Monster and the Beast Volume 3

This is around when a manga series has to find something beyond the original concept with which to continue. Monster and the Beast volume 3 by Renji accomplishes this by separating the two leads and promising more information to come about one’s past. At the end of volume 2, Liam (the man on the run) has gotten on a ship to another continent, accidentally leaving Caro (the shy demon who has feelings for Liam) behind. That’s quite the cliffhanger. Liam […]

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Magical History Tour: The Plague: History of a Pandemic

The fifth in the translated Magical History Tour series is particularly timely. The Plague: History of a Pandemic, is, as are the others in the series, written by Fabrice Erre and illustrated by Sylvain Savoia. Annie explains various outbreaks of the historical plague, including the Black Death, and pandemics to her younger brother Nico. Annie lays out various transmission factors — trade routes, conflicts, population concentration — and tells her brother about people’s fear, the huge death rates, and the […]

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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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Another Faith Erin Hicks Work Reissued in Color

Last year, one of Faith Erin Hicks’ earliest works, The War at Ellsmere, was reissued in a partially redrawn color edition, now titled One Year at Ellsmere. (I previously interviewed her about the process.) Earlier this month, another of her works was also reissued. Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, published in 2013, adapted a story by Prudence Shen. The new edition adds color, with no other changes. It’s the story of a friendship between the basketball team captain and the […]

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Wizard World Chicago Sells Tickets… For What?

More news on the upcoming Wizard World Chicago — tickets are now on sale for the October show. Single-day tickets range from $40-60, depending on day, while the three-day weekend is $90. The Gold VIP package, which primarily allows for early entry to the show and programming, is $180. Note that no guests, programming, or exhibitors have yet been announced, so spending this kind of money on the weekend requires quite a lot of faith. “Details on celebrities, superstar creators, […]

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