Giants of the North
Yes, Canada Day, because we’re pretty straight-forward up here.

 

I hope you get a chance to celebrate this most glorious of days in true Canadian fashion, with some Poutine (french fries with cheese curds, with gravy poured over top so everything melts), smoked meat (I have no idea what animal smoked meat is from, actually), and a good Canadian beer or two. Also, as good as Labatt’s Blue and Molson Export are as compared to, say, most American beers (from big breweries that is), I implore you to consider that most people under the age of 30 drink those beers ironically, if at all.

So, Happy Canada Day! Whether you’re a Canadian or just wish you were (and you’re welcome to come up!) this is the one day a year where we can be rowdy about how awesome we are. Tomorrow we’ll just nod and smile politely.

- Chris
(Giants of the North image by Seth, for the Doug Wright Awards. Pixel-Canada image by R.Stevens, from Diesel Sweeties.)

 

canadatwopointeh500.gif

 


Tekkon Kinkreet All In One Edition

The good folks at Viz have provided me with the details of their forthcoming release of TEKKON KINKREET: BLACK & WHITE ALL IN ONE EDITION, the all new edition of Taiyo Matsumoto’s fantastic manga. Previously released in English under the Pulp banner as BLACK & WHITE, the three-volume series was a little-seen gem from one of Japan’s most talented and innovative manga-ka. Now, in conjunction with the forthcoming animated adaptation of the story from Sony Pictures, Viz are re-releasing the entire series in one mammoth volume, in a format that even surpasses the Japanese edition of this book.

The book will be a softcover with dustjacket, similar in to Viz’s release of Matsumoto’s (unfinished) series NO.5. The above image is the front cover of the dustjacket featuring one of the series’ young protagonists, Black. The back cover (which I can’t show you, sorry!) will feature the other protagonist, White. Purists may note that this image is not the same as the Japanese cover for this edition, but fret not! Underneath the dust-jacket, the physical book will have a close approximation of the Japanese cover, shown here.

tekkon-jcover-570.jpg

What else is in store for this edition, that will make it an absolutely essential purchase, even for people who bought it the first time? Here are the official stats on the collection:

Official title: TEKKONKINKREET: Black & White
Price: $29.95
Release date: September
Official Movie Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/tekkonkinkreet/index.html
Size: 7 1/8″ x 10 1/8″, the same size as the recent re-release of Nausicaa
Orientation: Western Style, L-to-R

Bonus Material:
- Poster Insert, Measuring 7 1/8″ x 20 1/4″, in full colour
- Approximately 12 full colour manga pages. In colour for the first time in North America, and even the Japanese All-in-One edition did not feature these pages in colour!
- Foreword Q&A with TEKKON KINKREET movie director Michael Arias and screenwriter Anthony Weintraub.

This is just-about the best presentation of this material that I can think of, and the material itself is among my favourite manga ever (if not my favourite stuff). I’ve posted about Matsumoto and BLACK & WHITE before, and this September you’re going to to get your opportunity to pick it up for yourself and find out what all the fuss is about. Make sure you do!

The TEKKON KINKREET: ALL IN ONE EDITION is in Previews NOW! (the Booster Gold Cover, not the Black Canary Wedding Cover). Reserve a copy with your local comic book store owner before this Tuesday when their orders are due! Unless you shop at The Beguiling, because we’re ordering like 150 of these.

- Christopher
Tekkon 2


Hi there folks. Here are a few of the more interesting comics that are scheduled to ship to The Beguiling Books & Art in Toronto, Canada this week. These books may not show up at all retailers at the same time, but if you see a title here it’s probably at least worth asking your local retailer about.

…big news for Matsumoto fans, posted here tonight at 9PM. See you then! For now, here’s a few books I think are worth your time this week, which is a day later because of Canada Day and Independence Day. Not much in the way of commentary right now because I’m swamped…
APR070173 ALL STAR SUPERMAN #8 2.99 – Yay!

APR073978 DRAGON HEAD VOL 7 GN (OF 10) (MR) (C: 1-0-0) 9.99 – Double Yay!
MAY070228 FAKER #1 (OF 6) (MR) 2.99 – Looking forward to checking out this strange-sounding new Vertigo series.

MAR072058 FALLEN SON DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA IRON MAN 2.99 – Marvel sent out a threatening note about this one, ordering us not to ruin the ending if we got this in our first-look packs. Sadly, we don’t subscribe to that program.

