Previews review April 2011

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, let’s check out the choice items in the current Previews catalog, shall we?

Eden: It’s an Endless World! vol. 13, written and illustrated by Hiroki Endo, Dark Horse, item code APR 11 0039: It’s been ages since Dark Horse released a volume of this often excellent science-fiction, as it apparently doesn’t fly off of the shelves. I’m glad to see them sticking with it, at least whenever finances permit. It originally ran in Kodansha’s Afternoon.

A Zoo in Winter, written and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi, Fanfare/Ponent Mon, item code APR 11 1049: Taniguchi takes an autobiographical look at his early days as a manga-ka. For my tastes, this isn’t the most promising subject for any comic, but I always admire Taniguchi’s work, even if the specific topic triggers a lukewarm reaction. It originally ran in Shogakukan’s Big Comic.

The Quest for the Missing Girl, written and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi, Fanfare/Ponent Mon, item code APR 11 1050: This is one of Taniguchi’s best pieces of genre work, combining his obsessions with mountaineering and noir, and it’s being offered again for those who missed it the first time around. It originally ran in Big Comic.

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei vol. 9, written and illustrated by Koji Kumeta, Kodansha Comics, item code APR 11 1084: Of all of the resumptions in this month’s listings from Kodansha, this one fills my heart with the most gladness. It provides often blistering satire of contemporary Japanese culture and has a sprawling cast of insane schoolgirls. It runs in Kodansha’s Weekly Shônen Magazine.

A Treasury of 20th Century Murder vol. 4: The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti, written and illustrated by Rick Geary, NBM, item code APR 11 1110: Gifted cartoon historian Geary takes a look at the highly controversial trial of two accused anarchists.

Chibisan Date vol. 1, written and illustrated by Hidekaz Himaruya, Tokyopop, item code APR 11 1166: I admit to being generally suspect of Tokyopop’s new arrivals, but this one immediately struck me in a positive way: “On the crescent-shaped island of Nantucket lives Seiji, a young Japanese artist pursuing his dreams. This charming, slice-of-life story filled with warmth and pathos follows a cast of fascinating characters on the island.” There are some gorgeous sample pages in the catalog, and the plot sounds right up my alley. It’s running in Gentosha’s Comic Birz. Update: It’s been brought to my attention that Himaruya is also the creator of the very popular Hetalia Axis Powers, also from Tokyopop. I haven’t calculated precisely how this influences my enthusiasm for Chibisan Date, but I suspect it lowers it.

There are new volumes of two great series from Vertical:

  • Chi’s Sweet Home vol. 6, written and illustrated by Konami Kanata, item code APR 11 1205, originally serialized in Kodansha’s Morning.
  • Twin Spica vol. 8, written and illustrated by Kou Yaginuma, item code APR 11 1206, originally serialized in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper.

La Quinta Camera, written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, Viz Media, item code APR 11 1230: I believe I’ve mentioned this one before, and there may have been squeezing involved simply because I’m such a fan of Ono’s work. It’s slice of life about five men that live in an Italian apartment building. It originally ran in Penguin Shobou’s Comic SEED!

In other Viz news, there are new volumes of several series that I love a great deal:

So, those are my picks. What looks good to you? And be sure to help me pick a boys’-love title and vote in this month’s dubious manga poll!