Tag Archives: manga

Kohta Hirano’s Hellsing Gets a Deluxe Edition in July 2020

The international sensation returns in deluxe hardcover editions, collecting Kohta Hirano’s manga masterpiece for the first time in its original 7×10 serialized format. Renowned for its action-packed approach to horror, Hellsing is gruesome fun turned up to eleven!

With supernatural horrors haunting the streets and preying upon humanity, the shadowy Hellsing Organization fights back against hell’s minions. And Hellsing has a secret weapon in their arsenal: the vampire lord Alucard, whose terrifying powers are needed more than ever as an army of the undead marches on London beneath the banner of the swastika!

Hellsing Deluxe Edition Volume 1 goes on sale July 1, 2020, and is available for pre-order. This 664-page collection will retail for $49.99.

Hellsing Deluxe Edition Volume 1

Graphic Novels Suck!

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1

One benefit of transitioning from the corporate world to the library world is that I get to work with and handle comics (or graphic novels as they like to call them.) on a daily basis. I mean I literally got paid to order and enter the ordering information for the first volume of Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garron’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man comic today and then at my other job at a public library, I got to show a couple of kids (whose first library card I made.) where the Pokemon “comics” were. It’s pretty awesome, but there’s a bittersweet lining to it too.

And that lining is that in the minds of many of the people I interact with at work, whether that’s colleagues or patrons, comics are still solely for kids. Yes, I know it’s a cliche, but it was corroborated by Eric Reynolds, the co-publisher of Fantagraphics in an interview with Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg of the Cartoonist Kayfabe podcast where he talked about how well comics by Dav Pilkey or Raina Telgemaier were selling, but how those sales don’t translate to the adult or even the YA market. Kids comics (and manga) are booming, but unless you’re already into the world of comics, or it’s something evergreen like Watchmen, Maus, or Fun Home, it seems like comics are not a viable reading material for, say, post-college age adults.

And I hate that I don’t feel empowered to recommend comics and graphic novels to adults at my work unless they’re already checking one out. For example, I told a patron who checked out Manhattan Projects to check out Jonathan Hickman’s recent X-Men work and that we would probably be ordering the complete hardcover in the winter. However, if a patron likes spy novels, I probably won’t recommend Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet or Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s The Coldest City. I think a lot of this is how the graphic novels are shelved. (In the teens and kids section at one job, and hidden away on the 2nd floor at another.) But it might be a personal thing too.

In my mind as a comics critic/fan and librarian-in-training, I have two wolves inside me. One is out here trying to champion comics as either serious literature or something that can appeal to everyone like young adult dystopian novels, airport novels, or Oprah’s Book Club nonfiction. (She makes some pretty great choices.) Then, there’s another, admittedly bad, wolf that relishes in comics’ history and reputation as the “bastard child of art and commerce” and doesn’t give a shit if the people around me look down on the medium or see it as only fit for children and people, who need help learning how to read. (This is hilariously reductive because comics require both verbal and visual literacy to be understood.) I also enjoy having a little fun and saying things like the latest issue of Batman has more literary value than anything James Patterson and Tom Clancy. (It’s true, especially when Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison were writing the book.)

Batman "Enough"

What both wolves really like to come to blows over is the term “graphic novel”. The good wolf likes to emphasize it when talking to patrons because it reminds them of a currently respected medium. (The novel, which used to be seen as trash once upon a time.) The bad wolf likes to say that it’s a meaningless term, especially for trade paperbacks of ongoing series with multiple writers and artists. Both wolves agree that graphic non-fiction, memoirs, and medicine belong with their respective subjects and not with “graphic novels” because that makes so sense. Would you shelve a non-fiction book about anxiety next to J.D. Robb’s latest vapid thriller?

If I had my way, I would call anything that told a sequential story in both words and images a comic, plain and simple. However, graphic novel does have some marketing value even though some of the ways it’s used and overused are utterly banal. But, hey, if leads to a comic being checked out, I’ll use the word.

I have high hopes that as film and television shows of different genres that are comic book adaptations continue to be released, members of Generation Z keep reading comics even after their teachers and other adults say “They’re below their reading level” (This adds to their punk rock value, to be honest.), and cartoonists like Gene Luen Yang and Ed Piskor speak at prestigious book events (Aka they mainly focus on prose.) that comics will end up being just another item on the reading menu. Maybe, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will get elected president in 2024 and invite Alan Moore (He’ll probably decline.) and Dave Gibbons to chat Watchmen.

