Coming Up: Books Due in May 2006

I should skip straight past the exclusives. With the exception of a couple of Marvel titles (X-Factor and Nextwave), there’s nothing here I’m interested in. And the penalty this month for not skipping was having to see the Pittsburgh Comicon ad just before the Wizard solicitation. It features two comic characters, the busty Spider-Woman and Tarot, with a burst reading “Big Things Happen at the Pittsburgh Comicon”. You don’t say. (Apparently, the boobs on Spider-Woman are to promote the appearance of Brian Bendis. Write your own joke.)

Mom's Cancer cover
Mom’s Cancer
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If you can only order one book this month, it needs to be Mom’s Cancer (Abrams, $12.95, MAR06 2860).

Linda Medley’s amazing Castle Waiting is coming out in one big hardcover from Fantagraphics ($29.95, MAR06 3205) with a brand-new concluding chapter. It’s almost 500 pages, and it will be so good to get the whole thing in one place. It’s such a fantastic read, and one of the most frustrating things about its history has been how hard it is to recommend to people because its publication record has been spotty. Almost anyone can find something to love about the story, whether adult, child, female, male, fantasy reader, or slice-of-life comic lover. (The big collection is planned to lead into a new ongoing, which is even better news, but I’ll talk more about that when the new issues are offered.)

I picked up True Loves (New Reliable, $12.99, MAR06 3337), by Jason Turner and Manien Bothma, as a set of minicomics at SPX last year. It’s the story of a twentysomething woman who’s enjoying her urban life in Vancouver, where she owns a used clothing store and she’s dating a guy that she has little in common with. When an interesting customer comes in, she starts wondering if she’s with the right guy.

Castle Waiting cover
Castle Waiting
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This city-focused romance was originally published as a webcomic strip. The simple art style would work well in that format, but it also works well here, very readable with a good use of blacks to anchor the page. It’s talkative, and the dialogue establishes character well, sounding realistic and not artificial. (The lettering is good, too, legible and unique, which helps with all the text.) I like the technique of showing thought balloons that contrast with word balloons to establish that characters aren’t always thinking the same things they’re saying. I also like that the leads spend as much or more time with their friends as they do their love interests. There’s a preview available at the book link above.

Out from Tokyopop is the first book of Mail Order Ninja ($5.99, MAR06 3398) by Joshua Elder and Erich Owen. It’s an all-ages adventure that previously was the Grand Prize Winner in the fifth Rising Stars of Manga contest. Based on that segment, it’s a charming boy-and-his-ninja story. Imagine Lassie, only with a mysterious swordsman instead of a dog, and you’re not far off — having a ninja makes the little boy cool and solves interpersonal school problems for him. There’s also a slight flavor (unintentional, I’m sure) of Spy vs. Spy, with black-clad against white-clad clans.

The Rising Stars intro mentions that the only thing that caused editor consternation about the piece was the question of “is it manga?” The selection committee appears to have taken the approach “who cares? it’s good comics” which I heartily agree with.

Some great reads are also reoffered this month. The following are definitely Comics Worth Reading. (The links go to my reviews.)

And there are new volumes of some of my favorite manga series:

16 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in May 2006”

  1. Kevin Melrose Says:

    Discount Comic Book Service is offering Castle Waiting $20.96, so I couldn’t pass up ordering it.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Amazon’s currently got it at $18.87, which is an incredibly good deal, I think.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I’m sold on Johanna’s price point!(I’ll be sure to use a CWR sponsored link too)

    True Loves sounds interesting.

    One good thing about only ordering from DCBS and Amazon, is that I haven’t looked at a Previews in over a year.

    Though your comment made me think of that post you made a little while back about the book that makes fun of Previews, Wizard, CBG and the like. Why have a book to make fun of them, when they are already jokes?

    I did think it interesting that Oni is offering an Omnibus of J. Torres’s LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. With DCBS having it at a price that isn’t very much more than one of the single volumes alone.