APR073963 KINGDOM HEARTS II VOL 1 GN (OF 5) 9.99 – $$$

MAR078185 NARUTO VOL 15 TP (C: 1-0-2) (PP #765) 7.95 – $$$ Also!

APR072328 RUNAWAYS #27 2.99 – Whedon!
MAR070262 SILVERFISH HC (MR) 24.99 – New David Lapham OGN!

MAY073718 SYNCOPATED COMICS VOL 3 (MR) 15.00 - New from my buddy Brendan Buford…

APR074036 TEZUKAS BUDDHA VOL 8 JETAVANA SC (C: 0-1-2) 14.95 – Did Diamond ship volume 7?

Full list after the cut:

Keep reading…


Earlier this spring 801 Media, Inc., sister company to DMP Books (and publisher of lots of yaoi under the JUNE MANGA imprint) began to release their books. Comprised of seemingly more raunchy yaoi action and with a higher price-per-book to make you pay dearly for your filthy, filth porn, I honestly haven’t heard much about the line as a whole. I decided to take matters into my own hands (heh) and so I present to you three short reviews of 801 Media’s first wave of books:

affair.jpgAFFAIR, by Shioku Kano. 200 pages, $15.95, ISBN: 9781934129050
AFFAIR has the dubious honour of provoking the following question from me, 20 pages in: “Is this translation just incredibly bad, or is it nearly-unreadable in the original with excellent translation?” A collection of various yaoi cliches, the dialogue is punctuated with a series of statements that border on non-sequitors through each story. A convoluted mess, saved from the trash by some thoroughly dirty artwork. It can’t be good if I have to force myself to finish the pornography.

bondz.jpgBOND(Z), by Toko Kawai. 192 pages, $15.95, ISBN: 9781934129005
The first story in this single-creator anthology, about two straight best friends who end up fucking in a restroom while their girlfriends are back at the table in a restaurant, is both surprisingly hot and really well drawn. BOND(Z) is actually a collection of short stories so it isn’t JUST straight dudes in a washroom (they like to fuck lots of places), but that is the lead (and longest) story, and it’s really, really well put together. The other shorts are surprisingly strong as well, and if you like the yaoi for either the dirty bits or the romance, this one is an essential purchase. Bonus: Surprisingly strong depiction of homosexual desire.

ichigenme-1.jpgICHIGENME VOL 1: The First Class Is Civil Law…, by Fumi Yoshinaga. 240 pages, $15.95, ISBN: 9781934129012
I’d really been looking forward to this one, another “dirty” yaoi title from 801 Media but created by ANTIQUE BAKERY’s Fumi Yoshinaga. I really loved Bakery, which isn’t yaoi (or even dirty for that matter), and the idea of Yoshinaga doing something more ‘explicitly’ gay was really appealing. My expectations were surpassed by the deft handling of this ‘coming out’ story, set in a Japanese law school. The art and storytelling remain as strong as ever, though part of the charm of Bakery is the maniacal attention to detail in the depiction of the food, something the author is robbed of doing in this story. But I actually came away feeling like I’d learned something about Japanese law school, showing that Yoshinaga knows just how much information to include to keep the setting feeling real, while not obscuring the characters at all. These reluctant lovers, following their dreams and denying their urges… It’s a great little romance novel. There’s nothing particularly graphic though, at least nothing that you wouldn’t see in much tamer yaoi releases, I can only assume it heats up in later volumes. Fans of Bakery and FAKE will enjoy the will-they, won’t-they relationship. I’m looking forward to volume two.

Just for fairness’ sake, I’ll try and review some filthy hentai for Simon Jones soon too. Although “Wow, she really fucked her brother good this time around!” is probably going to bring the wrong sort of hits to my site.

- Christopher


I talked a little bit about MOME last week, and mentioned that I’d finished reading VOLUME 7 and enjoyed it, and I just finished volume 8 the other day. All of the real reviews have been done and everyone’s already remarked at what a treasure Eleanor Davis is (all deserved) and debated over whether or not old cartoonists really do start to lose it as per Lewis Trondheim’s assertion in “At Loose Ends.” In fact, over at his blog, Jog has done a bang-up job disassembling MOME VOLUME 8 already, and has also done a lengthy review of MOME VOLUME 7.

