Previews review January 2011

There isn’t a wealth of exciting new product in the current edition of the Previews catalog from Diamond Comics Distributors, so I thought I would try a little experiment. I’ll put forward three (uninspiring sounding) debuting titles and let you vote on which one I should try.

First up, from Digital Manga, we have the potentially odious The Beautiful Skies of Hou Ou High, written and illustrated by Arata Aki. When Kei’s mom finds out her daughter likes girls, she sends Kei to an all-boys’ high school to presumably de-gay her or something. Will it be charmingly subversive, or just gross? It originally ran in Mag Garden’s Comic Avarus, which doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. (Page 281.)

Are you perverse enough to subject me to the sparkly incoherence of Arina Tanemura? Is that even a question? Anyway, her new title from Viz is Sakura Hime: The Legend of Princess Sakura, and it’s about “the granddaughter of a mysterious moon princess who slew demons with her Blood Cherry Blossom sword.” Please don’t do this to me. It originally ran in Shueisha’s Ribon. (Page 321.)

There’s something about Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist (also Viz) that looks like trouble, and not the fun kind of trouble. It’s about an orphaned boy raised by a priest who learns that he’s one of Satan’s bastard children. (The orphan, not the priest, at least as far as I know.) So the orphan decides to become an exorcist so he can fight his dad. Manga plus Catholicism is always… awkward. It originally ran in Shueisha’s Jump Square. (Page 322.)

Please vote for one of the above in the comments before January 15, 2011, and I will dutifully order the title that garners the highest number of votes through my local comic shop.

Mercifully, there are tons of new volumes of great ongoing series, which I will now dutifully list:

  • Itazura na Kiss vol. 5, written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada, Digital Manga, page 280
  • Salt Water Taffy vol. 4: Caldera’s Revenge, written and illustrated by Matthew Loux, Oni Press, page 302
  • V.B. Rose vol. 12, written and illustrated by Banri Hiaka, Tokyopop, page 313
  • Cross Game vol. 3, written and illustrated by Mitsuru Adachi, Viz, page 324
  • Twin Spica vol. 6, written and illustrated by Kou Yaginuma, Vertical, page 327
  • Bunny Drop vol. 3, written and illustrated by Yumi Unita, Yen Press, page 329

By the way, Viz’s new web site is terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

Update: Lissa (Kuriousity) Pattillo has some thoughts on Viz’s terrible new web site.