Big Clay Pot
by Scott Mills
Ca. 200 BCE, Sun Kim, a clumsy pre-teen Korean girl, is banished from her village and makes her way to japan, where she is taken in by Kokoro, an aging widower. Kokoro teaches Sun how to care for herself, while Sun brings life and vitality back into Kokoro's life. Yeah, it sounds like it could be boring; but Mills's tale, told through a series of vignettes, is sweet and sometimes funny. His sketchy and oftimes minimal illustration is perfectly suited for the stories he is telling.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
The White Lama, book 1: Reincarnation
by Alexandro Jodorowsky & Georges Bess
After the Grand Lama Mipam dies, he is reincarnated in the form of Gabriel, an orphaned child of white explorers in Tibet. As Gabriel grows he is secretly trained by a monk, and after his adoptive father dies he journeys to join the monastary of the previous Grand Lama. But in the intervening years the monks have become corrupt, and as the first volume ends Gabriel learns of his true destiny. There is plenty of action to go around--particularly in Gabriel's adoptive father's life-long quest to destroy a Yeti--combined with philosophy and political intrigue. It's told in a modern style (no captions, no thought balloons) but never feels decompressed; in fact, Jodorowsky and Bess manage to put a lot of story into this first volume of 140 pages. Bess's art is attractive and tells the story well, although the coloring is a bit garish in places.
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
by Bryan Lee O'Malley
I'm mad. Why? I was really enjoying this until the last 30 pages or so, when the story went completely off the rocker. For the majority of the book it's a nice little slice of life story, as the titular Scott Pilgrim's life of slacker bliss is interrupted by dreams of a delivery girl whose life crosses his. Then, as the story reaches its climax, we're suddenly in a bad manga story where the characters exhibit heretofore unseen martial arts abilities and magical powers. It's... it's... dammit. It's like watching a romantic comedy, and in the last fifteen minutes it turns into an action flick with a car chase and explosions. I mean, what the %&^! was O'Malley thinking? I'm mad. Mad that such an enjoyable story was ruined in the end by the author. If you ignore the last 30 pages, this is a wonderful story. But they're there, and you can't ignore them.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)