But before this came out a few months back, I questioned here on my blog, in reference to Trondheim and previously serialised artist David B: “I’m not sure how promoting the book on the strength of established talent fits their mission statement, other than maybe goosing the sales a little (a noble pursuit).” Eric Reynolds e-mailed me afterwards to thank me for paying attention and ask me my further thoughts, and here they are:

MOME is a complete connundrum to me because, despite thoroughly enjoying it, I feel like it’s supposed to be something else. I keep comparing it to DRAWN + QUARTERLY SHOWCASE (which was originally going to be called the “New Talent Showcase,” actually) because both books have a similar format of 120-200 pages, both have(had?) a mission statment of bringing work to market from new and emerging cartoonists, and both are giving a high-profile venue to these works with great production values that place the work right alongside other great graphic novels and anthologies. But I think that on the whole the D+Q SHOWCASE has been more successful in its stated aims, by consistantly delivering excellent, genuinely different and self-contained work. I also think that, with a quarterly schedule to start and a mandate of serialising work (with many serials dropping out of the anthology or going on hiatus every volume) each issue of MOME, despite a square binding and lush production values just feels like a more ephemeral thing… I can happily recommend one of the showcase books due to the inclusion of a complete narrative by Sammy Harkham, or Genevieve Castree, or Kevin H. or Martin Cendreda or whomever. I find that with MOME, no one (or even two or three stories) is strong enough for someone to purchase volume 7 (if they haven’t picked up the first 6) (though many will happily stand and read the story I tell them is good for the 3 or 4 minutes it takes). Even getting behind things like AT LOOSE ENDS by Trondheim, or the serialised DAVID B stuff… I’d much, much rather each volume of MOME included the whole story from beginning to end to complete the… wholeness… of each volume on the shelf.

(Maybe there are plans at some distant point in the future to collect these stories though, and running the whole story as opposed to serialising it would clearly harm the eventual sales of such a project…? But then I feel like ANY appearance of a Euopean work in English would likely harm its further English-language sales in a different format… I dunno.)

But next month begins the serialisation of a short Jim Woodring story, for example, that certainly feels to me like it oughtta be read in a single sitting (and that kind of was the intended format for it…).

Which isn’t to say that the anthology isn’t successful, or that it isn’t selling well for us, or that I don’t enjoy it: It is, It does, I do. I even like anthologies conceptually, and want to see more of them. But if the book isn’t going to just be a new talent showcase anymore, if it’s going to have a lead feature, a cover feature to really hook us, then do it! Run with it and hook us! MOME 9: INCLUDES A COMPLETE GRAPHIC NOVELLA BY JIM (FRANK) WOODRING, plus 3 short stories and your 4 favourite continuing serials! But if this is serialisation before collection, a SHONEN JUMP for the art-school set (oh man, that’s gonna get me in trouble) then scale it back, include all the serials, the short stories, and maybe even beef up the interview and editorial content and really take advantage of the ‘periodicalness’ of the format (but maybe work far enough ahead so that no one has to miss a volume (or two or three)). I just feel like its got its feet in two worlds right now, and despite a spectacular recent issue and ’shake-up’ of the book, it just doesn’t feel ‘there’ yet.

Anyway, there’s my two cents on MOME. I hope this does not cause an internet riot.

Best,

- Christopher


Art Of Bone HCHi there folks. Here are a few of the more interesting comics that are scheduled to ship to The Beguiling Books & Art in Toronto, Canada this week. These books may not show up at all retailers at the same time, but if you see a title here it’s probably at least worth asking your local retailer about.

FEB070077 ART OF BONE HC 39.95
APR060046 ARTIST WITHIN HC 39.95
MAR070019 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER OMNIBUS VOL 1 TP 24.95

Looks like the slow-boat from the orient finally showed up this week, as Dark Horse is shipping a ton of trade paperbacks and graphic novels. These three are probably the most “Important”, with the ART OF BONE hotly anticipated by a lot of folks. It’s too bad that, for whatever reason, we were actually allocated on our order… We ordered an absolute ton of this one which means what we’re getting might actually last us through new comics day, particularly as it’s a heavy week for trades, but it also might not. Ah well. At least there’s the year-late ARTIST WITHIN hardcover that, like the relatively-recently released IN THE STUDIO by Todd Hignite, lets us peer into the creative enviroments of the giants of graphic novel-dom. I guess we’ll find out if it was the concept or the creators involved and the stellar execution that made Hignite’s book such a strong seller for us. And that BUFFY OMNIBUS I mentioned a while back is out too, and a full four weeks earlier than originally planned! I’m tempted to say that someone over at Dark Horse is actually reading my blog, but more-than-likely they’re reading the dozens of comics, buffy, and Joss Whedon blogs that picked up on my original post. I guess that counts for something!

