Congratulations to Kodansha on 10 Years!

This year, Kodansha is celebrating 10 years of publishing manga in English. For the “10 Years of Kodansha Comics” event, every month, they will spotlight a classic series. The January title is Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, first published by Kodansha in October 2009. They have since released a hardcover Akira 35th Anniversary Edition Box Set, which won Eisners last year for Best Archival Collection/Project — Comic Books and Best Publication Design. It’s the story of motorcycle gangs in the post-apocalypse […]

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My Condolences to Friends and Family of Batton Lash

Word is trickling out through friends who would know that Batton Lash has passed away from brain cancer. The always-dapper Lash was the author and artist of Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre, later renamed Supernatural Law, since 1979. He stuck with it through comic strip, issues, webcomic, and waxing and waning movie interest, finally moving to Kickstarter to put out book collections. He ran Exhibit A Press with his wife Jackie Estrada, who is administrator of the Eisner […]

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Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 5

Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 5 keeps the series, about finding young women the perfect apartment, fresh in two ways. Author MAKIHIROCHI continues to find different reasons and challenges for the house-hunters, while we see more about what the real estate agent twins are doing for their own living space. The first chapter presents a young woman moving out on her own for the first time, accompanied by her mother, who finds fault with everything. Can the […]

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Under the Canopy: Trees Around the World

This gorgeous, oversized picture book will create new appreciation for nature, obviously, but also for cultures around the world. Under the Canopy: Trees Around the World is written by Iris Volant and illustrated by Cynthia Alonso. Each page describes a particular type of tree — such as willow, coconut, birch, or eucalyptus — accompanied by a lovely illustration of a legend or key moment associated with them. The apple tree, for example, gets a picture of Isaac Newton thinking about […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 9

As the series prepares for its conclusion (volume 10 is the final one), the characters in Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju volume 9 contemplate the pending retirement of Yakumo, the last rakugo master. Yakumo and an old friend, a gangster, begin the volume with a garden stroll while they reflect on how much things have changed. It’s a mood I can empathize with more and more. It’s wonderful that so many people value Yakumo’s work and want to tell […]

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Catwoman / Tweety and Sylvester Special #1

I know it’s ridiculous for me to be talking about Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1. It’s a silly event tie-in that came out four months ago. I bet no one even remembers it. But it’s a really good comic that shows what a skilled creator can do with even the most ridiculous premise. Gail Simone writes and Inaki Miranda draws the team-up, which starts off by pairing Catwoman with the “puddy tat” Sylvester. She’s shocked he talks — complete with […]

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Batman Annual #3

What would Batman be without his butler? In Batman Annual #3, by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt, the answer is suggested to be “dead on the street”. I enjoyed this focus on a necessary but often overlooked aspect of Batman’s life, butler Alfred Pennyworth — and I say Batman because there’s nearly no Bruce Wayne here. It would make a good start for anyone interested in the upcoming Pennyworth TV show, although this comic is about Alfred now, and the […]

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Satoko and Nada

Satoko and Nada means well and looks unusual for manga. Created by Yupechika, it’s the story of two college roommates in America. Satoko is Japanese, and Nada is a Saudi Arabian Muslim who wears a hijab. The series’ origin as a 4-koma (four-panel strip) online is apparent in its simple art style, with flat, minimal figures and each page a complete comic. But most aren’t going to read this for impressive visuals. The appeal is seeing two very different people […]

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