Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New This Week: February 28, 2007

Based on the NCRL list for this week's comics shipping from Diamond, here are a few things to look for at the local comic shop later today:

The Pick of the Week is the first volume of Keiko Takemiya's classic sci-fi manga To Terra. It's very cool that Vertical brings out such classic manga in translation.

In other comics:

Antarctic have a new issue of Ninja High School (#147).

Boom! have the fifth issue of Hero Squared.

Dark Horse have the fifth volume of Path of the Assassin.

DC have the first Jack of Fables collection; a new Firestorm collection; a second Showcase Presents Green Lantern; and new issues of 52 (week 43), 100 Bullets (#81), Blue Beetle (#12), Firestorm (#33), Jack of Fables (#8), and Supergirl and the Legion (#27).

Drawn & Quarterly have the hardcover OGN Aya.

Evil Twin have the eighth issue of Action Philosophers, the "Senseless Violence Special."

Fantagraphics have the latest issue of The Comics Journal (#281).

IDW have a new issue of Fallen Angel (#13) and a second Fallen Angel collection.

Illusive Arts finally have the seventh issue of Dorothy.

Image have new issues of Noble Causes (#27) and The Walking Dead (#35).

Marvel have the final issue of Gaiman & Romita's Eternals (#7); Brian K. Vaughn's final issues on Doctor Strange: Oath (#5) and Runaways (#24); and new issues of Daredevil (#94), Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (#15), Wisdom (#3), and X-Factor (#16).

TokyoPop have the debut of Eric Wight's My Dead Girlfriend, and the seventh volume of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad.

Hope there's something good on the shelf for you!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! Matt Kindt's online serial Super Spy is completed, and will be collected in print courtesy of Top Shelf this summer.

ITEM! Bob Oksner knew how to draw women. Current comic artists please take note... (via Dirk)

ITEM! I sat down to listen to the latest DC Podcast, which was the audio from the DCU panel at NYCC. But after about 5 min. I decided that Dan Didio, who was emceeing the affair, was too darn annoying to listen to for fifty minutes.

ITEM! The latest Xpress Graphic Novel Reviews are up at Among the titles covered this time out are Gødland. Vol. 2, Nosatsu Junkie. Vol. 1, and Batman Year 100.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Yet Another Oscar Picks List

Here are my picks for tonight's Academy Awards:

Picture: Babel
Actress Leading: Helen Mirren
Actor Leading: Forest Whitaker
Actress Supporting: Jennifer Hudson
Actor Supporting: Eddie Murphy
Director: Martin Scorsese
Adapted Screenplay: The Departed
Original Screenplay: Babel
Animated Feature: Happy Feet
Art Direction: Dreamgirls
Cinematography: Children of Men
Costume Design: The Devil Wears Prada
Film Editing: Babel
Foreign Language: Pan's Labyrinth
Makeup: Pan's Labyrinth
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat (The Queen)
Original Song: Listen (Dreamgirls)
Sound Mixing: Dreamgirls
Sound Editing: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Visual Effects: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Animated Short: The Little Match Girl
Live Action Short: Eramos Pocos (One Too Many)
Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
Documentary Short Subject: Two Hands

(Note: This is a 'will win' list, not a 'should win' list.)

Tune in tonight to see if your favorites win!

Monkey Covers

Weird Wonder Tales #7Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Dr. Nagan gets his comeuppance on Larry Lieber & Vince Colletta's 1974 cover to Weird Wonder Tales #7.

(Standard disclaimer about pissed-off gorillas not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Go Read: Flytrap episode 2

The second installment of Sara Ryan's Flytrap is now available online. Art this time out is provided by Ron Chan, who does a great job.

(The first episode, with art by Steve Lieber, is also online.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

YACB Bulletins

ITEM! "Capes, flying, and eye lasers are important plot points to a kid." - Eric Powell talks about his upcoming gig on Action Comics.

ITEM! Saw Ghost Rider Saturday night with a group of friends. We laughed a lot. Not because the movie was trying to be funny, but because it was so ridiculous. They trotted out every single super-hero cliche, and possibly even invented a new one or two. It's one of those so-bad-it's-good movies if you're in the right frame of mind.

