All Summer Long

All Summer Long is the kind of teen summer story I can get behind. Bina isn’t going to camp or on vacation. Instead, she’s left in town to do not much of anything. The past few summers, she and neighbor / best friend Austin have spent the whole season together, but he’s off to soccer camp. His lack of response to her messages contributes to her feeling of loneliness. That’s why she’s surprised to find herself with something in common […]

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Hallmark Doctor Who Ornaments Announced

Every year, I’m asked if there’s a Hallmark ornament I’d like. (I have to be asked because I have a history of picking series that end after only a few releases.) This year, the answer was really easy, because Hallmark is releasing two official Doctor Who ornaments. I am not crazy about the colors on the Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor one. There was never that lime color in his scarf, nor the patches of white. You can see […]

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Free Manga for July

Kodansha has announced that until August 2nd, you can get free digital copies of a number of their series. Additionally, second volumes are 99 cents, and third volumes are $1.99. Three volumes of these popular series for three bucks is a terrific summer reading deal! Check your favorite digital vendor for this offer. I recommend grabbing the first of any you’re interested in and reading them in the next two weeks so you can buy more if you like them. […]

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That’s My Atypical Girl Volume 1

I was curious about That’s My Atypical Girl volume 1, a digital-only manga release with story by Sohachi Hagimoto and art by Renji Morita, because of the premise, in which an aspiring manga creator meets a dedicated fan of his work. Yokoi is an unsuccessful manga artist because his stories are gloomy and he doesn’t draw very well. He lives cheaply and survives by drawing sexy fan comics. Saito, the fan, shows up at his apartment one day and just […]

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Another Indy Comic Publisher to Call It Quits

Whenever one of these notes crosses my awareness, I’m rarely surprised. Comics is not a long-term, sustainable business for many people. (As noted on Twitter by Joshua Dysart recently, Almost every single person who got their start in comics from my generation, & from most others too, had some kind of supplemental income, & many people who appear successful today are either being subsidized by a spouse, family money, or some other means. As to why… There’s no union, no […]

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Must-Read on Comic Retailing Today

In announcing he’s closing his second store, comic retailer Brian Hibbs makes a lot of cogent observations about the state of the direct market for comic books today in his latest Tilting at Windmills column. Some key points: I’ve lost a great deal of faith in the business of periodical comics and, more specifically, of many of the people in charge of shepherding it. Costs of operation are greatly increasing, profit margins are getting tighter, and the industry as a […]

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Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic

A Manga Guide to Cosmetics and Skin Care by Ikumi Rotta Learning makeup through manga is a great idea — the visuals in Makeup Is Not (Just) Magic provide a terrific format for illustrated guides and educational content. Unfortunately, the material here is too often overwhelming and off-putting, likely to turn off the new readers whom the author says she wants to help. The author tells us she was previously a beauty consultant. Now she draws manga. Makeup made her […]

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The Will Darling Adventures

I’ve just finished a rip-roaring adventure/romance trilogy that I loved reading. The Will Darling Adventures by K.J. Charles is set in 1920s London. Will Darling has returned from the War and wound up running a bookshop, inherited from his uncle, as he had few other choices. The first book, Slippery Creatures, introduces him and the trouble he falls into when competing mysterious organizations want something that had been hidden in the shop. Then the charming Lord Arthur “Kim” Secretan shows […]

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