Category Archives: Books

Neatoco and Brian “Box” Brown ask, Are You Too High?

Have you smoked to much weed? Is your trip way too trippy? Have you bitten off more edibles than you can chew? Have no fear, Are You Too High? is here! Written by award-winning artist and author, Brian “Box” BrownAre You Too High? is the debut book published by Neatoco. 

Are You Too High? is a colorful and glossy storybook for adults, that puts the lit back in literature. It is in stores now.

So, you’ve ingested too much cannabis. Now What? This delightful guide, Are You Too High?, may help you or your distressed friend stop freaking out.

So the next time someone you know needs to be talked down, be a good bud and help them handle their herb with the dopest book on the subject, Are You Too High?

Are You Too High? is available now!

Dark Horse presents The Art of Peter Bergting

Dark Horse Books presents a new, beautifully designed hardcover art book, The Art of Peter Bergting. Celebrating the award-winning comics artist and illustrator known for evocative fantasy, horror, and sci-fi artwork, this collection showcases a body of work nearly 30 years in the making.

Explore the dark, mystical, and mysterious work of Peter Bergting, collected for the first time in a gorgeous hardcover volume with an introduction by award-winning horror writer and longtime collaborator Christopher Golden. This collection includes pages and covers from many popular series that Bergting has contributed to, such as Mike Mignola and Golden’s Baltimore and Tales from the Outerverse. Bergting’s sketches and process art from other comics, magazines, novels, and games will also be featured in the book. 

The Art of Peter Bergting will be available at comic shops February 15, 2023 and in bookstores February 28, 2023. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore. The Art of Peter Bergting will retail for $49.99. 

The Art of Peter Bergting

Yen Press announces new titles for March 2023

Yen Press is adding seven new titles to their lineup in March 2023, including five manga (The Otherworlder, Exploring the Dungeon; The Villainess Stans the Heroes: Playing the Antagonist to Support Her Faves!; Sunbeams in the Sky; Kiniro Mosaic, Best Wishes; Call the Name of the Night) and two novels (The Reformation of the World as Overseen by a Realist Demon King; Hollow Regalia). From isekai fantasy to school-life rom-coms, this assortment of titles has something for everyone!

The Otherworlder, Exploring the Dungeon

Story by Hinagi Asami
Art by Kureta

A manga adaptation of the light novel series from Yen On.

Broke and desperate, Souta signs up for a gig to warp to a fantasy world, ascend a dungeon tower, and claim the treasure inside. However, an accident in the transfer process separates him from his teammates, leaving him stranded. Will his adventure end before it even begins?

The Otherworlder, Exploring the Dungeon

The Villainess Stans the Heroes: Playing the Antagonist to Support Her Faves!

Story by Yamori Michikusa
Art by Tsubasa Takamatsu

What’s a girl to do when she’s reincarnated into a game full of her biases, and as the antagonist to boot? Simple—do whatever it takes to make them shine, of course! When I’m reborn into the body of the villainess Eldia, I’m determined to play my role to perfection for the loves of my life…but how was I supposed to know that one impulsive mistake I made years ago would bring such drastic changes to the story!?

The Villainess Stans the Heroes: Playing the Antagonist to Support Her Faves!

Sunbeams in the Sky

By Monika Kaname

Twin sisters Himari and Mio are perfect copies on the outside, but their personalities couldn’t be any more different. When Himari decides to stay home from school due to an unfortunate incident, Mio decides the best way to convince her to return is to take her place!

Sunbeams in the Sky

The Reformation of the World as Overseen by a Realist Demon King (novel)

Story by Hata Ryousuke
Illustration by Yuugen

By the will of a whimsical goddess, the seventy-second Demon King has been reincarnated to rule alongside a chaotic mixture of humans and heroes in another world. The newly minted Demon King Astaroth has been tasked with overseeing the reconstruction of this strange, new land, and as a realist, he will use rarely seen resourcefulness and tactics to reshape the fate of all who live under his reign!

The Reformation of the World as Overseen by a Realist Demon King (novel)

Kiniro Mosaic, Best Wishes

By Yui Hara

Set one year after the events in Kiniro Mosaic, this volume contains eleven chapters ranging from the everyday life of Alice and her friends after graduation to behind-the-scenes stories of their high school life never revealed in the main series.

