. I doubt all of my rambling interview answers will get used, so here's my answer to the question "What does an event like this do for young creators?"
"An event like TRIPLE THREAT is designed to increase the profile and readership of young creators, first and foremost. It also gives young people, aspiring cartoonists, a chance to meet people close to their own age who've "made it", established artists can serve as creative inspirations. Hopefully down the road young cartoonists will be able to win better publishing contracts, increase their pay-rates for work, and generally make a living off of creating graphic novels. This is something that can be difficult for any Canadian novelist, graphic or otherwise..."
Anyway, hope to see you all out at the event this weekend.
The wrap-around cover to Street Fighter 2 Issue 0, by Alvin Lu.
I have double-checked my sources on the two contract clauses I had heard about first hand, mentioned in the previous post. They are real. However, it is clearly not my place to start offering up young creators to the wolves to talk about their contracts in public. I hope you can understand that.
Dirk Deppey contacted me last night and said that if these sorts of clauses are true (and they do seem to be) then the Comics Journal should be writing about this post-haste. I agree, but I've also mentioned that it will be practically impossible to get anyone on the record. He's fine with keeping folks anonymous and limiting the info that is published to protect identities, which is generally what good journalists do.
So, if this is something you would like to talk about, contact Dirk:
Dirk Deppey Managing Editor, The Comics Journal http://www.tcj.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Remove the 'z' for the e-mail address to work.
For my part, I'll send out some e-mails later today. That's about all I can say on this subject without actually betraying any confidences. Now, off to work.
Ahead of the curve... Can't find the link at the moment, sorry.
The conversation has finally broken about Tokyopop's OEL contracts, mostly over at the Engine. Last time I started talking about how terrible they are, Warren Ellis sent out a [bad signal] effectively telling me to just shut up about it, though not mentioning me by name.
I think Graeme has really excellent captured the spirit of the conversation over at Fanboy Rampage in one of his most recent posts. Go check it out.
The end of the message thread at the moment has a couple of creators now asking "Well if these deals are so bad, where are the creators coming out to complain about them? It's all third-hand information!". I can't tell if they're being serious, or really is that much variance between the contracts. Because honestly? There are clauses in certain creator contracts at Tokyopop that leave open the option for Tokyopop to sue the creators of the book if the book "underperforms". There is no sales figure attached to the phrase "underperforms". So what might be the kind of thing that would sour a relationship between a company and a creator to the point that the company sues said creator? I couldn't say, but perhaps going to The Engine and talking about your bad experience at Tokyopop might be a step in that direction?
So, don't expect to see anyone with a Tokyopop contract showing up on The Engine to complain about it. Sadly, it's only the pseudo-superhero publishers that air their greivances at Newsarama. With OEL and in the small press, contract disputes (or entire books disappearing from schedules with no further mention) are more likely to be kept deliberately quiet, prefering the "Take it from me, you don't want to work with that lying son-of-a-bitch" network of conversations in bars.
His first task would be to go through my collection of Viz's PULP magazine, and clip out all of the editorial (read: non-comics) material, and have that bound (including covers) into a 2-volume hardcover reference set. This would make me extremely happy.
SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY VOL. 1 TP Writer: Grant Morrison Artists: J.H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook, Frazer Irving and Mick Gray Collects SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY #0, SEVEN SOLDIERS: SHINING KNIGHT #1-2, SEVEN SOLDIERS: GUARDIAN #1-2, SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #1-2 and SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION THE WITCH BOY #1 224 pages, $14.99 US
I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, I'm buying it, obviously, but I'm not sure if I woulda preferred series-specific trade paperbacks...? But then where do you collect SSoV#0? Also, the chronology doesn't seem to match up. Hmm.
Also of note:
February In Store:
KID ETERNITY TP Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Duncan Fegredo Collects the miniseries KID ETERNITY #1-3 144 pages, $14.99 US
I just finished reading the interview with Tokyopop's Publisher Mike Kiley. I've never met or heard of him until this, I think he may have been promoted or moved into the position earlier this year when Stu Levy decided to focus more on being "DJ Milky", I can't honestly recall. I suppose I could google for it, but then I wouldn't be rambling so much as writing a column.
