Monday, July 28, 2008

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/26

This week saw a big box from Yen Press (with the first issue of their new monthly manga magazine, Yen Plus, along with a pile of books), along with a few other things. Considering every publisher that could be sending me things was madly preparing for Comic-Con, I'm surprised I got anything this week. But here's what I did see:

The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau, the fourth book of the Ember series, coming from Random House Children's Books in August. The gigantic publicity machinery is just gearing up for the movie version of the first book in the series, so having a new book in the series out right now is excellent timing. I'm a bit surprised myself, since I didn't know there had even been a third book -- I read the first two and had them in the book club back at my old job, and even the second one was slightly unnecessary. (The first book was about getting out of an underground country long after an apocalypse; the second was about settling on the surface and learning to live with the people already there. Seems to me that any further books would just be the same thing.)

Jumping into the big Yen box, the first thing I pulled out was the fourth volume of Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning by Kyo Shirodaira and Eta Mizuno, coming (like just about everything else in that box) in July. I've reviewed both the second volume and the third volume of this series as part of my regular Manga Friday column for ComicMix.

Another continuing series from Yen this month is Shiro Ihara's Alice on Deadlines, the third volume of which is about to hit stores. This is a series I like probably more than I should; I reviewed both the first and second volumes as part of my ComicMix column. Don't be surprised if I review this one as well; I'm a sucker for this series.

And Yen also has the second volume of Kaze No Hana this month, by Ushio Mizta and Akiyoshi Ohta. I'll warn you that the first volume made my head hurt -- that may only say something about me, though.

Yen also has some brand-new series; launching this month is Suzunari!, by Shoko Iwami. It's a 4-panel manga about a typical teenage girl (yadda yadda yadda, insert shoujo manga boilerplate #38943 here) whose life is suddenly turned upside down when a cat-eared double suddenly appears in her room one morning. It looks intensely goofy, but that can be fun.

Also coming with a first volume this month from Yen is S.S. Astro by Negi Banno. It's another 4-panel series, set primarily in the teacher's lounge of a Tokyo high school and revolving around four female teachers (who, I suppose, in the way of such stories everywhere and of all times, are vastly different from each other in somewhat stereotypical ways).

Yen also published the second volume of Forest of Gray City by Uhm JungHyum in July. I think it's a teenage romance comic, since the back-cover copy is entirely taken up by descriptions of "Person X learns more about Person Y, and X has to rethink everything in her life."

And then there's the second volume of Park SoHee's Goong. It's another teenage comic, about a girl who has just married the crown prince of something or other (something Korean, I'm guessing, given the regalia and the book's pedigree), and is trying to adjust.

Something called Legend -- by Kara and Woo SooJung -- is hitting its third volume this month. This one has swords and fighting, though it looks like the main characters are mostly female. (Though it can be difficult to tell from a quick scan of a manga what gender anyone is.)

Comic is a high school manga with a very generic title, but it's by Ha SiHyun, and it's just reached a third volume. Aparrently this one is a bout a teenage girl who won a manga contest, and now works with (and lives with?) an older creator -- who I suppose is grumpy and demanding, as all such mentor figures must be. (That's a question, actually -- is he a mentor figure, or a love interest, or both?)

This month also marks the fifth time around for The Antique Gift Shop, by Lee Eun. Poking through it, I'm not sure at all what this is about, but there's a weird, Gothy-looking family, and two people with blonde hair who I believe are the romantic leads.

I've already reviewed it, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Eddie Campbell's new graphic novel -- done with Dan Best -- The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard will be published by First Second on August 1st.

And last this week is the novelization of the new animated Star Wars movie, The Clone Wars, by Karen Traviss. Del Rey is publishing it on July 26th at the remarkably low hardcover price of $20.00. I'm really not sure what purpose novelizations serve in this ear, when DVDs come out almost instantaneously, but, if you want to know more about the story of the Clone Wars, Traviss is one of the more popular (and better, in my opinion) writers currently committing Wookiebooks.

No comments:

Post a Comment