Or as I like to call it, "Poverty Month"

It’s Manga Month again in Diamond’s Previews catalog, and there’s quite a mix of stuff for varied tastes. Oddly enough, there’s isn’t a Manga Month spread at the front pointing to items of particular interest or even any indication of the occasion on the cover, but why dwell?

Dark Horse has been making some interesting choices lately, stretching further and further out of its seinen mold. This month, they’re offering four books from Akiko Ikeda’s Dayan Collection series of children’s books featuring “the mischievous cat… and his woodland friends.” The illustrations look gorgeous. Dark Horse has a bunch of preview pages up at its site. (Pages 30 and 31.)

Del Rey really gets on the Manga Month bus. I’m most interested in the first volume of Faust, “a fiction magazine showcasing innovative short works by young authors. Deb Aoki interviewed Faust editor Katsushi Ota over at About.com not too long ago which really whetted my interest. (Page 256.)

In addition to new volumes of lots of series I love, there’s also the debut of the Odd Thomas graphic novel, In Odd We Trust, by Dean Koontz and Queenie (The Dreaming) Chan. I haven’t read Koontz’s Odd Thomas novels, but it’s about a guy who talks to the dead, and it’s drawn by Chan, so I’m almost sure to like it. (Page 256.)

Drawn & Quarterly’s third collection of the works of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Good-Bye (Page 283), will undoubtedly get lots of well-deserved attention, but I’m more drawn to the possibilities of Seichi Hayashi’s Red Colored Elegy. It follows “the quietly melancholic lives of a young couple struggling to make ends meet” during “a politically turbulent and culturally vibrant decade that promised but failed to delivery new possibilities.” (Page 284.)

I’m only going by what Go! Comi’s solicitation tells me, but I like the concept behind Shino Taira and Yuki Ichiju’s Bogle, promising a contemporary teen-girl Robin Hood. (Page 293.)

Netcomics offers another title with a josei vibe, Wann’s Talking About. “Three lonely women in search of “happily ever after” in one modern city filled to the brim with difficult men.” (Page 316.)

That sound you just heard was probably Kate Dacey’s head exploding. Viz is offering a second edition of Rumiko Takahashi’s One-Pound Gospel, forbidden romance between a budding boxer and a beautiful nun. (Page 375.)

General head explosion will probably result from the announcement of two fat collections of Kazuo (The Drifting Classroom) Umezu’s Cat Eyed Boy. Horror fans will undoubtedly want to take note, as Umezu is an insanely gifted practitioner in this genre. Here’s some early, illustrated enthusiasm from Same Hat! Same Hat! The softcover books offer about 500 pages a piece for $24.99, but you can hack about a third off of that price if you pre-order at Amazon. (Page 377.)

In addition to a fair number of former Ice Kunion titles, Yen Press deliver’s the first volume of a manga that instantly hooks me with its title: Shoulder-a-Coffin, Kuro! by Satoko Kiyuduki. I don’t even care what it’s about. (Page 379.)

In the realm of comics not from Japan, there’s still plenty of interest. Phil and Kaja Foglio and Cheyenne Wright offer the seventh volume of Girl Genius: Agatha and the Voice of the Castle. I really enjoy this funny adventure series, which is also available online. (Page 203.)

Based on the strength of La Perdida, I’ll read just about anything by Jessica Abel, even if it’s about underemployed hipster vampires. Abel collaborates with Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece on Life Sucks from First Second. (Page 289.)

I really need to read Matthew Loux’s Sidescrollers (Oni Press), which has gotten tons of praise. Loux has a new book coming from Oni called Salt Water Taffy. The new quarterly series follows a bizarre family vacation to a small fishing port in Maine, and it looks like it will be a lot of fun. (Page 317.)

New comics from Hope Larson always make me happy. Her latest is Chiggers from Simon and Schuster, which promises friendship crises at summer camp. Larson is one of the most imaginative visual storytellers around, so it should offer an intriguing on familiar-sounding material. (Page 337.)