Kiniro Mosaic, Best Wishes

Call the Name of the Night

By Tama Mitsuboshi

Deep in the forest, a curious pair resides: a young girl Mira, whose affliction leads her to call forth darkness whenever she’s in distress, and her physician Rei, determined to seek a cure. Each day, she works to remember the light and bring back the person she used to be. But a sudden visit from Rei’s friend, who harbors an interest in Mira’s illness, may be the end of their peaceful days…

Call the Name of the Night

Hollow Regalia (novel)

Story by Mikumo Gakuto
Illustration by Miyuu

A new light novel series from the author of Strike the Blood!

She’s a dragon. He’s a dragon slayer. And in this world, the Japanese have been wiped out! That day, giant dragons appeared in the sky above Tokyo, and the collapse of the nation of Japan began. With the arrival of monsters called Moju, Japanese people went extinct, and the nation was transformed into a lawless land occupied by armed forces and criminal syndicates. Yahiro is one of the few remaining. Having gained immortality from dragon’s blood, he spends each lonely day as a “salvager,” transporting artwork out of the uninhabited ruins of Tokyo…until one day, a pair of twin art dealers request that he salvage a particularly powerful and mysterious item.

Hollow Regalia (novel)

Explore a universe run amok in The Worlds of Borderlands

Dark Horse Books and Gearbox Entertainment have announced The Worlds of Borderlands, a new encyclopedia and de facto guide to Pandora, the crazy cast of characters who live there, and what life’s really like surviving on the surrounding planets.

The Worlds of Borderlands features art and trivia related to the guns, vehicles, ships, companies, and adventurers of the world-spanning Borderlands universe.

Available online and in select stores beginning March 15, 2023, The Worlds of Borderlands is a full-color hardcover art book from Rick Barba. Starting today, the art book is available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop or bookstore for $29.99 USD.

The Worlds of Borderlands

Underrated: A Once Crowded Sky

This week we’re revisiting a previous entry in the series with Tom King’s A Once Crowded Sky.


This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: A Once Crowded Sky


It’s no secret how much I love comics. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

While most pretty much all of the comics I read can, to varying degrees, be placed on the superhero side of things, sometimes I’ll pick up the odd non-superhero comic.  I’m a big fan of the modern comic book re-imaginings of the early pulp heroes such as The Black Bat, The Spider, and The Phantom, although one could argue their closeness to the superhero genre renders the example moot, so let me be blunt; the point I am poorly trying to make is that I love superhero stories (of all varieties) in my comics more than any other type of story. 

Amazingly enough, I also read books.

If you look at my book shelf you’ll see a lot of fantasy, sword and sorcery, and historical fiction. There isn’t much set within the last one hundred years or so that I tend to pick up and read. I can think of, maybe, twenty books (or series) that I’ve read in the last fifteen years or so that are set within the last century, and only a handful of them were based around superheroes. One was an average Wolverine tale I read on Kindle, one is the hugely enjoyable Dresden Files series and another was A Once Crowded Sky by some dude named Tom King, which  is the subject of today’s column.

Although the story wasn’t quite mind blowing, it was remarkably well told, and had some incredible ideas within its pages. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book is actually the way it is told. In a book with multiple point of view characters, each character’s point of view is laid out like a comic book; the book is set up like a text version of a collected comic book tie-in event across multiple issues. It’s a brilliant way to tie in the obvious influence and homage to the four colour medium, as is the occasional comic book page within the book itself.

A Once Crowded Sky is a relative anomaly for me; it’s a superhero story that I read, and enjoyed, that wasn’t in a comic book. Now, my sample size of superhero books is obviously incredibly small compared with that of superhero comics, but the thing I must stress here is it isn’t that I’ve had no access to superhero books, it’s that I simply have no desire to read about superheroes in any other medium that isn’t a comic book, and I have no idea why.

Maybe it’s because up until A Once Crowded Sky every superhero book I’ve looked as has been hard to justify the price tag. I found A Once Crowded Sky for $3 on a table of reduced hardcover books at a chain book store – it’s easily worth four times that amount, but would I have looked at it for more than $3? Seeing as how it took me two days to decide to pick the book up even for about the price of a comic, well, then probably not. Maybe I don’t like superhero books because they lack the visual nature of comics, which probably does have something to do with it, but I’m more then happy reading the Dresden Files novels and graphic novels, but then the Dresden Files and superheroes occupy two different genres. Maybe, and most likely, it’s because there simply hasn’t been much buzz about any superhero books.

So what’s A Once Crowded Sky about, and why should you read it?

“The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice–PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.”

