I know, I’m late again. But holidays will do that. Anyway, despite my slowness, the rest of the gang got their reviews up on time! John Thomas didn’t fall to pieces and got his review of Dororo Volume 2 from Vertical out on time. I take a walk down memory lane with High School Girls Volume 9 from DR Masters. And Charles Tan hefts a Claymore Volume 12 for some monster fighting action from Viz.
I has them. At least I thought I did until I saw this forum thread. I’m way behind compared to some of these people. Maybe if I added in all my Shonen Jump and Shojo Beats… Anyway, that’s not to say my manga collection isn’t still growing. This month is going to be another tough Previews order. There are a lot of not just manga but comic books that are coming out that look good. A new Doctor Who (10th Doctor), a new Fathom series, and I new Voltron in addition to the titles I’ve already added over the last few months: Madame Xanadu, Indiana Jones, and Chuck.
It’s a goth week at Manga Village this week, where dark side is reigning supreme (mostly). Let’s get the little ray of sunshine out of the way, with Suzuka Volume 8 from Del Rey Manga by Dan Polley. Then John Thomas starts us done the dark path with Blood+ Volume 2 from Dark Horse. I finish up the gothic horror/suspense series with the last volume of Godchild Volume 8 from Viz. Then Charles Tan takes us on a final tour of the Museum of Terror Volume 3 from Dark Horse.
Over on our columns, we have our picks for the week to lighten your wallet in Manga Village Picks ‘n Mix.
Well, it’s been a tough week at the Manga Village, but still, we persevere! First, Memorial Day greeted us with the site being hacked, but it’s all patched up now, with practically no damage. But then, yours truly went and caught a nasty flu bug. Trust me, don’t want this! So, things are a little late, but still up before the end of the week!
The week starts out with Enchanter Volume 1 from Digital Manga Publishing? Was I spellbound by it? Check out the review to find out! Revisit the Museum of Terror Volume 2 from Dark Horse with Charles Tan. Dan Polley’s on vacation this week, and John Thomas had a bout with real life, but they’ll both be back next week. There’s also our weekly picks. It’s an eclectic selection as always.
Over at Good Comics for Kids, I’ve got the newest All Ages Comics list up. Sabrina Fritz has a review of many of the All Ages comics that were available on Free Comic Book Day. Come check out what she found, and the other reviews that are up!
There’s some good variety this week, ranging from old school favorites with Archie and Disney to new with Cartoon Network Block Party & Franklin Richards, the Marvel version of Calvin.
There’s a lot of comics for teens and adults, and there’s a lot of manga for teens and adults. But what about the kids to ‘tweens? There’s not a lot, but they are out there. Starting this week, I’m going to be listing these books, and spotlighting the ones I recommend.
Archie #582, $2.25
Archie Double Digest #186, $3.69
Veronica #187, $2.25
Simpsons Comics #139, $2.99
Cartoon Network Action Pack #22, $2.25
MAD Kids #10, $4.99
MAD Magazine #487, $4.99
Palette Of 12 Secret Colors Vol 02, $9.99 **Spotlight**
Scooby Doo #129, $2.25
Lions Tigers & Bears TP Vol 02, $14.99 **Spotlight**
JACK LAKE PRODUCTIONS INC
Classic Illus Jr #505 Sleeping Beauty, $5.99
Classic Illus Jr #506 Three Little Pigs, $5.99
Classic Illus Jr #507 Jack & The Beanstalk, $5.99
Classic Illus Jr #510 Little Red Riding Hood, $5.99
Classics Illustrated Frankenstein, $9.99
Classics Illustrated Gullivers Travels, $9.99
Classics Illustrated Huckleberry Finn, $9.99
Classics Illustrated Tale Of Two Cities, $9.99
Classics Illustrated HC Vol 01 Great Expectations, $9.95
Hardy Boys GN Vol 12 Dude Ranch O Death, $7.95
Hardy Boys HC Vol 12 Dude Ranch O Death, $12.95
Garfield Large & In Charge TP Vol 45, $12.00
I have two titles to spotlight this week.
CMX – Palette of 12 Secret Colors Vol 2. It is rated for Everyone, and is about a girl named Cello. She wants to be a Palette, and magic user that can take color from something (usually a partner bird they received) and apply it to other things. Cello, unfortunately, isn’t very good at it. The series follows Cello as she tries to get through school with her friend, and the school’s doctor, who is always having to clean up after Cello’s mistakes. It’s a nice series for younger children. There’s some excitement and adventure, but no fighting or battles. The art compliments the stories by being simple but entertaining.
