Movie Sales Down? Blame the Critics!

Box office this summer wasn’t good. Compared to last year, movie studios made 15% less, a 20-year low. (That’s still 3.8 billion dollars, so let’s keep this in perspective.) What’s the problem, say studio heads? According to this NY Times article, Rotten Tomatoes, the website that makes it easy for potential customers to see what critics think of a film. Some studio executives privately concede that a few recent movies — just a few — were simply bad. Flawed marketing […]

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My Favorite Manga Promo

Isn’t this just the perfect giveaway item to promote Delicious in Dungeon, the manga about eating what you kill in a dungeon crawl? It’s a set of chopsticks in a promotional wrapper! As they say, for the manga, “it’s eat or be eaten… literally!” (And yes, this first volume came out in May, but it’s been a long summer and I’m still catching up.)

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Batman: Noir Alley Coming to Comic Shops?

I was surprised to note this ad in a comic out yesterday (which, let’s recall, was September 6, that is, after Labor Day, the traditional end of summer). In case you can’t read the bottom print, it says Don’t miss the exclusive, free comic Batman in Noir Alley in select comic stores this summer. Anyone’s comic store get this? Or is it just running late, and the ad means it’s still to come? I hadn’t heard of this before — […]

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After Hours Volume 1

Viz jumps into the yuri genre with this atmospheric but lightweight (so far) story of two women bonding over DJing. (Yuri is girl-girl romance, usually, in the titles we’ve seen over here, without the explicit sex scenes common to yaoi.) After Hours by Yuhta Nishio begins with Emi trying to meet a friend at a club who’s more interested in finding a guy. She’s not enjoying the noise or the people, and when she gets creeped on, she’s rescued by […]

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The Stone Heart: The Nameless City Volume 2

The Stone Heart begins with hope of peace and a new era for the many inhabitants of the Nameless City, but new ways of interacting with people not like you threaten the privileged. It only takes one spoiled heir to make things terrible in Faith Erin Hicks’ fantasy adventure. As can be seen from the description, although the setting of this trilogy is inspired by ancient China, there’s plenty relevant to learn while getting caught up in the events. I […]

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Sweetness & Lightning Volume 5

Continuing the series theme of “cooking is caring”, Sweetness & Lightning volume 5 takes the feelings between Tsumugi and her dad even deeper by more directly addressing the loss of Tsumugi’s mother. Suguru, a little boy in Tsumugi’s class, is acting up. His mother is in the hospital, and he doesn’t want to visit her (because it scares him, what might happen — although she’s not sick, she’s giving birth). Out of the goodness of her heart, Tsumugi invites him […]

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Delicious in Dungeon Volume 1

Delicious in Dungeon is one of those “only in comics” concepts: it’s a food manga where the dishes all involve fantasy monsters, since our chefs are part of a party on a quest to find and kill a dragon in a dungeon. Laios’s sister Falin saved the group, on a previous trip in, by sacrificing herself. However, although she was eaten by a dragon, magic is common and workable enough that, if the group finds her body by slaying the […]

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Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Volume 1

I’ve found the next good manga to fill the gaps between Fumi Yoshinaga releases. (I love her work, but since we’ve caught up with Japan, we’re lucky to get one volume a year of What Did You Eat Yesterday? or Ooku: The Inner Chambers.) Haruko Kumota’s Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju has a compelling cast of characters, stylishly drawn, struggling to keep an historic art form relevant. Rakugo is a form of storytelling, where a solo narrator performs for […]

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