ITEM! When did scrotum become a bad word?

ITEM! My new favorite Webcomic is XKCD. Very funny.

New Library Comics: Week of February 12, 2007

Here's a list of comics that we added to our library collection last week:

Battaglia, Dino. Due racconti /Milano : Studio Michelangelo, 1998.

The book of boy trouble : gay boy comics with a new attitude /San Francisco, Calif. : Green Candy Press, c2006.

Castells, Ricard. Araia /Onil (Alicante) : Edicions de Ponent, [2003]

Giménez, Carlos, 1941- Los profesionales /Barcelona : Glénat, c2003- vol. 1

Giménez, Carlos, 1941- Paracuellos /Barcelona : Glénat, 2001- vol. 1

Hergé, 1907-1983. Cigars of the pharaoh /Brussels, Belgium : Casterman, 2006, c1984.

Hergé, 1907-1983. The blue lotus /Bruxelles : Casterman, c2006.

Kawashima, Yoshio. Gloom party /Carson, Calif. : Digital Manga ; London : Diamond [distributor], 2006.

Marzocchi, Leila. Niger /Seattle : Fantagraphics Books ; [Bologna, Italy?] : Coconino Press, c2006- no. 1

Nonaka, Eiji. Cromartie High School /Houston, Tex. : ADV Manga, 2005- vol. 1

Prado, Miguelanxo Tangencias. /Barcelona : Norma Editorial, 2006.

Sacco, Joe. But I like it /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics ; [S.l.] : Distributed in the U.S. by W.W. Norton, 2006.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monkey Covers

Hanna-Barbera Presents #4Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

Hokey jokes never go out of style, like on the 1995 cover to Hanna-Barbera Presents #4.

(Standard disclaimer about clueless cartoon gorillas not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Someone Else Has Probably Already Made This Observation

Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes #17So in looking at the two-page spread of the new Fortress of Solitude in last week's Action Comics Annual #10, I noticed that there are statues of the old (pre-Crisis/ZH/Reboot) Legion of Super-Heroes in there, not the current LoSH.

Which led me to a realization: The current Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes comic is probably set not in the future of 'New Earth' (i.e. the current DCU), but rather in the future of the 'New Parallel Earth' (or whatever they end up calling it) that is being hinted at.

This would explain why the Supergirl in SatLoSH is different than the one appearing in the modern day DCU. I also seem to recall some multiversing going on in the final issue of the old Legion when the new LoSH was introduced.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy(?) Valentines Day

Empty Love Stories Special

Cover to the Empty Love Stories Special by Ty Templeton from Funny Valentine Press.


Who Rules on Amazon?

I checked out the Comics & Graphic Novels bestsellers list on Amazon; I expected that, like in bookstores, manga would rule the day at Amazon, but that's not the case. Here are the current top selling Comics & Graphic Novels at Amazon (edited to remove things on the list which aren't actually comics or graphic novels):

  1. 300

  2. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3: Torn

  3. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

  4. Watchmen

  5. Lost Girls

  6. American Born Chinese

  7. Serenity: Those Left Behind

  8. Penny Arcade Volume 3: The Warsun Prophecies

  9. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels

  10. Fun Home

  11. Persepolis

  12. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

  13. V for Vendetta

  14. Understanding Comics

  15. Fables Vol. 8: Wolves

  16. The Walking Dead, Vol. 6: This Sorrowful Life

  17. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall

  18. The Complete Far Side 1980-1994

  19. Bone: One Volume Edition

  20. Maus: A Survivor's Tale (box set)

  21. Lucifer Vol. 11: Evensong

  22. Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville

  23. The Halo Graphic Novel

  24. Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006

  25. Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

  26. Pride of Baghdad

  27. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories 2

  28. Marvel Zombies

  29. Bleach Vol. 17

  30. Kingdom Come

  31. Frank Miller's Complete Sin City Library

  32. Our Kingdom Vol. 5

  33. Scrum Bums: A Get Fuzzy Collection

  34. Y: The Last Man Vol. 8 - Kimono Dragons

  35. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

  36. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began

  37. Ronin

  38. The Complete Peanuts 1959-1962 Box Set

  39. Y: The Last Man Vol. 6: Girl on Girl

  40. Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, Vol. 1)

  41. Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm

  42. Death Note Vol. 1

  43. Garfield Blots Out the Sun: His 43rd book

  44. Try Rebooting Yourself: A Dilbert Collection

  45. Virtuoso Di Amore

  46. It's A Magical World: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection

  47. Watchmen (Absolute Edition)

  48. The Walking Dead Vol. 5: The Best Defense

  49. Lost Portrait

  50. Justice: Volume 2

The first manga doesn't appear on the list until position #27!