Image – Lions, Tigers & Bears TP Vol 2. This is a collection of the 4 issue comic series from Image. It’s about a boy who was given a set of stuffed animals called the Night Pride; a tiger, black panther, white tiger and lion. These stuffed animals have a secret; they can come to life at night. They protect children from the Beasties, creatures the come out of closets and under beds to eat children. This second volume picks where the first left off. The future of the Stuffed Animal kingdom has been saved, but a new danger threatens Joey, Courtney, and the very existance of the Stuffed Animal Kingdom! I really enjoyed both volumes of this series. The art looks like animation cells and it just fantastic. It was that and the big cats that drew me to the series. Young reader will enjoy it too I think, with leads 8-9 years old, fighting against the age old fear of the “monster in the closet”.
The current issue of Otaku USA, as well as featuring stories about the anime Space Battleship Yamato and Star Blazers, also had an insert on the Star Blazers webcomic, Star Blazers: Rebirth. This is a web comic written by THE authority on Star Blazers, Tim Eldred. It is a continuation of the Star Blazers saga, taking place after the Final Yamato movie, and features a new generation of characters. But, did you know there were other comics based on the Star Blazers series?
StarBlazers.com, the place for all things Star Blazers, has a section on the history of Space Battleship Yamato and Star Blazers in comics. Being a Leiji Matsumoto fan, I found the entries on the manga version of Yamato very interesting, since all that I’ve ever seen of them are the covers. (I had a chance waaaayyyyyy back in the eighties to buy them from the LA store Books Nippon. I really wish I had…) The article goes into some detail about the history of the comic, even showing covers of the magazines they were serialized in. It also includes a really cool bonus: a translation of a rarely seen side story, Eternal Story of Jura. Yamato/Star Blazers fans should really check it out.
Also check out Tim Eldred’s chronology of Star Blazer’s comics in the US. It’s history is just as interesting as the manga’s. I still have my copies of the first two mini-series’ from Comico comics, and remember then fondly. Since we never got the Bolar Wars in the LA area, the comics became the third season for me. It was really good for continuation of the series, as it was written and drawn. If you’re a fan and can find them, definitely check them out. It’s probably also what kept me on my road for collecting comics based on TV/Movie properties (not retelling of the properties, new stories).
Why do I read so much manga instead of American comics? Let’s take Marvel’s latest story line in Amazing Spiderman as a good example. It’s riled up a lot of comic fans, and been kind of hard to avoid if you follow the forum boards at all. Basically, in the story line called “One More Day”, Aunt May is dying. She’s old, it was bound to happen. Peter, who’s been married to Mary Jane for the last 10 years, just can’t seem to accept that. Peter “with great power comes great responsibility” Parker decides he can’t live without Aunt May, and goes to the Marvel Universe’s version of Satan to make a deal (like those always turn out soooo well). He gives up the last 10 years of his life, and his wife, so Aunt May can live. He’s doing this over Aunt May’s protests, by the way. Mr. Responsibility turns into a selfish 2 year old.
So what’s Marvel done here? In technical terms, it’s called the “Big, Red Reset Button”. They are wiping out 10 years of continuity to turn Peter Parker back into a young bachelor, unencumbered by the hassles of a wife, to be a carefree swinger again. Why? To appeal to a younger audience, they claim, since they wouldn’t be able to relate to an older Peter. Screw the older readers that had stayed with the book for the last 25+ years and supported Marvel even through it’s hard years. They don’t matter. Just the young kids that are looking for the Spiderman they saw on the movie screens. So, all those Spiderman compilations you see on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and Borders, they have just become meaningless thanks to Joe Quesada.
This “retconn”ing as it’s called is a big reason I stopped reading a lot of comics, Marvel and DC in particular. There is no point in reading and becoming attached to characters, since in a few issues it can be wiped away by a new writer with new ideas. Continuity has become a meaningless word and readers are coveted only for their money.
There is no retconning in manga. It’s one writer creating one story. A story that has a beginning, middle and end. Even manga that has been going on for years (Detective Conan) has an end. There are no musical writers, and no “take backs” on story. If a title is popular, then sequels or prequels can be written to continue the story. So the investment I make into the characters and story will pay off, instead of the cheap thrill Marvel wants to offer.
This is just lazy writing and bad editorial decisions. And the worst of this is that, readers will take this slap in the face and keep buying and reading not only Amazing Spiderman, but all of Marvel’s titles. They will whine, bitch and moan, but they won’t do anything about it. So Marvel knows they can do it again without reprisal. And will.
Even though I do continue to read some comics, none of them are from the Marvel Universe, and probably never will. I’m not going to waste my time and money on something that’s going to be trashed anyway. I’d rather waste my time and money on something that at the end of the day will be something I’ll want to read again.