The interview is interesting, a lot of the good quotes have been pulled already, but reading through I found some of the information a little curious. The big one being, if Tokyopop sees manga as being anything from any creator, then why are they pushing the OEL guys so hard (and above-and-beyond a lot of the non OEL-stuff too)? You look at something like their "Manga Online Magazine", and you click on "Manga Previews", and there are previews of 24 series there, all of which are from the OEL line. Make no mistake, while the public face of the company may say that manga-is-manga-is-manga, there's a very clear division in their line. That division is between "What we own" and "What we license", and they're pushing the stuff they own much harder. It makes sense financially of course, buoying the material that they get the lion's share of the profits on if it turns into a movie or video game (much more than the 'creators' of the material get) on a sea of licensed properties, but it does seem a little disingenious to say that it's one big happy manga family...
The other thing I noticed is that there were no comments on the dissolution of the relationship between Tokyopop and Shueisha, and no comments on the rumoured CLAMP/Cardcaptors split. Interestingly, the first 6 volumes of CARDCAPTOR SAKURA came back into print in the past few weeks. Volumes 7-12 (Master of the Clow) are completely gone, though. "Developing," as they say.
At the store Viz is now, more or less, slaughtering Tokyopop in overall sales volume. It turns out that merging two gant companies to generate more operating capital than God? It helps you get the big licenses. The problem being for we pundits, though, is that Tokyopop plays nicer with the internet folks than Viz does. I was informed about some of the (excellent) "Editor's Choice" (read: not shonen/shoujo) manga in the works from Viz at San Diego. I've forgotten all of it, but I remember being pretty excited. But going by Public Schedules, between BECK, BLAME, DRAGONHEAD, and 2 or 3 other series Tokyopop is getting more of my money on paper through June 2006.
This might not be a good thing for them, considering I tend to enjoy series that don't sell or get prematurely cancelled.
(Have you all run out to get PUSH MAN yet, btw? I'd really love it if you would, I'm anxious for their to be a volume 2 and a volume 3.)
Hell, the winner in the "Who gets more of Chris' manga budget?" contest is actually Fanfare/Ponent-Mon, a small British publisher run by a charming fellow who is publishing at a loss, as a hobby, because somebody needs to print good manga. Admittedly, I got the impression that there's a side-business involving soft core porn somewhere in there, so it's not like he's starving in his basement to produce JAPAN: AS VIEWED BY 17 CREATORS on some ancient printing press or anything. Well, that and the books are like two-and-a-half times the price of a Viz/TP release... Sigh.
Anyway, I just got my phone call. I'm off to lunch, and then to see Neil Gaiman. Talk to you... in the future!
- Christopher PS: The one title on "Manga Online" page that I'm unsure of, being "OEL" or not, is "Ark Angels" from the creator of "Lament of the Lamb". I couldn't find any copyright information either way, though. Apologies if my statement above ends up being 1/24th hyperbole.
My brother would like to inform everyone that ToysRUs.ca is having an absolutely ridiculous sale on video games. The must-buy is WARIOWARE for the Gamecube, for $8. But lots of X-Box, GBA, PS2, and gamecube games are there.
PS2-TONY HAWK'S UNDERGROUND 2 PS2-STREETFIGHTER ANNIV. COLLECTION PS2-KING OF FIGHTERS 2000 & 2001 NGC-WARIO WARE INC-MEGA PARTY GAMES
Hey there. Just a quick note, I've posted my first piece for Toronto city blog Torontoist.com, a sattelite of the popular Gothamist network. I'm going to be covering events, mostly alt-culture and comics stuff, but there you go. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased, I haven't written for anyone who wasn't "me" in a little while now. I gotta start beefing up my video game writing as well, so I can get a press pass into E3 next year. It dawned on me that a week in Vegas capped-off by 3 solid days of overstimulation is an amazing idea... Now accepting freelance work!