A couple of caveats:

1) Amazon updates its bestsellers lists hourly, so it'll probably be different by the time you look at it.

2) There are a lot of non-comics books on the list; it's unknown if there are any comics & graphic novels that didn't make the list because they're labeled wrong.

(Manga is a subcategory of Comics & Graphic Novels; there is a separate Manga bestsllers list, and it does track with the broader list.)

Why such a poor showing for manga in Amazon? I have a couple of theories:

1) Amazon's pricing structure usually doesn't give discounts on items priced under $10; since most manga are $9.99 or less, there's no cost savings for ordering most manga on Amazon. (Although that doesn't stop the similarly priced Serenity graphic novel from hitting the top ten.)

2) One needs a credit card to order from Amazon; teenagers--one of manga's major audiences--typically don't have credit cards.

A few more observations about the list:

* 300 on top is not surprising, since the movie comes out next month. Good to see Dark Horse having movie-related product available before the movie for a change.

* Big ticket items make a strong showing, with The Complete Calvin & Hobbes and Lost Girls both in the top 5. Amazon shoppers love those 40% discounts on expensive hardcover box sets!

* Plenty of evergreen titles here, like Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, V for Vendetta, Persepolis, and Maus.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

YouTube Means I Don't Have to Do 'Real' Blogging Today

Too busy to write up a real blog post, so here are a couple of YouTube videos:

Introducing The Book:

March of the Librarians:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Gon Gone No More?

GonOne of my all-time favorite manga series is Masashi Tanaka's Gon, a wonderful comic about a take-no-duff little dinosaur living in the present natural world. Tanaka is a fantastic draftsman and storyteller; there's no dialog or sound effects in Gon, just expertly crafted drawings of animals and their surroundings. The way that Tanaka is able to get emotion out of his realistic animal characters is astounding. Oh, and it's really funny too.

Gon was the first manga series published by DC, pre-CMX (under the Paradox Press imprint). Five volumes came out, that was a while ago and they're out of print. But potential good news: in an interview with Newsarama, Gail Simone lets slip that DC/CMX is likely bring back Gon, bringing the old volumes back in print and bringing out new volume too!

New Library Comics: Week of February 5, 2007

Here's a list of the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Assorted meats : preview book. /Ann Arbor, Mich : Biohazard Publishing, 1997.

Constantini, Gianluca. El Indio. /Italy : Centro Fumetto, 2004.

Deitch, Kim, 1944- Shadowland /Seattle, Wash. : Fantagraphics, 2006.

Fillion, Patrick, 1973- Guardians of the cube /[S.l.] : Class Comics, [2004?-] no. 1

Grennan, Simon. Ghost on the stair & other stories : astonishing stories of post-industrial epiphanies /Seattle, WA : Fantagraphics, 1998.

Hanabusa, Yoko. Idol dreams /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Manga, 2006.

Hashimoto, Takako. Response /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Manga, 2005.

Heartbreakers superdigest /Fullerton, Calif. : Image Comics, 1998- vol. 2

Hoshiai, Misao. Holding on to Alex /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Manga, 2006.

Hudlin, Reginald. Black Panther /New York : Marvel, 2005.

Itoh, Kako. A girl in a million /Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Manga, 2005.

Kitoh, Mohiro. Shadow star /Milwaukee, OR : Dark Horse Comics, c2001- vols. 1-2

Lee, Stan. Marvel masterworks presents here comes Daredevil, the man without fear! /New York : Marvel Comics, c2003- vol. 1

Lee, Stan. Marvel masterworks presents the Silver Surfer /New York, N.Y. : Marvel Comics, 2003. vol. 1

Mack, David. Kabuki /Fullerton, CA : Image Comics, c1997- vols. 2, 3, 5

Marti. Taxista : obra completa /Barcelona : Glénat, c2004.

