Horimiya Volume 12

I had a hard time following Horimiya volume 12, simply due to its place in the series. This is a long-running relationship manga, which means by this point, we’ve left the core couple as focus a while back and spun out into various friends and schoolmates as continuing characters. We’ve caught up with Japan in terms of releases — there isn’t a backlog — so the previous volume came out almost six months ago. Combined, that means a whole lot […]

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Laid-Back Camp Volume 4

It’s finally the perfect time of year for the winter camping of Laid-Back Camp volume 4 by Afro. The big vacation trip is happening over Christmas, with the club planning meals and making sure everyone has the right equipment. This time, all the girls are going out together, instead of Rin by herself. I admit, I couldn’t keep all the characters straight, since it’s been a while (this past summer) since I read the previous volume. That didn’t matter, though, […]

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Another Version of the Batman Animated Series Blu-ray Announced

Missed out on the gift package version of the Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray set? Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just announced a content-only version that’s now available. The 12-disc set (list price $89.99) comes with all episodes, “The Heart of Batman” documentary, the remastered animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, and digital copies. Here’s a clip from “The Heart of Batman” talking about the design influences.

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Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater

Due out in January is a comic-format reworking of a significant entertainment history. Ted Fox’s 1983 book Showtime at the Apollo: The Story of Harlem’s World Famous Theater has been converted into a graphic novel illustrated by James Otis Smith. Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater is clearly an adaptation of a prose work, with text boxes explaining key moments in the location’s history, but the illustrations add more hooks to show the reader just […]

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Incredibles 2

As with many recent Pixar movies, Incredibles 2 isn’t a great, ground-breaking animated work with new emotional insight. They don’t do that as much any more, instead focusing on revisiting familiar characters and spending more time with them. It’s comfortable instead of challenging, but the result is still a good cartoon movie. (The studio provided a review copy.) I love the old-style staging of the film. Cars and clothes are retro, but the city has a monorail. Apparently, the setting […]

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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

I am excited to see that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has been so well-received. This relaunch of the 1980s cartoon show has a more modern sensibility, and it allows the character to stand on her own instead of being a He-Man adjunct. (I haven’t had a chance to see the show yet, but I believe it, since the revamp was created by Noelle Stevenson, whose Nimona, which did something similar to fantasy adventure stories, won an Eisner a […]

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Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3

Now that the feature-length Pixar movies are more focused on sequels and known quantities, the short films are where the most exciting concepts and animation techniques are found, in my opinion. Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3 has a mix of original ideas and cartoon shorts with Pixar favorite characters. It contains the following, each of which can be played with or without a filmmaker introduction and/or commentary. Bao – by Domee Shi, 2018, shown with Incredibles 2, about a […]

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The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects

The Story Behind: The Extraordinary History Behind Ordinary Objects is a book compiling short stories of object origins, taken from the podcast of the same name by Emily Prokop. When I was a kid, before the internet became what it is and destroyed traditional publishing, I gobbled up books like these. It was so cool learning where things came from and bits of trivia around their creation. The Story Behind taps into that same appeal. Each chapter runs only 4-6 […]

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