I'm currently reading and enjoying David Rakoff's new book, Don't Get Too Comfortable. Nathalie lent me Rakoff's first book, Fraud, a year or two ago and I enjoyed it a great deal. He's very good, I like David Sedaris more, I think, but he's an engaging writer. I was excited to learn that he would be coming to this year's International Festival of Authors in Toronto, and reading at the same time as Seth (of all people!). Andrew had already bought me the book when Mr. Rakoff made an appearance on The Daily Show earlier this week, and his funny, engaging performance there moved it to the top of my reading list.
About half-way through, and I'd say it's worth the cover price. Particularly as a gift. I'm looking forward to getting it signed, I hope he writes something pithy in it.
I'll share two brief passages from the book with you, one at Mr. Rakoff's urging (see the link above) and one that is a short excerpt that falls within the boundries of fair use... :). Thankfully, the first was already typed out for me as part of a larger preview. The second falls under fair use statutes, I hope:
"While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let us not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes). When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq--purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war--the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
"Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow."
- David Rakoff, "Love it or Leave it", from Don't Get Too Comfortable
Here's a second, less politically charged annecdote that will mostly amuse my readership of homosexuals and the catty/bitchy (none of which are mutually exclusive):
"An apocryphal story attributed to Diana Vreeland tells of a young woman working as an editor who is done dirt by her man, who turns out to be a crumb, so she throws herself in front of the rust hour IRT. She sustains only minor physical injuries and is packed off to some place like Payne Whitney or Austen Riggs where she can get better. Returning to her job months later, repaired but shaky, she is called into Mrs. Vreeland's office. The arbitrix of style rises from her chair and taking the wounded bird's hands in both of hers, says consolingly, "My dear, here at Vogue we don't throw ourselves in front of trains. If we must, we take pills."
- David Rakoff, "What is the sound of one hand shopping?", from Don't Get Too Comfortable.
I've been adding a ton of links over the past few weeks, in the sidebar there. Mostly because while I wasn't writing I was forcing myself to read new stuff, but partly because I just forgot to add some people that deserved to be added. I figured I'd go through the new additions now, in the hopes of 'sharing the wealth' on a variety of great places to visit online.
Coming Up For Air: Comics creator Matt Forsythe (Ojingogo) and Vanessa Oguchi post photos and other observances of the world around them, with a comics and popular culture bent. Plus, Matt does comics that are linked from the site too!
The Cultural Gutter: I just found out that both Jim Munroe and Guy Leshinski are no longer doing their respective Video Game and Comic Book columns for Eye Magazine, one of Toronto's weekly freebie mags. It's unfortunate as they both have interesting things to say about their chosen fields. You can catch up on their future writings (and archive of past material) here.
Gumpop: Sophie Yanow runs a very cool blog about comics, that I enjoy reading. It's from a very 'outsider' perspective, but reading any entry will alert you to the fact that it's smart stuff and she totally knows her shit. I find it, generally, to be really invigorating.
Kelly Sue's Pro Blog: Kelly Sue Deconnick is a writer and re-writer, mostly involved with the manga I end up loving like BLUE SPRING and SEXY VOICE AND ROBO. Not that frequently updated, but I put it here to remind me to check it occasionally. Kelly Sue also has a personal blog that is more frequently updated.
Kochalkaholic: Alan David Doane's living tribute to cartoonist James Kochalka.
Local: Frequently-updated blog for the new Oni Press series LOCAL. I liked the first issue (review forthcoming) and I want to support this type of nose-to-the-grindstone marketting. It's also chock-full of interesting behind-the-scenes stuff.
Love Manga: A very comprehensive manga news site. I don't always agree with their take, but I think that's just because David Taylor is much more excited about everything than I am.