Martín, Miguel Angel. Brian the brain : un technomelodrama del siglo XXI /Barcelona : Ediciones la Cúpula, c2005.

Mitsuba, Takanashi. Crimson hero /[S.l.] : Viz Media, 2005- vol. 1

Page, Tyler, 1976- Stylish vittles /Minneapolis, Minn. : Demention Comics, c2002- vols. 1-2

Prado, Miguelanxo. Trazo de tiza /Barcelona : Norma Editorial, c2003.

Sanford, Jay Allen. Triple-x-cinema : a cartoon history /San Diego, Calif. : Re-Visionary Press, [1998?]

Seto, Andy, 1969- Shaolin soccer /Fremont, CA : ComicsOne Corp., c2003- vols. 1-2

Shibata, Masahiro. Sarai /Femont, Calif. : Comics One, 2002- vol. 1

Smith, Rick. Baraka and black magic in Morocco : a graphic travelogue /Gainesville, FL : Alternative Comics, c2003.

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894. Graphic classics : Robert Louis Stevenson /Mount Horeb, Wis. : Eureka Productions, c2004.

Tatsumi, Yoshihiro, 1935- Abandon the old in Tokyo /Montreal : Drawn & Quarterly, 2006.

Tommaso, Rich. Clover honey /Seattle, WA : Fantagraphics Books, c1995.

Weird science /Timonium, Md. : Gemstone Publishing, c2006- vol. 1

Whats up. /[United States?] : [s.n.], [200-?]

Wood, Wallace. Sally Forth /Seattle, WA : Eros Comix, 1993-1995. nos. 1, 6

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Monkey Covers

Dark Horse Presents #47Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

It's giant ape vs. T-Rex on Brian Buniak's 1990 cover to Dark Horse Presents #47!

(Standard disclaimer about dinosaur-wailing giant apes not really being monkeys applies.)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Random DC Super-hero Thoughts

* Have you noticed that all of DC's Superman titles are perpetually running late these days? We expect it on All Star Superman, and Superman/Batman & Supergirl have been plagued with lateness from the get-go. But these days Action Comics, Superman, and the new Superman Confidential are suffering from delays. One or two titles once in a while is understandable; but the entire line? I don't recall offhand who the editor of the Superman line is these days, but it sounds like a change is in order...

* Just finished reading Green Lantern Corps #5-6 last night. Golly what a boring title! How can one take the inherently cool concept of an interstellar police force--starring Guy Garder no less--and make it deadly dull is beyond me. Dave Gibbons has many virtues as a comic creator, but writing super-hero comics is not one of them.

* You know who would make the perfect writer for a Supergirl comic? Sean McKeever. He's newly exclusive to DC; coming off Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, one of Marvel's best titles, this would seem like the perfect fit. Toss in Les McClain as the artist and you'll have one fine comic! (And maybe it'll even come out on time...)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Manga News Sources?

Does anybody have a recommendation for good sources of news on domestic manga (both translated & OEL)? I'm thinking of the kind of coverage that sites like Comic Book Resources & Newsarama provide for the super-hero-ish stuff, but for manga.


Review: Mr. Big

Mr. Big
Mr. Big
by Carol & Matt Dembicki
Little Foot Publishing, $9.99

Life in the pond can be cruel. It is home to many creatures: fish, crayfish, frogs, insects, even crows. But it is ruled over by Mr. Big, a giant turtle, who is inscrutable in his actions as he randomly chooses smaller creatures to devour. Some of the swamps denizens have had enough: they want to get rid of Mr. Big to stop his senseless killing; others argue that Mr. Big is part of the swamp itself and should be left alone. A plot is hatched anyway; but as things start to be set in motion, a wildcard in the form of an invasive species arrives in the pond.

