Mail Order Ninja Volume 1

The writer, Joshua Elder, intends this 96-page story to be all-ages comedy “like the classic Looney Tunes cartoons”. Unfortunately, that’s not the impression the opening scene of Mail Order Ninja gives. It’s closer to a superhero comic structure, with a humorless (and fairly violent) ninja action scene being revealed to be part of a manga Timothy is reading. The action art by Erich Owen is well-done, so much so that I found the first glimpse of Timothy freakish. He’s typically […]

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Teen Titans Season 1

I was drawn to Teen Titans because the the characters are so well-done, whether it’s Starfire’s alien optimism, Raven’s quiet darkness, or Cyborg’s stubborn strength. Beast Boy’s the most teen to my eyes, with his goofy screwups serving as metaphor for gawky adolescence. In the first episode, Robin’s voice is not quite right for me, but by episode two, it has either altered or I’ve adjusted to it. The first episode, “Divide and Conquer”, is an interesting choice for an […]

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Love the Way You Love

Nobody does romance as well as Jamie S. Rich, and Love the Way You Love, illustrated by Marc Ellerby, is no exception. Side A Tristan is the lead singer of Like a Dog, an up-and-coming band. He’s returning home when he sees the perfect girl at the airport. When she later appears at that night’s show, it must be fate, only she’s engaged to the record company honcho who’s come to see about signing the band. This establishes the conflict: […]

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Scott McCloud: An Outsider’s View

My talented brother Powell is currently studying for his Ph.D. at Princeton. When I found out Scott McCloud would be stopping there as part of his Making Comics tour, I encouraged Powell to go and report back. Here’s his writeup: “Comics: An Art Form in Transition” Thursday, October 5, 2006 Jimmy Stewart Theater, Princeton University The presentation began with an introduction by Tom Levin, professor of German, media theory, and architecture. He discussed works that were heterochronic and mentioned, as […]

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Steady Beat Volume 2

I enjoyed the first volume of this series, although I was concerned that maybe a bit too much was being attempted — it seemed that the book had more plots and revelations than it might have space for. Things are much more focused here in volume two. It opens with a return to the key plot points, re-introducing the Texas suburb in which Leah lives, complete with expectations of church attendance and hidden secrets. In a few quick conversations with […]

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Crimson Hero Volume 4

I was a bit stunned to see the cover on this installment of the series by Mitsuba Takanashi, especially in comparison to the first book. That volume showed a girl in traditional dress struggling to play volleyball, indicating a culture clash aspect that seems to have gone by the wayside. Now, it looks as though it’s sun, sex, and oh, yeah, sport. The cover is a bit misleading, as advertising sometimes is. But it is true that the driving force […]

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Yakitate!! Japan Volume 1

The latest entry in the “I must be the best at ___” manga genre combines cooking and competition in an unusual way in Yakitate!! Japan volume 1. Kazuma is determined to become a world-class baker and create a national bread worthy of Japan, one that tastes better than rice. (It’s a pun, you see, since “pan” is Japanese for bread.) Kazuma leaves his family and hometown to apprentice at a “super-famous” Tokyo bakery. It’s been an uphill battle for him. […]

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Wizard’s New Low

From the latest Wizard, page 23. To tie into the Nov. release of Frank Miller’s bootylicious cover to All-Star Batman and Robin #5, we whipped up this fun and saucy mix-and-match game. Below you’ll find eight lovely apple-bottoms (one of which is Miller’s cover); your job is to identify the character by her rump and match it to the artist below. Answers for these gluteus masterpieces are at the bottom (naturally). Does Wizard think women should be treated as cows, […]

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