Thoughts on Recent Headlines

Congratulations to Tim. Diamond has reversed its previous decision and will be offering Comic Foundry magazine. I’m not sure “ok, we’ll drop the price 27 cents” is really, as the headline says, meeting halfway, but the real test will be how many orders it gets. (Readers, will you be ordering the first issue? Does your store order shelf copies for customers to browse projects like this?) And I do wish Tim wouldn’t say things like “We were considering taking the […]

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Kabuki: Skin Deep

The question of “what is comics” is often debated in certain circles (especially those academically inclined). There’s no one definition that satisfies everyone, although most have in common something about combining text and images to tell a story. When asked to think about comics, most visualize panels on a page, rows of boxes containing pictures and word balloons. Kabuki knocks that definition on its ear. In Skin Deep, artist David Mack demonstrates a different kind of comics, beautifully artistic blends […]

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Beauty Pop Volumes 1-7

The concept of the makeover is an important part of shojo manga. It’s important for the shy girl to be revealed, with a better haircut, as surprisingly beautiful or the geeky girl to become popular when she pays more attention to working on her looks. This series by Kiyoko Arai takes that concept and knocks it on its ear. Kiri is a very talented hairstylist who knows the transforming power of the right cut. She doesn’t much care about her […]

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9 Faces of Love: Manhwa Novella Collection Volume 2

“Manhwa Novella Collection” is Netcomics’ umbrella title for a series of anthologies containing shorter works, each focused on a notable Korean comic author. Here, I’m looking at Volume Two: 9 Faces of Love by Wann (whose Can’t Lose You has also been published by Netcomics). Personally, I’m not always fond of this technique. If I only care for certain types of works and/or particular authors, it bugs me to have (for instance) books numbered two and four on my shelf […]

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Cancer Vixen

There was a boomlet for a moment there in graphic novels about dealing with cancer. The primitively drawn Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person was in the traditional black-and-white autobiographical comic vein, while Mom’s Cancer, formerly a webcomic, won the first ever Digital Comic Eisner Award. That subject isn’t a surprising choice — it’s innately dramatic, something many people can relate to (if they haven’t had a scare themselves, a relative likely has), and a nicely meaty topic to make […]

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PR: What Not to Do: Marketing a Cancelled Title

NBM’s online publicist, David Seidman, sent out an email early this week promoting an online preview for “special friends” of the company to post. It was an excerpt from Angel Skin, a graphic novel by Christian Westerlund and Robert Nazeby Herzig. I was ready to put it up, only I noticed that the message didn’t include a release date. (I wanted to know whether to promote the book as something to preorder or something to look for shortly.) I checked […]

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Genshiken Volume 8

I had thought that this was the last volume in the series by Kio Shimoku, but there will be at least one more. However, this book did provide the focus on Ogiue I was looking for. The aspiring manga artist suffers severe guilt over her explicit yaoi because of an incident that happened five years ago. At the urging of her friends, she’d drawn yaoi featuring a student in their class. When he and others found out about it, he […]

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Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs Volume 2

I do love this series by Yukiya Sakuragi. I know it’s predictable and flawed — it’s almost a case study in the way it infantilizes its two-dimensional heroine — but it makes me so happy to read it. How can you not enjoy being reminded of how dogs make people happy? After getting hired at the pet shop in volume 1 to take care of the dogs, now Suguri has to learn to sell them in volume 2. Except for […]

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