Panels and Pixels: This is a smart review site, that tackles comics (with an indy bent) and video games. I'd like to see longer articles, but I only discovered the blog last week so I'll wait a few more days before sending in suggestions/being an asshole. :)
Riot! Blog and Rocketship Comics: Blogs for an indy-friendly comic book stores. I've been wanting to do a blog for the Beguiling forever now, just because there's more information to provide to our customer base than mailings allow for. These two blogs hit a lot of the notes that I'd like a store blog to hit, and they're both enjoyable reads.
Ink Skratch: My buddy Eric Kim is the artist on Oni Press' LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, and this is his website. And ladies, he's single...!
Atomic Toy: The online home of Andy Helms, soon the be known for his awesome graphic novel FEARLESS GRIGGS. I got to meet Andy at SPX and I liked the ashcan preview of his upcoming OGN quite a bit.
Secret Friend Society: While I'm sure everyone and their mom knows about the site by now, thanks to Warren Ellis' non-stop pimpage, Kean and Hope are both friends of mine and it's kind of criminal that I've gone this long without linking the site. Sorry guys. However, you should totally go check it out as it's chock-full of great comics for young readers.
Dinosaur Comics! I added the exclamation point. It's really just Dinosaur Comics No Exclamation Point. I'd like to call it 'a formalist experiment', but really, it's just great comics. Laugh-out-loud funny, actually. Make sure to read it every day. Or wait, and only read it once a week and that way--Five Times The Laughs.
A Softer World Comics with photos that make excellent use of the photos for the comics. Also, be sure to check out OverQualified by the same author, which are humourously deranged cover letters for resumes. Utterly excellent on both counts.
Perry Bible Fellowship Very funny short comic strips, very well drawn too. Click on the man with the hat to get to the archives. The author took home the award for best webcomic at SPX this year, and I think everyone agreed he deserved the win.
Superslackers Toronto's Steve Manale presents humourous superheroes for children of all ages. The tonic to 'Infinite Crisis'. Did not take home the award for best webcomic at SPX. (Kidding! Just kidding Steve! Much love!)
Jay's Days You will not be able to tear yourself away. No, seriously. It's like Peepshow but with no sex, and darker.
That's it for now. Feel free to point me at comics and video games blogs/LJs/etc. I should be reading in the comments section. Don't take it too personally if I don't link your blog.
Hey there. Just a brief note, we've updated the info for the Triple Threat event at http://www.torontocomics.com. It now includes the poster from this site, the official PR in word and plaintext, and a downloadable PDF of the poster that you're more-than-welcome to print and put up all over town.
Oh, and here's a fun little link graphic too, now with colour!
Last month's Previews Review never got finished (that's for items shipping in NOVEMBER), the end of the month sort of imploded for me. Because of that, you didn't get to see the bits I had done, mainly moaning about Dark Horse's pending PENNY ARCADE trade paperback. Not that they're publishing it, I'm pretty happy about that being a PA fan, and a comics retailer. Penny Arcade trade paperbacks, like SERENITY or HELLBOY or SIN CITY, drive new customers into my store, and that's excellent.
Why was I moaning then? Because the Penny Arcade trade paperback from Dark Horse, in the Previews for items shipping in November? It has a due date of January 25th, 2006. Not only is that not November, that's not even before this little holiday you may be aware of called CHRISTMAS.
Now, you know, Dark Horse is its own company. They're free to do whatever the fuck they want, for as little sense as it makes. They want to let HELLBOY go out of print while the movie is in theatres? Their right to do so, I suppose. SIN CITY outtages a year later? They're under no obligation to learn from their mistakes. But the difference in our orders on PENNY ARCADE VOL 1 shipping before Christmas and after Christmas is considerable. Actually, screw dancing around the numbers here, I'll tell you flat out. When I thought the book was in before Christmas, I had written down 40 copies next to the solicit, and would probably have adjusted that up when I was doing the final order entry. When I saw the date it was shipping? 8 Copies.
