Sorcerers & Secretaries Volume 1

Sorcerers & Secretaries, the debut graphic novel from web cartoonist Amy Kim Ganter, is a charming story of a young New Yorker whose dreams of fantasy conflict with her everyday life. Nicole is going to business school to please her mother and working as a receptionist to pay the bills. The only thing in her daily life she enjoys doing is daydreaming about the adventures of a kind sorcerer and then writing stories based on her dreams. This creative outlet […]

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Off*Beat Volume 1

Tory’s a really bright kid with some really strange hobbies. He documents everything in his notebooks, and he’s obsessed with the new neighbor, Colin, another 15-year-old who moved in at midnight. Tory convinces his mother to switch him to Colin’s school, necessitating a two-hour commute from Queens to Long Island every day. There, Tory breaks into the guidance counselor’s office to find out more about the boy he’s fixated on Tory eventually gets to know Colin by using his perfect […]

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Tokyo Boys & Girls Volume 4

When I reviewed Tokyo Boys & Girls volume 1, I called this series “enjoyable high school soap opera”. By this installment, though, it’s closer to family drama. Mimori’s still trying to date Haruta even though Kazukita keeps interfering. The latest source of confusion occurs when Mimori thinks the lonely Kazukita is sick. She rushes over to his apartment to take care of him, because she’s that kind of young-mother-in-training, and Haruta finds her there. The real conflict, though, is driven […]

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Iron Wok Jan! Volume 16

As volume 16 begins, the four young chefs — arrogant Jan, frustrated Kiriko, country Celine, and goofball Takao — are competing against hundreds of others in an annual competition. If Jan doesn’t win the entire thing (Kiriko was the champion last year), he’s going to lose his job at the restaurant. First, though, they have to get through the preliminary elimination round, cooking fried rice. Celine finishes early, but Takao is in over his head, so he copies anyone he […]

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Iron Wok Jan! Volume 1

This cooking manga by Shinji Saijyo is gloriously and gleefully over-the-top, with similarities to the popular Iron Chef TV series. Jan Akiyama is a talented young chef who unfortunately knows just how skilled he is. Trained by his grandfather, a legendary “master of Chinese cuisine”, his ego is his biggest battle to overcome in understanding just what cooking is all about. He thinks it’s all a competition, demanding he always be the best. Winning is all that matters to him, […]

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Iron Wok Jan! Volume 13

Jan has been competing against a rich amateur chef in a battle focusing on liver. The amateur spends freely to obtain gourmet goodies like foie gras, while Jan faces him down with unexpected variants, including fish and chicken livers. When Jan’s food is tasted, the factor of whether or not a dish can be easily recreated becomes an important part of the ranking. It’s refreshing to see the series get back to a focus on ingredients in this volume by […]

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Nana Volumes 1-7

Ai Yazawa’s Nana is a little slow-starting, but the result is more than worth the time invested. A few volumes in, it becomes incredibly addictive. Like many manga series these days, the first volume is prologue, leading into a simple premise. Two girls named Nana come to Tokyo to follow their dreams and in search of love; they wind up rooming together and learning from each other. Volume one is made up of two stories, each one introducing a different […]

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Baby & Me Volume 1

For every girl who’s ever dreamed of having a real life baby doll, here’s the story of a female-less family. Takuya’s mother has passed away, and his dad needs him to take care of his baby brother. The baby is completely adorable, all big head and huge eyes, barely able to walk or speak. How can anyone resist a little boy asking to make the “owwie go away” or saying he’s “sawwee”? That’s a good thing, because it keeps Takuya […]

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