Mr. Big is an ecological parable, but not in a preachy manner. The Dembickis' story is produced in a realistic way. Although the animals' thought processes are anthropomorphized, they serve a dual purpose in both representing instinctual motivations and as a mirror to aspects of our own human society. The animals look like real animals, not cutesy cartoons, in art that reminds me of Michael Zulli's early Puma Blues work. There's also a great sense of place in Mr. Big, with art that makes it feel 'swampy.' Different border styles are used to differentiate between action that takes place underwater, on the surface, or in the air--a nice touch.

A true all-ages book, Mr. Big will appeal to anyone with an interest in nature.

Rating: 3.5 (of 5).

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New This Week: February 7, 2007

Based on the NCRL list for this week's comics shipping from Diamond, here are a few things to look for at the local comic shop later today:

The Pick of the Week is Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #1, Jeff Smith's first comic since concluding Bone. If anyone stands a chance of recapturing the old Captain Marvel aesthetic while bringing it to a 21st century audience, it's Smith.

In other comics:

Antarctic have the 2nd issue of Pirates vs. Ninjas.

Boom! have a new Cthulhu Tales anthology, plus Tag: Cursed #1.

Dark Horse have tons o' manga, including Eden: It's an Endless World vol. 6.

DC have a collection of American Way; a second DMZ collection; plus second volumes of Superman Chronicles and old Justice Society. There are also new issues of 52 (week 40), Action Comics Annual (#10), All New Atom (#8), Astro City: The Dark Age Book Two (#2), Jonah Hex (#16), and Midnighter (#4). Oh, and a new issue of Supergirl (#14), if anyone is interested...

IDW have the second issue of Desperadoes: Buffalo Dreams, the fourth issue of Angel: Auld Lang Syne, and the concluding issue of Spike: Asylum (#5).

Image finally have Fell #7.

Marvel have new issues of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man (#17), The Irredeemable Ant-Man (#5), newuniversal (#4), The Punisher (#44), and Spider-Man and Power Pack (#4).

Oni have the second issue of Maintenance.

Penny Farthing have a collection of the criminally overlooked Stuart Moore's Para. Do yourself a favor and take a look see.

TokyoPop & Viz both also have tons of manga coming out this week, including new volumes of Banana Fish (vol. 18) and Nana (vol. 5).

Plenty of comics for you this week. Enjoy!

Is Fables DC's Best-selling Title?

Is Fables DC's best-selling title?

I ask because the latest collection, Wolves (vol. 8) not only topped Diamond's December graphic novels chart, but was also the top non-manga title in the latest PW sales chart (which charts bookstore sales too).

Fables would appear to be an evergreen title too, with the Diamond chart showing 1500 of vol. 1 & 1000 of vol. 2 in December (in November it was even higher: 1700 & 1400 respectively). That's most likely 3000 new readers of Fables over the last two months of 2006, not even counting bookstore sales.

It's got to be either Fables or Y, the Last Man.

New Library Comics: Week of January 29, 2007

Here are the comics we added to our library collection last week:

Farr, Michael, 1953- Tintin : the complete companion /San Francisco, CA : Last Gasp, c2002.

Kiersh, Dave. Last cry for help. /A Dave K Comic, 2006.

Maslov, Nikolai. Siberia /Brooklyn, NY : Soft Skull Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, 2006.

McKeever, Ted. Ted McKeever's Metropol /[S.l.] : Sorhenn Grafiks, c2000- vol. 1

Melby comics. /Royal Oak, MI : Melby Comics, c2004- no. 1

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Super-hero Comics = Niche

Super-hero comics are a niche industry.

I know that may seem to be a funny thing to say. One need only to look at the monthly Diamond sales charts to see that super-hero comics from DC & Marvel dominate. But it's those same charts that give us a clue as to how small the super-hero comic market actually is.

Let's take a look at the current most popular super-hero comics, Marvel's Civil War mini-series. The latest issue for which we have sales figures is #5, where it moved about 273K copies. Now we know there were multiple cover incentives, and we also know that not every super-hero comics fan was buying Civil War; so let's make the math easy on ourselves and say, probably generously, that there are 300,000 people in North America who are interested in buying super-hero comics on an at least monthly basis.