But, for now, I need to dig a little deeper and get better at recommending comics to people who aren’t children, teenagers, “geeks”, or fans of science fiction and fantasy. (I got a librarian at my work, who read Mort Weisinger-edited Superman books and 1960s Marvel comics as a child, seriously hooked on Saga.) I need to be a little less precious about semantics and use the term “graphic novel” as a tool for promotion instead of something that numbs my brain and makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I need to understand that some people might not have the visual literacy levels to read and enjoy comics, which is okay.

And my final takeaway is that I need to read more manga. Seriously, I went to a Barnes and Noble in the Louisville, Kentucky suburbs and there were four full rows of manga. Because of the prevalence of public transportation and the lack of a Comics Code incident leading to one genre taking over the industry due to censorship, manga of all genres is easy to obtain in Japan, and maybe it’ll be like that the United States. But, for now, it’s time to crack open Uzumaki by Junji Ito. (Once I knock off all the others on my “to be read” list).

The Drops of God Manga to be Completed in English for the First Time via comiXology Originals

Today, comiXology and Kodansha Comics announced they will complete the international bestseller The Drops of God manga series in English for the first time. The first eleven volumes debut today and can be read digitally as part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive content at no additional cost for members of Amazon Prime via their Prime Reading benefit, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited, and for purchase on Kindle and comiXology. Thirty-four of the forty-four volume series have never been translated in English. Today’s release sees the previously published volumes 1-8 re-edited with new cover art and volumes 9-11 appearing today in English for the first time ever. More volumes will be added at a later date.

Created and written by Tadashi Agi, a pseudonym for siblings Shin and Yuko Kibayashi, with artwork by Shu OkimotoThe Drops of God has had an unprecedented impact on the international wine market and the various wines featured throughout the series. When world-renowned wine critic Kanzaki Yutaka passes away, his will reveals that his fortune of a wine collection isn’t automatically bequeathed to his only son Kanzaki Shizuku, a junior employee at a Japanese beverage company whose main focus is selling beer. In order to take ownership of his legacy and the inheritance, he must correctly identify and describe thirteen wines, the first twelve heaven-sent wines known as the “Twelve Apostles” and the thirteenth known as the “Drops of God,” while competing against the stellar young wine critic, Toomine Issei.  With determination, a strong sense of taste and smell, and an uncanny ability to describe his experiences, Shizuku submerges himself in the world of wine to try to solve its mysteries and defeat Issei.

The Drops of God

Around the Tubes

Powers of X #6

It’s a new week and we’re getting prepared for Baltimore Comic Con. Who’s going? Sound off below! While you get the week started, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CBLDF – The 11 Top Comics in Classrooms (& Free Resources for Each) – This is a pretty great collection of resources.

ComicBook – James Gunn Says WB Offered Him “Basically Whatever” He Wanted – As they should.

Reviews

ICv2 – Cats of the Louvre
Seatle Pi –
Grass
Geek Dad –
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity #1
Talking Comics –
Powers of X #6
The Guardian –
Rusty Brown
ICv2 –
The Seventh Voyage

VIZ Media Will Publish Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga

VIZ Media adds the world-renowned Star Wars franchise to its publishing catalog with the acquisition of Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga.

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga is scheduled for release in early 2020. The anthology will feature a collection of stories by a cadre of renowned manga luminaries that include Akira Himekawa, Haruichi, Akira Fukaya, Takashi Kisaki, and Subaru. Akira Himekawa created the bestselling The Legend of Zelda manga franchise, inspired by the classic Nintendo puzzle-solving, role-playing video games. Haruichi is the creator of Leia Organa: Ordeal of the Princess, an official Star Wars Line Webcomic based on the YA Novel, Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray.

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga is adapted from the hit Star Wars novel, Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi—The Legends of Luke Skywalker, written by the Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy award-winning author Ken Liu.

For additional information on anime and manga titles available from VIZ Media, please visit viz.com.

