THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (7/27/10 – That’s a lot of manga.)


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From "Chi's Sweet Home"; art by Konami Kanata

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.


20 Responses to “THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (7/27/10 – That’s a lot of manga.)”
  1. T. Hodler says:

    I don’t know if it was on the list or not, but Midtown has the new Rand Holmes book!

  2. The Rosenkranz retrospective, right? No, Diamond does not have it listed this week…

  3. Dan Nadel says:

    I saw it at Forbidden Planet today. Looks fantastic and look forward to getting one. Talk about a cartoonist lost in the shuffle. I had to budget and buy just the Vince Colletta bio, which thus far is a good read.

  4. D Murphy says:

    Summit of the Gods did not ship. I don’t think it is even printed and will not ship for many many months. Where did you get this from?

    • Jog says:

      Straight off of Diamond’s list of releases:
      (MAY101027 SUMMIT OF GODS GN VOL 02 (OF 5) (RES) $25.00)

      It was marked as a RES along with the Korea book, although I did notice Ponent Mon hadn’t updated their site to mention its release… but then, the Book Depository (UK) noted its release within the month, which is probably also wrong in that they have the same date of release down for vol. 3, but I figured applying that date to vol. 2 might support Diamond’s notice of releasing the same book this week. (, for the record, happily continue to insist the book was released in October or November of 2009.) As always, errors can happen…

  5. brynocki C says:

    I wish Stewart drewed that Batman return of book 4, Jeanty just brought this well produced series down a few notches in quality. Oops.

    Speaking of manga, i just got hooked on Gantz. 11 issues so far out on Dark Horse. Anybody? Gantz? Anybody?

  6. brynocki C says:

    I’m on Gantz book 9 right now. Really like it. Surprising. I don’t think I hit the Shinjuku sequence yet.

    Man, i just checked out that sample chapter of the Vince Colletta book. When I was a kid I hated Colletta’s inks. I didn’t really pay attention to inkers all that much but I knew his thin sickly style. Seeing what he did to Kirby’s pencils in that sample is insane(look at those background buildings!). Wow. The power of the inker.

    • Dan Nadel says:

      Review of Colletta book to come. I think it’s really worth having, strictly for the in-depth analysis of pencil v. ink alone. On the awesome gossip/real life shit it comes up a tiny bit short, which the author basically cops to. I wanted to see tons of photos by Colletta I wanna know more about his assistants, his studio space, his shoes, etc.

  7. patrick ford says:

    The whole penciler/inker division of labor concept is something I wish had never happened.
    That being said like everyone I have my favorite combinations. Vince Colletta is not one of my favorite inkers, but in studying his inks at the Heritage Archives I’ve noticed something interesting.
    Colletta is noted as a pen inker, but his pen technique is poor, when he is using a brush, and making a effort, his inks are quite good.
    This page is exceptional (you will have to register to see it properly).
    There is also a completeThor story which is all very nice with the exception of the splash page.
    Of course no one can touch Kirby inking his own pencils, which can be seen here; again a complete story.
    Perhaps it’s because it’s what I was reading when I was six, but for me the only penciler/inker combination I find completely satisfactory is Curt Swan inked by George Klein.

  8. Jeet Heer says:

    Dan: I absolutely can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Colletta controversy.

  9. No one ever mentions Frank Giacoia, that dude smokes everyone (including Sinnott and Royer) on Kirby. Lines like a circuit board cut with a diamond chisel, amazing.

    Also, Kirby’s inks on his own work are good, but unremarkable in my opinon. His pencils were so solid and vivid, inking for him must have been an afterthought at best. If he were to have made a habit of finishing his own stuff, I wonder how it would have affected his drawing process… perhaps he’d have loosened up the intial work and busted out a crazily expressive ink line instead of the rudimentary one he utilized in the few examples we have.

  10. patrick ford says:

    Giacoia did a wonderful job inking KIrby. I agree with Jeff his inks are far preferable to Sinnott’s. Joe Sinnott had a very slick ink line, but by his own admission took a great many liberties with Kirby’s faces completely changing the subtle expressions Kirby was a master of.
    Most any pro who ever saw Kirby ink agrees Kirby was his own best inker, and that his skill with a brush was very impressive.
    Kirby’s ink style changed just as much as his pencil style did over the years. In the early 40’s Kirby didn’t do a lot of inking working with Joe Simon. Kirby inked a few stories, but confined himself mostly to inking splash pages. In the 40’s Kirby used a lush ink technique influenced by Alex Raymond. Most of the Vision stories Kirby did for Timely were inked by him.
    In the 50’s Kirby often inked his own work, and he developed a much more refined style.
    Most fans don’t know that in the early 50’s Kirby wasn’t producing a large number of pages, by himself. Much of what Kirby did at Simon and KIrby was plotting for the staff writers, and art directing the large stable of artists. In the years 1952 and 1953 Kirby was on average drawing only about 25 pages a month. He almost always penciled, and very often inked the lead stories in the books packaged by S&K.
    The remaining pages were filled with stories by a large stable of staff artists, and Kirby very often retouched or panels with ink, or redrew whole pages if necessary.
    Many of the best know stories from this period are pure Kirby script, pencils and inks. “The Girl Who Tempted Me” is a good and easily found example.
    In the later part of the 50’s Kirby inked most of his own work for DC and for the Yellow Claw stories he created for Timely.

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