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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110 Percent

Tony Consiglio’s 110 Percent may have been overlooked by many readers because of its subject matter. It’s the story of three middle-aged women who are fans of the boy band 110 Percent. Although many comic readers will understand and perhaps sympathize with the dedication and even obsession of these women, it takes a willingness to approach their story that unfortunately, some may not have. These women aren’t young, cute, or sexy; they’re not even mildly attractive as they take their […]

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Project X: Seven Eleven

Unlike its predecessors in this series (Cup Noodle and 240Z), Project X – The Challengers – Seven Eleven – The Miraculous Success of Japan’s 7-Eleven Stores is relatively restrained in its adjectives. The thrust of this story is the development of the convenience store, driven by youthful amateurs, and the way it revolutionized the retail industry. The introduction (written in 2001) hopes that it will serve as an inspiration to the salary-men disturbed by the then-current recession. Which makes me […]

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Cancer Author Passes Away

Miriam Engelberg, who wrote about her struggles with breast cancer in the autobiographical Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, has passed away. A close friend sent out an email which included the following: Miriam Engelberg died at home earlier today. She had her family and close friends with her and was not in a coma. As far as I can tell, she didn’t suffer and was spared the intense pain many go through with cancer. I like to think the […]

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