Tuesday, February 9, 2016

X-Men: Misfits by Raina Telgemeier & Dave Roman

X-Men: Misfits by Raina Telgemeier & Dave Roman; illus Anzu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, First Edition, 192 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Del Rey
Source: Local library

This is a lot of fun and what I guess would be called fanservice. The X-men have been turned into a shoujo manga by Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman! It's a sweet story too. I'm not much into the X-men but from what memory serves me, this story reimagines Kitty Prydes' first semester at Xavier's School and introduces only a few other X-men, with the climax being Xavier's crippling accident. The book itself is from Del Rey's run at manga publishing, printed American style and the proposed series was cancelled due to Del Rey's abrupt closure of their manga printing house. A cute shoujo for fans of the X-men and a fun look at some early work by the authors who have both gone on to industry-leading work in graphic novels.

New Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Monsters by Sean Ryan

New Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Monsters by Sean Ryan; illus by Philippe Briones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by DC Comics
Source: egalley via edelweiss

Suicide Squad


This is much better than the first volume and has quite a serious story being quite dramatic going into some depth with most of the characters. We have a new team with 6 members (some from last time) divided into two sets of three. Three working inside a cult and three working on extraction. I won't name names but one member gets brainwashed into the cult which upsets the plan from the beginning and a character I never really liked ends up getting a redemptive moment and an actually sad death. Though they are careful to say "lost" so maybe it's not really final, but the book ends letting us know who the replacement team member will be. I liked Harley's insight into herself as well. My favourite new team member is Parasite. Only thing I didn't like is the art for this volume. Harley, my favourite she-villain, is drawn ugly and I couldn't get used to her and Reverse Flash just looked plain weird. No, not a fan of the art. Otherwise, a good volume leaving me looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fairy Tail Master's Edition, Vol. 1 by Hiro Mashima

Fairy Tail Master's Edition, Vol. 1 by Hiro Mashima
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 944 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Orig pub 2006-2007
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Fairy Tail (Vol. 1-5)

This is my first time reading Fairy Tale and I had wanted to start earlier but then I heard these omnibus editions were coming out so I waited. Omnibus editions are the glory of my home library manga bookshelves! Kodansha publishes beautiful collections, suitable for collectors at a price that is reasonable for the quality you are getting and a lower price point than buying the volumes individually. A large oversized volume containing volumes 1 thru 5 with huge pages and large text that make it a joy to read. There are no colour pages, but that is not something I fall for or need. The pages are quality, a far cry from viz omnibuses, but viz is serving a different market with their omnibi (?). The back information following each volume is crazily informative and I've been reading every word. Admittedly, I often find manga backmatter boring and skim at best and skip usually, but not here. Fans of the series will be pleased with the omnibus.

As to the manga itself, for a first-timer, I'm in delight! Such a fun old-school (2006) shounen fantasy with all the tropes that were popular back then. There are a lot of characters and it promises to be a large world inhabited by many people and creatures. These first five volumes establish a small core of main characters: Natsu, Happy, Lucy, Gray, Erza & Makarov. Many others have been introduced too but just in the Guild's pub setting so far. There is going to be a lot of variety here as so far in the five volumes the characters have gone to the board to select jobs/missions for themselves, they have been gathered together to go on a mission of great importance to the Guild Masters and they have snuck out without permission to accept a mission for glory which ended up having personal meaning for one of the heroes. There is a lot of character development which I'm loving; the battle scenes are many, wild, but short and the plots are both hilarious and serious. The general tone of the series reminds me of "One Piece" with the obscure, wild characters and enemies they meet and the extreme overreaction of the main characters. On the other hand, the art is highly akin to "Dragonball"'s Akira Toriyama, especially the facial drawings. This is so much fun; I'm so glad I'm finally getting into this must-read classic. I haven't settled on a favourite character yet because I like them all so far!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mean Girls Club by Ryan Heshka

Mean Girls Club by Ryan Heshka
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Paperback, 24 pages
Published Feb 2 2016 by Nobrow Press
Source: egalley via edelweiss

First let me say I love the art. It's 1940/50s "femme fatale" glamour women portrayed as extremely shocking, violent and mafioso. I dig that. Pink and black are awesome, one of my favourite colour combinations. I even dye my hair bright pink every summer! However, I'm not at all sure I agree with the sentiment it is going for. On top of that, there is no plot, or characterization, just a series of acts. Disappointing, it could have been something wild to remember.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Seven Deadly Sins 12: Ban's Decision by Nakaba Suzuki



The Seven Deadly Sins 12: Ban's Decision by Nakaba Suzuki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

The Seven Deadly Sins (#12)

Battle intensive! Everything is amped up to another level as the new villain is full out waging war against the seven and even with the holy knights now on their side they have never been up against this magnitude of evil power before. A very fast read!

Noragami: Stray God 10: Back From the Dead by Adachitoka

Noragami: Stray God 10: Back From the Dead by Adachitoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Kodansha Comics
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada

Noragami: Stray God (#10)

OMG. So intense! This is a turning point. Everything reached a head in the last volume and this one takes up from there and places the story arc at the beginning of its new journey. Bishamonten has a super awesome battle scene and we see why she is such a fabulous warrior god. Loved that battle so much! But she and Yato are on the outs now and he has given her a new nickname which has stuck in a comic way and it is soooo hilarious! Fantastic volume really all round with action, plot, characters and humour! I'm in love with this manga!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson

Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Tuttle Publishing
Source: received a pdf from the publisher

Fun, interesting and useful read, especially if you are an otaku! At first, the tone makes it a little hard to cypher who the book is geared to as the voice starts off a bit immature and I thought this might be a book for children or teens but once it got going it is obviously intended for geeky adults. The author and her husband take in a lot of entertainment that includes alcoholic beverages and adult only entrance. However, there are plenty of places mentioned that can be included on a family-oriented trip, too. Names, addresses, websites and contact information are also provided. From packing and reservations to food and festivals, everything you can imagine is mentioned. Personally, I'm not a traveller but I love Japanese culture and found the book an entertaining and amusing read. A wide variety of readers will enjoy this delightful book.