I have no doubt that we will eventually sell 40 copies of the book, but there's not much point in sitting on 32 copies over the course of the year when we can just reorder them as we need them (provided they're in-print of course, which Dark Horse is under no obligation to do (as I've mentioned)). But the way it tends to work is that we probably would've sold another bunch of copies, in addition to our 40+ mad-Christmas-rush-perfect-gift-for-nerds sales. Now, that won't happen.
Actually, funny story. Not sure how much I'm allowed to say, but here goes:
So, a year later, and a perfect gift book (on the slow boat from overseas, I'd wager) will arrive in comic stores on January 25th. But the situation is different, admittedly. These are webcomics guys doing their first book, and while MEGATOKYO has performed phenomenally well for Dark Horse, there's really no guarantees this will be a similar successl (actually, this book will be like printing money but let's give Dark Horse the benefit of the doubt...). So, you know, they can't be blamed. It's just unfortunate and we'll have to find some other book from some other company to sell tons of this Christmas.
Hey, wait a sec! I know!
Josh Whedon has another series out now! SERENITY, based on the movie that did pretty well this past weekend! The comics have sold through multiple printings, at Dark Horse! They must know how popular it'll be... and... yes! The just-released Previews for items shipping in DECEMBER lists the SERENITY trade in it. Good show, Dark Ho... Oh, wait.
Hey there, I'm probably going to be on TV tommorow talking about manga. I may have snuck Scott Pilgrim in there too, not sure. Global (03) between 5:30 and 6:30? I can't figure out how they do news for an hour and a half.
I just wrote this all out, and there's practically a zero percent chance that it will see print as written (way too wordy), so I figured why not provide some content to my peeps? The good stuff is about half way down.
The 10 Most Popular Manga Out Right Now (Taken from information provided by Bookscan, Diamond Comic Distributors, and The Beguiling Books & Art in Toronto, Canada)
1. Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto, Viz This ultra-popular manga is the inspiration for the hit animated series now showing on YTV. "It's kind of like Harry Potter, but with ninjas, so you can imagine it's very popular." says Christopher Butcher of The Beguiling.
2. Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa, Viz A magical accident transforms two brothers; one gains a steel arm and the other is turned into a living suit of armor! Popular with teens of both sexes thanks to an exciting mix of action, humour, and romance.
3. Fruits Basket, by Natsuki Takaya, Tokyopop A respected family is hiding a terrible secret, when hugged they turn into animals (from the Chinese Zodiac no less!). An outcast girl becomes fast friends with these oddballs, and may even find love!
4. Rurouni Kenshin, Nobuhiro Watsuki, Viz A goofball kid might just be the most vicious samurai who ever lived, but why is he trying to hide his identity? A historical period piece with plenty of swordplay, adventure, and even a little romance.
5. DNAngel, by Yukiru Sugisaki, Tokyopop Daisuke is a 'normal kid', who just happens to turn into the immortal, magical thief "Dark" whenever he sees the girl he loves. With the police on his heels, will he ever get a chance to tell her how he feels?
6. Inu Yasha, by Rumiko Takahashi, Viz A seemingly never-ending quest series about a high school girl transported to a mythical past who encounters a half-demon named Inu Yasha. Together they try to find pieces of a magical jewel, fight an ever-expanding cast of bad guys, and maybe fall in love. Also a very popular animated series on YTV.
7. Shaman King, by Hiroyuki Takei, Viz A young boy can communicate with ghosts, and even get them to do his bidding! He must fight other young people with his powers, to become the Shaman King! The inspiration for the popular animated series on Fox.
8. Trigun Maximum, by Yasuhiro Nightow, Dark Horse Based on the popular anime, Trigun Maximum presents the further adventures of anti-hero Vash The Stampede in a far-flung future that greatly resembles the Old West.
9. Tsubasa, by CLAMP, Del Rey Manga The all-female creative force known as "CLAMP" releases a sweeping epic adventure series for boys and girls of all ages; one that incorporates the characters from all of their popular past manga including CARDCAPTOR SAKURA, CHOBITS, and many more!
