THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (7/27/10 – That’s a lot of manga.)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Yes, kitty. Lots of manga indeed.
Korea As Viewed By 12 Creators: But first, how about some manhwa? Without a doubt one of the longest-awaited international comics projects I can think of, this is the 224-page sequel to Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s 2006 Japan As Viewed By 17 Creators, an excellent themed anthology bidding Japanese artists to compose comics about their homes (or thereabouts) while inviting French artists to visit diverse areas of the nation and draw from their experiences. The same holds true here, although I understand it’s all a little more centered in Seoul, and the artists (regardless of nation) are a bit more obscure in North America. Still, new Igort in English is a good thing, and work is promised by Vanyda Savatier (of The Building Opposite) and Park Heung-yong. Preview; $19.95.
Flight Vol. 7: Also in anthologies, here’s the next-to-last installment in possibly one of the defining titles of the ’00s, a fat forum (initially provided by Image, now Villard) for lavishly colorful cartoon art in a (more or less) straightforwardly illustrative style, kind of the Epic Illustrated to Kramers Ergot‘s RAW, only without the nakedness or exploding heads or the nominal participation of Stan Lee or anyone from the comics ‘mainstream.’ That didn’t work exactly right, but I think you catch my drift? Contributors list and samples here; $27.00.
Mushishi Vols. 8, 9 & 10 (of 10): No, that’s not three separate books out in one week, it’s Del Rey employing the three-in-one omnibus format used by Viz on One Piece reprints as a means of finally clearing out its commitment to Yuki Urushibara’s rhapsodic, episodic 1999-2008 seinen series about a sort of doctor-magician traveling through an unstuck-in-time fantasy Japan and working the citizenry through encounters with mushi, a form of life so close to the source of all things that its many species can cause strange and horrible effects on the human body and its realms of perception. At their best, these stories become potent allegories for human foibles on an intimate or massive scale, and while Urushibara’s art style has its limitations — she’s noticeably better at marshaling near-abstract sequences of mushi pulsing through nature than humanoid characters — there’s a certain delicacy to her pace that soothes you into the tale-telling. At 720 pages, it’ll last you a while; $24.99.
Black Jack Vol. 12 (of 17): Of course, Osamu Tezuka’s doctor-for-hire character is basically a magician on his own. This one’s 304 pages, with special cameos by Astro Boy (as a boy who stabs his mom), Kimba the White Lion (as a caged animal) and Takao Saito’s super-assassin character Golgo 13, who stops by to deliver a dinosaur-related pun; $16.95.
Bakuman Vol. 1: Being the big second shonen effort by the Death Note team of Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata, this time a slice-of-life comedy about high school kids driven to break into professional manga. Vol. 9 is due out in Japan next week, and it’s still ongoing (with a television anime version imminent), so I presume it’ll be sticking around. I’m under the impression that there’s some fairly aggressive chauvinism at work in the story, at least at this early stage, which strikes me as interesting given Death Note‘s position as a veritable poster child for the ‘neo-shonen’ type of boy comic that’s actually front-loaded with deliberate girl appeal. Still, all those pretty boys had a firm women-hatin’ streak among them too; $9.99.
Slam Dunk Vol. 11 (of 31): An older comic for boy children, a fun and energizing ’90s sports manga classic, thrilling at times just by sheer force of artist Takehiko Inoue’s brutal stretching of time and movement into wildly decompressed sequences; $9.99.
Summit of the Gods Vol. 2 (of 5): But if you like your sporting funnies a little more together, you can hardly get more composed than the great Jiro Taniguchi, here with writer Baku Yumemakura and publishers Fanfare/Ponent Mon for a 336-page mass o’ mountain climbing across the ages; $25.00.
Thun’da, King of the Congo: The Golden Age of Dark Horse Reprints in their expensive hardcover style. Fantagraphics put out a comic book’s worth of this 1952 Frank Frazetta jungle adventure creation in the late ’80s (Frank Frazetta’s Thun’da Tales), but here’s a one-off presentation of the entire six-issue run of magazines from, er, Magazine Enterprises, with additional writing by Gardner Fox and additional (as in most-of-the) art by Bob Powell, since Frazetta quit early on over creative differences with the publisher. Preview; $49.99.
Hotwire: Deep Cut #1 (of 3): Warren Ellis is typically credited as a concept originator on these Radical Publishing comics (all of them up until now collected in the trade paperback Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead), but it’s mostly writer/artist Steve Pugh absolutely drenching his painted pages in electric colors and funny character acting while a detective exorcist crashes into adventures. Just look at this; $3.50.
After Dark #1 (of 3): Also from Radical, one of those oddball maybe-a-movie comics proffered by Hollywood people — this time director Antoine Fuqua and actor Wesley Snipes — noteworthy for being written by Peter Milligan. It’s a post-apocalypse thing about ruins and secrets and stuff; $4.99.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4 (of 6): More surprises – contrary to what is still listed at DC’s site, frequent Grant Morrison collaborator Cameron Stewart is not the artist for this week’s Morrison Bat-installment. The penciller is now Buffy the Vampire Slayer veteran Georges Jeanty; $3.99.
The Muppet Show Comic Book Vol. 2 #8: Noteworthy for the return of writer Roger Langridge (who’s also writing issue #2 of Thor: The Mighty Avenger at Marvel this week) to art duties as well; $2.99.
Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #2 (of 2): Concluding the latest B.P.R.D. character-focused miniseries, with the fine Peter Snejbjerg drawing and characters scrambling in terror. The preview is pretty funny; $3.50.
7 Psychopaths #3 (of 3): End of a Boom! translation of a French wartime action album, drawn by Sean Phillips of Criminal and others; $3.99.
RASL #8: Jeff Smith; $3.50.
glamourpuss #14: Dave Sim – together again; $3.00.
The Thin Black Line: Perspectives on Vince Colletta, Comics’ Most Controversial Inker: And finally, your book-on-comics to close out July – a softcover TwoMorrows survey of the Colletta career, written by Robert L. Bryant, Jr. and peppered with comments by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott, Mike Royer, Carmine Infantino, Mark Evanier and others, along with various pencil-to-ink comparisons and other images. Sample chapter; $14.95.
Labels: This Week in Comics