- Posted by Johanna on June 18, 2010 at 8:35 am
- Category: Shopping Guide
A Distant Neighborhood Book 1 (JUN10 0995) and Book 2 (JUN10 0996) are available again from Fanfare/Ponent Mon at $23 each. They’re charming fantasies about using adult maturity to better understand the milestones of youth, accomplished by a salaryman getting a chance to relive part of his childhood.
But the big manga news this month is the debut of Fantagraphics into the format, with A Drunken Dream and Other Stories (JUN10 0998, $24.99), a prestigious reprinting of a selection of Moto Hagio’s work. She’s a pioneer of manga, a peer of Osama Tezuka in reach and impact, yet few of her works have been available in English until now.
Fantagraphics is going, as they are wont to do, in the opposite direction with this from much of the rest of the manga market. Instead of a small, cheap, paperback digest, they’re putting out a higher-priced hardcover, and instead of a series, they’re publishing a sampler anthology.
I really liked the first volume of Twin Spica, so I’m confident I will continue to enjoy Book 3 (Vertical, JUN10 1151, $10.95). Asumi’s struggle to become an astronaut is both charming and inspirational, especially in a world giving up on the space shuttle.
Viz is reoffering this month two of my favorite series of theirs: all 8 volumes of Pluto, and all 7 Oishinbo books. Take this chance to sample some of the best comics out there, with diverse and challenging subjects. Both have been completed (unfortunately, in the case of Oishinbo, which has much more material to offer), so you already know they ended well.
But Viz also has some exciting ongoing series, like Library Wars Book 2 (JUN10 1187, $9.99), about a future where librarians become soldiers to protect the freedom to read without censorship, or Butterflies, Flowers Book 4 (JUN10 1188, $9.99), a twisted take on relationships that leaves one uncertain whether to laugh or cringe. Each new volume surprises me in unexpected ways.