New York Times Reinstates Graphic Books Bestseller List

The New York Times

After removing the bestseller list for graphic books in 2017, the New York Times has announced its returns.

The “Best Sellers team” will begin track Graphic Books, which includes fiction, nonfiction, children’s, adults, and manga, as well as Market Paperbacks. There will also be two new monthly children’s lists, Middle Grade Paperback, and Young Adult Paperback. The monthly Science and Sports are being retired as the lists are represented elsewhere.

The addition of those lists is due to “reader interest and market strength,” showing even without the New York Times bestseller list for two years the impact on graphic book sales has likely been negligible.

The monthly lists will begin to be published online October 2 and October 20 in print.

Kodansha’s Vertical announces Nisioisin + Oh!great’s Bakemonogatari manga

BAKEMONOGATARI

Vertical, an imprint of Kodansha USA Publishing, announced the Volume 1 debut of one of the most highly anticipated manga publications of the year: the graphic-novel adaptation of Japanese literary phenomenon Nisioisin‘s Bakemonogatari novel series.

One of the most exciting young novelists in Japan today, Nisioisin is best known in the West for his literary adaptation of the Death Note manga and his bestselling Monogatari novels, the latter all published by Vertical. Monogatari, a uniquely imagined serial blend of noir and fantasy, has gone on to pop-culture prominence in the form of hit anime series, video games, merchandise, and now … manga. Oh!great is a longtime manga legend, famed for his incredibly polished style, best captured in his classic series Air Gear (published by Kodansha Comics) and Tenjo Tenge.

The Bakemonogatari manga represents a unique collaboration between these giants in their fields. It opens with the story of high school student Koyomi Araragi, who catches a girl named Hitagi Senjougahara as she falls, but—much to his surprise—she doesn’t weigh anything … at all. Koyomi is about to learn the truth that monsters have been here since the beginning. Always. Everywhere.

VIZ Media Reveals September’s Anime and Manga Releases

This month, science fiction fans are invited to dive into the home media release of Infini-T Force, the superhero-action series that unites the four legendary heroes Gatchaman, Polimar, Casshan, and Tekkaman. All twelve episodes of the series will be available in one blu-ray set.

In partnership with The Pokémon Company International, the Pokémon: Black & White Movie Collection home media release arrives with four feature films that will delight Pokémon fans of all ages. 

New publishing debuts for September kick off with the Assassination Classroom Complete Box Set, which collects Yusei Matsui’s hit action comedy about a tentacled teacher with superpowers and a heart of gold.

VIZ Signature debuts for the month include Cats of the Louvre, the latest masterpiece from Eisner Award–winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. No Guns Life is a cyberpunk series in which the protagonist’s head is replaced with a giant gun… and his memories erased. In the action-packed comedy The Way of the Househusband, a former yakuza legend desires to walk the straight and narrow. Finally, Levius debuts as a complete hardcover edition of the science fiction action series about cyborg arena fighters.

New Home Media Releases for September:

INFINI-T FORCE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

Blu-ray MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN · Available September 10th 

When an interdimensional attack plunges the defiant, thrill-seeking teen Emi into a city-wide assault, a band of mysterious heroes from lost worlds appears to save her. But it seems both heroes and villains have their sights on The Case, a magical object with transmutational powers, currently in Emi’s possession! Only the combined strength of Gatchaman, Casshan, Polimar and Tekkaman could be enough to stop the man known as “Z” from destroying not only Emi’s world, but countless others.

INFINI-T FORCE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

POKÉMON: BLACK & WHITE MOVIE COLLECTION

Blu-ray MSRP: $24.98 U.S. / $29.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $19.98 U.S. / $24.99 CAN Available September 17th  

Sets each contain the following four POKÉMON animated feature films on two Blu-rays or two DVDs:

POKÉMON THE MOVIE: BLACK—VICTINI AND RESHIRAM and POKÉMON THE MOVIE: WHITE—VICTINI AND ZEKROM

When Ash and his friends enter a battle competition in Eindoak Town, they meet the Mythical Pokémon Victini, who becomes their newest friend. But disaster strikes when the misguided wanderer Damon seizes Victini for his own plans! Can Ash prove himself a hero and earn the help of the Legendary Reshiram—or Zekrom—to rescue Victini and save Eindoak Town? Two legends…and two versions of the story! Follow them both in POKÉMON THE MOVIE: BLACK—VICTINI AND RESHIRAM and POKÉMON THE MOVIE: WHITE—VICTINI AND ZEKROM! It’s twice the Pokémon adventure!