Tom King’s debut novel has some lofty ideas, and some great presentation ideas that more than out weigh the at times overly wordy moments as King at times loses himself in backstory and internal monologues. There are flashes of his later brilliance in this 2012 novel, and it’s fascinating to see how he’s grown as a writer since this book. Despite having some rather interesting names for his characters (no, that’s not food – that’s my tongue in my cheek), it’s not hard to identify where their inspiration came from. Soldier of Fortune and Captain America do bear more than a slight similarity, after all.

But by using his own versions of these characters we’re all so familiar with, King is able to tell the story he wants without worrying about the guiding hand of either of the big two publishers impacting his story.

What we’re left with at the end of the day is a solid, and very enjoyable superhero novel written by a man who would go on to write some utterly fantastic comics. This book isn’t on that level, but it’s still well worth checking out should you come across it.

Someday, hopefully soon, superhero books will have their own section in the book store and when they do, that’s where you’ll find me.


Join us next week when we explore another Underrated aspect that may be at best tangentially related to comics!

Set sail with The Art of Skull and Bones

Capitalizing on their expertise in Naval Combat, Ubisoft Singapore brings you a new journey on the high seas in Skull and BonesThe Art of Skull and Bones hardcover, published by Dark Horse in partnership with Ubisoft, contains beautifully designed concept art, detailed character breakdowns and various ship and weapon designs.

Experience the journey from outcast to infamous pirate in The Art of Skull and Bones! Explore life on the Indian Ocean with this high-end coffee table book featuring never-before-seen art and discover a world filled with beauty and danger.

Dark Horse and Ubisoft invite readers to enter a perilous paradise with The Art of Skull and Bones, collecting a bounty of concept art and creator commentary detailing the treacherous adventures that await on the high seas!

The Art of Skull and Bones hardcover will be in bookstores December 20th, 2022 and comic stores December 21st, 2022. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore for $49.99.

The Art of Skull and Bones

Yen Press Acquires Five New Titles

Yen Press has announced the acquisition of five new titles, including three manga (School-Live! Letters; Assorted Entanglements; SOTUS) and two novels (Hirano and KagiuraBride of the Barrier Master). This highly anticipated lineup of debuts is comprised of a variety of genres. Bride of the Barrier Master is set to release January 2023, while the three others are slated for February 2023.

School-Live! Letters

Story by Norimitsu Kaihou
Art by Sadoru Chiba

Now that the apocalypse is over, the former School Living Club members moved on to new stages in their lives. With each member walking a different path, letters help everyone remember the past, live for the present, and stay connected with each other.

School-Live! Letters

Hirano and Kagiura (novel)

Original Story and Character Design by Shou Harusono
Story by Kotoko Hachijo

It all started when Akira Kagiura moved into the dorms. He was supposed to have a normal roommate relationship with a normal guy, so the last thing he expected was someone like Taiga Hirano. Although his first impression was of a bad boy delinquent, Hirano’s mother hen nature quickly turned it on its head. And so, over the course of the first six months together, he falls hard for the perfect man…

From the creator of Sasaki and Miyano, comes the beginning of Hirano and Kagiura’s love story!

Hirano and Kagiura (novel)

Assorted Entanglements

By Mikanuji

Discover a variety of stories about women’s love, starting with Iori, a twenty-eight-year-old office worker who sets out to drown her love and job sorrows in booze. When she wakes up next to someone, she can’t believe her partner was Minami, a worker at the bar who doesn’t want to forget what they have!

Assorted Entanglements

Bride of the Barrier Master (novel)

By Kureha

Long ago, Japan was protected by five crystal pillars. Though eighteen-year-old Hana Ichise was born to one of the branch families that defend the pillars using supernatural abilities, she has lived in the shadow of her brilliant twin sister, Hazuki, from a young age. When Hana finally awakens to powers of her own one day, however, she opts to hide them out of a desire to complete her high school education in peace. That is, until Saku Ichinomiya, the arrogant yet powerful head of her family’s primary branch, falls for Hana and forces her into signing a marriage contract with him. But can Hana rise to her true potential under the wing of her husband-to-be?

Bride of the Barrier Master (novel)

SOTUS

Story by BitterSweet
Art by Kei

SOTUS is an educational system in which upperclassmen impose “trials” upon underclassmen. Arthit, leader of the engineering seniors, plans to put his new juniors through a harsh training regimen to earn the symbol of their major—the gear. However, a first-year named Kongpob causes new headaches for Arthit when he declares he’ll snatch the gear from him: “I’ll make you my wife!”