Now 300,000 potential customers is nothing to sneeze at. If we assume that (again rounding to make the math easy) that there are 3000 comic book specialty stores in that market, that gives us 100 regular customers per store. Not huge, but of those customers are regulars who spend enough money you cna probably make a go of it. Of course you have to have a product that caters to those regular customers; from what we've seen over the past years, those customers like continuity-heavy, event-driven comics.

However, 300,000 is a very small number compared to the population: 300M in the US, plus another 33M in Canada. So we're talking less than one-tenth of one percent of the population is interested in regular super-hero comics. That is pretty much a standard definition of 'niche.'

I would argue that 300,000 was pretty much always been the upper limit of dedicated super-hero comics fans; even back in the early-90s heydey, when top super-hero comics could sell 1M-5M copies, it was gimick covers and speculators and collectors buying multiple copies pushing those numbers up.

300,000 is not, we should note, the upper limit of people who are interested in super-heroes themselves. The most popular super-hero movie of recent years, Spider-Man 2, took in $373,585,825 in domestic gross; if we assume $10 per ticket, that's 37 million people who wanted to watch a super-hero movie. Heroes, the #1 new television show of the season, gets nearly 14 million viewers per week.

Clearly people are interested in super-heroes, just not super-hero comics (at least as they present themselves).

300,000 is also not the number of people in North America interested in comics themselves. One need only to look at the bookstore market where teen-oriented manga and selected 'mainstream graphic novels' regularly outsell the super-hero collections quite handily.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with being a niche market. Most markets are. It means giving that market what it wants, which is why the Diamond sales charts are dominated by those types of comics.

One could make the argument (and many have) that, to break out of the niche to a larger market that is clearly interested in super-heroes, the publishers of super-hero comics should make super-hero comics that don't play to the continuity-heavy niche. The problem is that we've seen that those comics don't appeal to the niche, and thus cannot support themselves enough to survive in that ecosystem. And outside of the niche market you're competing with manga, and the manga kids have made it quite clear where they want to spend their comics dollars.

So super-hero comics are a niche, and most likely will continue to be a niche. It appeals to that niche market well enough to survive. I just don't see and clear way that it can break out; nor do I see that it necessarily should.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Minicomics Monday

Great Moments in BaseballCartoonist Molly Lawless sent along a couple of her chapbook-sized comics for me to review. I'm pleased to say that they are both quite enjoyable.

infandum!: Adventures in Intoxication is short--just eight pages, including covers--but she packs a lot of story in; four stories, in fact. As you might guess from the subtitle they're all about inebriation in one form or another. Two deal with religion as well: one about the odder aspects of the transubstatiation doctrine, the other as to why you should never get into the Jesus Van while stoned.

Lawless's newest comic, Great Moments in Baseball #1, highlights some of the low points in the grand history of our nation's pastime, Such as the last stand of the original Washington Senators, or the time Ty Cobb claims he killed a man. Lawless is able to fully tell these five tales in two brief pages each, and her love for the game itself comes through even as she skewers its less honorable moments.

You can read selected comics and find ordering information on Lawless's blog.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Monkey Covers

Sunday is Monkey Covers day here at YACB. Because there's nothing better than a comic with a monkey on the cover.

On the cover of 1947's Tom-Tom, The Jungle Boy #1, Itchi the Monk pals around with his friends Tom-Tom and some unnamed elephant.

(Read more about this comic from Scott Shaw!)

Image courtesy of the GCD. Click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Box of Manga from Japan

Yotsuba&! vol. 4We have a new 'source' at the library for manga from Japan, and we just got our first box in today.

What was in the box? I'm glad you asked:

A two volume Best of Blackjack by Tezuka.

Volumes 4 & 5 of Tezuka's Phoenix.

A volume of Tezuka's Mighty Atom.

The four latest volumes of Inu-Yasha.

And all six volumes of Yotsuba&!.

That's right, we have volumes 4-6 of Yotsuba&! Of course they're in Japanese so I can't read a lick, but even looking at the pictures it's still a lot of fun. In one story in volume 4, the gang goes fishing (with the expected results). ADV, please get to publishing the final four volumes!

The physical quality on all of the volumes is excellent, much better than the cheaply produced editions that most of our translated manga ends up being. (And all of the above came out to costing just under US$70!)