    One thing DCBS and Amazon do is make is remarkably easy to switch to trades. Since their prices almost make getting the singles seem idiotic at times.

    I just find it really weird that a character I so enjoyed as a kid, Spider-Woman cartoons were awesome, just seems so icky now.

  4. JennyN Says:

    Umm. I love CASTLE WAITING too, and it was a happy day when I finally got all 16 issues assembled – via back-issue boxes and even eBay – and could spread them out and enjoy the gorgeous covers separately and together. And a new series? I will be SO there, with dollar bills in my hot little hand.

    But I am a wee bit peeved that, if I want to know what happened between Then and Now, I have to buy a large and rather pricey book to find out. I wonder if there’s any likelihood of a special single issue at some time in the future?

  5. Johanna Says:

    That’s an understandable point. I’m not that bothered by it just because I’m hoping this will expose the series to people who otherwise never would have seen it, and the package is different enough from what I’ve already got (which includes both the original issues and the collections previously released) that I don’t mind trading up. Plus, the price seems reasonable. With a great discount, it’s under $20, which is close to what I would have paid for a new collection of just part of the series. But I can understand why it would bother some.

  6. James Schee Says:

    That kind of thing, new stuff in collections only, used to bother me a lot as well. This doesn’t though, and I think it is because of the time that has passed.

    It has been years since I’ve read CW, and I’m not quite sure if I even have my single issues or not anymore.

  7. Johanna Says:

    I used to get more upset, but since I’ve switched to focusing on and mostly buying collections, I’m less likely to be affected these days, too.

  8. Garrie Burr Says:

    Mail Order Ninja sounds good but the 6-page preview at is either broken or the last five pages have been taken down — the first page is still there. A smaller preview is still available at the tokyopop link you list, though…

  9. Johanna Says:

    They’ve got a glitch, it seems — if you manually take out the “″ part at the beginning of the image links, they work. I’ve left them a comment in the hopes that they can correct the URLs. Thanks for pointing that out.

  10. chasdom Says:

    Note that Mom’s Cancer is already available from Diamond, even though the new catalog is its first proper solicitation. It was previously solicited in some sort of retailer supplement.

    The order code is DEC058110. I’m looking forward to picking mine up tomorrow.

  11. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Johanna, did you see the solicitation for Dragonslippers? Looks interesting- a comics diary of a woman going through an abusive relationship. Seems to be one to watch:

    If you liked Showcase: Superman v1, they’re doing another Showcase: Superman book in May.

    The first two Abadazad books are also solicited in May.

    Finally, Image is putting out The Art of Brian Bolland. Pricey…but it’s Brian Bolland!

  12. Sebastian Says:

    Well, I intend to buy the Castle Waiting HC, since I only heard of the series when it was already on hiatus (IIRC). Sounds like a nice package, a good way to start in on the series.

    BTW, I also listed some of my Previews picks (only the Indys, though) over at CBR.

  13. Brian Fies Says:

    Thanks very much for the recommendation for “Mom’s Cancer,” Johanna. I appreciate it very much.

  14. Johanna Says:

    Chasdom, wow, I’m never THAT timely! Thanks for the heads up — people should definitely look for Mom’s Cancer tomorrow. It’s a terrific read.

    Ray, I didn’t see Dragonslippers, but it sounds a bit too meaningful for me to track it down. I know abusive relationships are bad, so I’m not sure why I’d buy a graphic novel that tells me that, and the comments don’t talk about anything else about the book.

    Sebastian, thanks for the pointer.

    Brian, you’re welcome. Thanks for creating such a wonderful piece of work.

  15. lauder Says: has Castle waiting for $17.93

  16. New Reliable Previews: True Loves 2, Jan’s Atomic Heart » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] first True Loves volume was released in mid-2006, collecting a webcomic, and I liked it. I was glad to check in […]




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