APR072348 CRIMINAL #7 (MR) 2.99

So… Ed Brubaker popped up in my comments section last week (we had a nice chat in e-mail, he’s a good guy), and now I feel a little like all comments on this book should be addressed directly to him rather than out into the ether like everything else that I write. So, here goes: “Ed? CRIMINAL #6 was top-notch, seriously. I have to admit that you lost me with the end of the last story arc… The ultmate planner playing all the angles just decides to charge in and start shooting people? It didn’t jibe… jive… one of those two. Anyway, the first arc was solid but I didn’t dig the ending, but this new arc, that first issue? It might have been stronger than the whole first arc. It took all the stuff I liked about SLEEPER and just dropped the dudes firing electricity out of their hands: good stuff. I’m looking forward to this one for sure, top of the to-read pile.”

“Oh, and for extra kiss-ass points, I still have 1-6 AND the trade in stock at the store.”

APR070195 GREEN LANTERN SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1 4.99

DUDE! MY DC REP SAID THAT THIS ISSUE IS TWICE AS CRAZY AS THE FLASH THAT CAME OUT LAST WEEK! SWEET!

MAY073453 HUMAN DIASTROPHISM PALOMAR VOL 2 TP 14.95
MAY073451 GIRL FROM HOPPERS LOCAS VOL 2 TP 14.95

I don’t know what’s going on with Diamond, but we’re getting this second collection of the Gilbert Hernandez L&R a week after everyone else, AND it’s severely allocated, AND we’re not getting the Jamie collection. Frustrating!

EDIT: Jason pointed out in the comments section that we actually are getting the second LOCAS book this week, and I just skimmed over it by accident. Sorry, my bad. And we’re getting the full amount too, whereas we’re only getting 1/3 of our Palomar order. I hope Gilbert and Jamie don’t come by the store on Wednesday, notice that we didn’t order as many of Gilbert’s book, and then hate us forever. That would totally suck.
Stardust HardcoverJAN070377 NEIL GAIMAN AND CHARLES VESS STARDUST HC (RES) (MR) 39.99

Early buzz on this film? Very, very good indeed. Someone compared it to an updated “The Princess Bride,” which is much-beloved by many. And me. So you know? That’s pretty high praise. While not technically comics, this one is heavily illustrated and features the work of two comics masters. I’m kind of excited to see a Gaiman movie opening soon (with CORALINE hot on its heels). According to the Vertigo website, this new oversized hardcover edition is… well, exactly the same as the first oversized hardcover edition. Unless this is really fucking big or something…? I guess we find out Wednesday.

MAR073755 TEZUKAS APOLLOS SONG SC (MR) 19.95
APR074035 TO TERRA VOL 3 TP 13.95

Yay! Vertical loves us and is blessing us with good manga! Thank you, Vertical!

APR072368 ULTIMATES 2 VOL 2 GRAND THEFT AMERICA TP 19.99
Who had three-weeks-after-#13 in the pool? Oh wait, I did. But there wasn’t really a pool.

FEB071919 WALKING DEAD #38 (MR) 2.99
It’s agony waiting for this book… I guess that’s a good thing?

- Christopher

The rest of the shipping list is behind the cut:

Keep reading…


mome-7.jpg…but the hangovers are a killer.

Well the bad taste of last weekend is just-about washed out of my mouth, whatsay we get back to some actual posting?

If you didn’t notice, my little ad-boxes to the right are randomly flashing ads for the all-new, all awesome 2007 Toronto Comic Arts Festival (http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf). We released the first round of press, opened the site to the public, and announced our first wave of guests last week, which was fun. We’re still in the process of confirming people so feel free to keep expecting announcements. Anyhow, if you love me and you missed me at MoCCA this year, you should totally come up to the show. Toronto is lovely, The Beguiling is lovely, I’m lovely, and TCAF is going to be pretty fucking amazing!

Make your plans soon…

- Christopher
P.S. I just finished MOME 7 and I’m about half way through #8. It’s really, really good… I miss some of the serialised comics like John Pham’s and David Heatley’s stuff, but Eleanor Davis’ and Kurt Wolfgang’s pieces have been awesome… I’m super excited that Eleanor Davis is coming to TCAF, I bet she’s got oodles of comics I haven’t read yet.


Jett Vector, by J. Bone.

(It’s Jett Vector! Jett appears courtesy of J. Bone and his blog, http://bonesmen.blogspot.com/.)

 

(Oh, The Family Guy. Appears courtesy of Fox, sadly, but I will give a tip of my cap to my friend Aman Cahudhary for bringing it to my attention at his blog, http://aman-about-town.blogspot.com/. )

- Christopher