10. Kare Kano, by Masami Tsuda, Tokyopop Everyone thinks that the smartest boy and the smartest girl in school should go out together, but even this 'match made in heaven' is fraught with pitfalls as both kids learn that sometimes the hardest part isn't getting the love of your life, it's holding on to them. An excellent high school dramedy.
The 10 Great Manga They Don't Want You To Read (In No Particular Order, According to The Beguiling Books & Art in Toronto, Canada)
Blue Spring, by Taiyo Matsumoto, Viz A gang of high schoolers feel they have no future, and to amuse themselves play a game on the school roof guaranteed to end in tragedy. A visceral collection of short stories about disillusioned youth, told by one of the most talented young manga creators in Japan.
Doing Time, by Kazuichi Hanawa, by Fanfare/Ponent-Mon This isn't "Oz" or even "Prison Break". DOING TIME is an incredibly detailed, oppressive memoir of time spent in a Japanese prison. Sure to open a few eyes.
Kinderbook, by Kan Takahama, by Fanfare/Ponent Mon These short stories about everyday life in Japan, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary, are as well-served by Takhama's lush grey-toned art as they are by her attention to detail and ear for dialogue.
Monster, by Naoki Urasawa, Viz An incredibly popular pulp-thriller in its native Japan, MONSTER deals with a surgeon who must deal with the fact that a boy whose life he saved 20 years ago has become a sadistic serial killer. The surgeon must track down the serial killer, and erase the mistake he made. In development as a film at New Line Cinema in North America.
Nausicaa, by Hayao Miyazaki, Viz An absolute classic of manga, Lord-of-the-Rings with an ecological twist, by the director of the animated films SPIRITED AWAY and HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE. "This manga series belongs on every shelf in North America," says Christopher Butcher of The Beguiling. Also available on DVD is the animated film adapted from this manga.
Paradise Kiss, by Ai Yazawa, Tokyopop This short teen-romance series was originally released a chapter per month in a high-end Japanese fashion magazine. As a result, it is a realistic look at teen life, with an attention to detail and fashion second to none. Look for manga creator Ai Yazawa's new series NANA in the pages of SHOUJO BEAT magazine.
Planetes, by Makoto Yukimura, Tokyopop Old-school science fiction given a manga twist. Clean-up crews in space (essentially, garbage men) ponder the nature of man's relationship to the stars. A smart, thrilling manga series with a human core.
The Push Man, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn & Quarterly Yoshihiro Tatsumi invented "Serious" comics in Japan, even more impressive fact when you consider and that he did so in the 1960s when Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four were all the rage in North America. Practically unknown outside of Japan until this year, Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly (publishers of Canadian graphic novelists Seth and Chester Brown) have just released the first official collection of his work, and its excellent.
Sexy Voice and Robo, by Iou Kuroda, Viz A high school girl in Japan can tell everything about you just by hearing the sound of your voice, thanks to her after-school job on the Japanese equivalent of a phone-sex line as code name: Sexy Voice. Her talents soon have her doing favours for an aging mafia boss, like finding lost people, reuniting lost loves, and maybe realizing there's a higher-purpose for her abilities. An excellent, surprising graphic novel.
Yotsuba!, by Kiyohiko Azuma, ADV Manga A relentlessly cute, cheerful series of short stories about a precocious, adorable little girl. While this charming manga about a little girl moving into a new neighborhood and meeting her neighbors might seem a little out of place on this list, trust us: It's a funny, heartwarming read for all ages.
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About This Site
Christopher Butcher lives in Toronto, Canada. He is the manager of the world-famous comic book store The Beguiling, in addition to being a freelance writer and the co-founder of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Contact him at chrisatbeguilingdotcom.
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About This Site
Christopher Butcher lives in Toronto, Canada. He is the manager of the world-famous comic book store The Beguiling, in addition to being a freelance writer and the co-founder of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Contact him at chrisatbeguilingdotcom.