POKÉMON: BLACK & WHITE MOVIE COLLECTION

POKÉMON THE MOVIE: KYUREM VS. THE SWORD OF JUSTICE 

Ash and Pikachu, along with their friends Iris and Cilan, are on a train headed to the next stop on their journey. From the train, Ash spots an injured Pokémon they don’t recognize. They’re planning a rescue when the train is attacked by the Legendary Kyurem! The Mythical Pokémon Keldeo is on a mission, to rescue its friends—Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, the Legendary Pokémon known as the Swords of Justice—from Kyurem’s icy clutches. But Kyurem has other ideas, and when it transforms into Black Kyurem or White Kyurem for greater power, things look grim!

POKÉMON THE MOVIE: GENESECT AND THE LEGEND AWAKENED

A vast Pokémon habitat amid the hustle and bustle of the big city seems like the perfect new home for a group of five Genesect. The arrival of these Mythical Pokémon quickly becomes a problem, though: their nest threatens the city’s power supply, and they keep attacking those who approach it. When the Genesect are joined by the Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo—who sympathizes due to its own origins—things only become worse, and the confrontation quickly rages out of control. Can Ash and friends stop these two powerful Pokémon before they destroy the city?

New Publishing Releases for September:

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET

By Yusei Matsui
MSRP: $189.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens 
Available September 3rd

The complete bestselling Assassination Classroom series is now available in a boldly designed, value-priced box set! Includes all 21 volumes of this unique tale of a mysterious, smiley-faced, tentacled, superpowered teacher who guides a group of misfit students to find themselves—while doing their best to assassinate him. Action-packed, hilarious, and heartwarming, this title is famous for moving fans to tears through their laughter… Includes an exclusive, full-color, mini “yearbook” filled with images of favorite characters in different art styles and contexts (previously unreleased in the English editions).

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET By Yusei Matsui

CATS OF THE LOUVRE

By Taiyo Matsumoto
MSRP: $29.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Rated ‘T’ for Teens 
Available September 17th    

The world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris contains more than just the most famous works of art in history. At night, within its darkened galleries, an unseen and surreal world comes alive—a world witnessed only by the small family of cats that lives in the attic. Until now…

CATS OF THE LOUVRE

NO GUNS LIFE

By Tasuku Karasuma
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Available September 17th      

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun! With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

NO GUNS LIFE

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND

By Kousuke Oono
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens 
Available September 17th      

A former yakuza legend leaves it all behind to become your everyday househusband. But it’s not easy to walk away from the gangster life, and what should be mundane household tasks are anything but!

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND

LEVIUS

By Haruhisa Nakata
MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
Available September 17th    

It’s the 19th century, and the world has entered the Era of Rebirth, recovering from the devastating flames of war. The sport of mechanical martial arts has galvanized the nations. Cybernetically augmented fighters turn their blood into steam and their bodies into brutal fighting—and killing—machines. Young Levius is one of those arena battlers, hell-bent on winning in order to simply survive.

LEVIUS

Otakon Sees a Bigger Turnout in 2019 and Announces 2020 Dates Set

The preliminary attendance numbers for Otakon 2019 have been released and it’s up from 2018. Announced at the Con Feedback panel, the number is 28,472 which beats 2018’s 28,116. They’ll be releasing more details and an official number in the next couple of weeks.

The convention began in 1994 where it had 350 unique individuals and 875 turnstile. The highest attendance was in 2013 with 34,211 unique individuals and 107,500 turnstile. Having taken place in Baltimore, the convention moved to Washington, DC in 2017 where it saw a dip in attendance from the previous year’s 29,113 individuals to 24,894. 2018 saw an increase to 28,116.

2019’s preliminary 28,472 would make it the sixth highest attended show so far.

Otakon is an annual convention celebrating Asian pop culture like anime, manga, music, movies, video games, and its fandom.

Otakon 2020 takes place from July 31 to August 2.

Otakon 2020
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