SOTUS

Yen Press Announces Kiwamu Sato’s Tezcatlipoca

Yen Press has announced the future release of Tezcatlipoca, a brilliant and compelling crime novel by Kiwamu Sato that has won the 165th Naoki Prize as well as the 34th Yamamoto Shugoro Prize. No stranger to prestigious awards, Kiwamu Sato’s debut work QJKJQ was the winner of the Edogawa Ranpo Award with his followup work Ank: a mirroring ape winning the Haruhiko Oyabu Award and the Eiji Yoshikawa Literature Newcomer Award. The Yen On release of Tezcatlipoca marks the first of Kiwamu Sato’s prestigious novels to be translated to English.

In the wake of a brutal war with a rival cartel, a certain drug lord flees Mexico and ends up halfway around the world, where he runs into a Japanese organ broker doing business in Jakarta. After their fateful meeting, the two of them travel to Japan in order to establish a new business in the organ trade. There, the former cartel leader takes a young, lonely boy under his wing. These three lives gradually become inextricably entangled in a web of crime, violence, and human flesh…

Kiwamu Sato’s Tezcatlipoca has received critical acclaim from other lauded Japanese authors, such as Miyuki Miyabe (Brave StoryAll She Was Worth) and Shion Miura (The Great PassageThe Easy Life In Kamusari), as well as celebrated figures in the world of Japanese media, such as Mamoru Oshii (director of Ghost in the Shell) and Paru Itagaki (mangaka of BEASTARS). As the publisher of prestigious Japanese works, such as Keigo Higashino’s The Miracles of the Namiya General Store and Tomihiko Morimi’s The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, Yen On is thrilled to welcome Tezcatlipoca and Kiwamu Sato to the English-reading world.

Tezcatlipoca will be available in hardcover and digital in February 2023.

Tezcatlipoca

Binc Announces Return of Macmillan Professional Development Scholarships Program

BINC Foundation

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation and Macmillan Publishers have announced the return of the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship. This scholarship program provides $500 to booksellers traditionally underrepresented within the industry to attend their region’s fall trade show. Due to Covid-19, this program was paused in 2020 and 2021.

This scholarship that will strengthen the bookselling industry by providing support to booksellers already working hard to positively impact their communities. 

Each scholarship can be used to cover the cost of travel, lodging, and meals for one bookseller at each regional independent bookseller association’s fall trade show.

To be eligible to apply for a scholarship, a bookseller must have worked in a bookstore as a regular full or part-time employee for a minimum of 90 days. The bookstore must be a member in good standing of one of the regional trade associations. The applicant will answer three brief essay questions and the winners will be selected via an anonymous review process by a panel of publishers from Macmillan and members of the Binc program committee.

Booksellers can find out more details and apply at https://forms.gle/H1FZ2R2haaPvjmhi7

Eligibility
Applicants must fall into one of the categories and criteria below. 

Categories:

  • People of color, defined as people of African/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American/Indigenous descent
  • People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer
  • People with disabilities (includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses).

Criteria:

  • The applicant’s store must be a member of one of the regional IBA organizations.
  • The applicant must be a regular part-time or full-time employee of the bookstore.
  • Applicant must be currently employed and have 90 days of continuous employment with the bookstore.

Applications are now open. The deadline to apply is August 15th, 2022 by 5:00 pm ET.

Learn what it takes to join their ranks. Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual of The Dora Milaje out in September

Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual of The Dora Milaje

Publishing September 20, 2022, Protectors of Wakanda: A History and Training Manual of The Dora Milaje, by Karama Horne, takes you inside Wakanda’s elite, all-female guard—to learn what it takes to join their ranks.

In this exclusive, in-world manual, you’ll step inside this elite society of women warriors and discover what it’s like to train as member of the Dora Milaje. Recruited from across all tribes, the selected initiates undergo intense training, both physical and mental.

Passed down from elder Dora to initiates, with entries by General Okoye, Princess Shuri, and Queen Mother Ramonda, Protectors of Wakanda reveals not only the history and foundation of the unit, but collects the strategy, weapons, and combat training as well as the code of honor and nuances of service required to protect the Black Panther and the nation of Wakanda.

Added commentary and guidance from notable warriors, such as Mistress Zola, Ayo, Aneka and M’yra, fill the margins of this treasured text.

Find out if you have what it takes to become a member of the Dora Milaje and bring honor to your tribe!

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