Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku is a classic romantic comedy. Rumiko Takahashi presents a motley group of housemates in a funny farce, complete with frequently slamming doors and mistaken identities. The inhabitants include Godai, a failing student; Akemi, a brazen barmaid who wanders around in her negligee; and Mrs. Ichinose, a tipsy gossip. When the new manager, an attractive young woman named Kyoko, shows up, Godai quickly develops a crush on her. The others tease him unmercifully, preventing their relationship from developing, when […]

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Tramps Like Us

Sumire Iwaya is a highly educated, accomplished, beautiful woman who puts most of herself into her newspaper job. Her fiancé dumped her because he’s uncomfortable with her — she makes more money than he does and is smarter than he is — and she was demoted from breaking foreign news to the lifestyle section after she forcibly rejected her boss’ advances. She has no friends at work, only people who gossip about her out of jealousy, while other women play […]

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Top 10: The Forty-Niners

The city of Neopolis, the setting of Alan Moore’s Top 10, is populated only by superheroes. This prequel to the series explores how that city was established and why. The Forty-Niners is written by Alan Moore with art by Gene Ha. In 1949, the war is over, and the “science-heroes” and other powered people have been sent to the new city. Jetlad, an air pilot hero even though he’s only 16, provides the viewpoint of the innocent, fresh in the […]

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CPM Article Pushes Sampling

It’s refreshing to see a publisher aware of the value of sampling. This Publishers Weekly article (link no longer available) talks about how Central Park Media has revamped its manga program, hired a new director of sales, restored suspended series and outlined plans to use technology to market its manga. […] Next year CPM will publish 40-50 manga titles and utilize tech-heavy promotion. Over the years, CPM has developed ways of integrating the marketing and promotion of manga and anime. […]

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Kare First Love Volume 1

Kare First Love, a manga romance series by Kaho Miyasaka, is a Harlequin-like fairy tale for teenagers. The geeky Karin is considered ugly because she wears glasses. On her morning bus ride, the attractive and popular Kiriya notices her and wants to take her picture. Even though his friends tease him and insult her, he pursues her, even though she pushes him away out of fear. Karin’s a confused young girl who always jumps to the wrong conclusion. If a […]

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Cipher Volume 1

This is a CMX book? What happened to the trade dress with the white backgrounds and the bright-colored corners? Where’s the heavy type set on a slant? Cipher is missing any identifying imprint information at all on the cover, leaving only the title, volume number, author’s name (Minako Narita), and a nondescript picture of a couple in winter. Looking at the spine — always a problem for these titles, since the CMX letters were as big as the title, causing […]

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Hawaiian Dick: Byrd of Paradise

There are so many hooks to Hawaiian Dick: Byrd of Paradise by B. Clay Moore I hardly know where to start talking about it. It’s been variously described as tropical noir, a hardboiled supernatural thriller with a tiki-influenced setting, and a retro island take on Sam Spade. (Younger folks might see it as Thomas Magnum as written by Raymond Chandler.) It’s 1953 in Hawaii. Byrd was a mainland police officer until a mysterious shooting drove him to semi-retirement. He works […]

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Publishers Weekly’s Best of 2005

Publishers Weekly has posted their list of the Best Comics of 2005 (link no longer available). Overall, it’s a pretty accurate portrait of the year’s trends and what was talked about. Here’s my groupings of the items on their list (and I apologize for overusing the word “good”): Read It, Loved It Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press) — Took me a while to get it, then I was smitten. Gemma Bovery by Posey Simmonds […]

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