A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 26, 2012}   Comics and manga of the week (28)

20th Century Boys, Volume 19 by Naoki Urasawa

  • This wonderful sci-fi thriller by one of my favorite mangaka is nearing its conclusion. In this volume we finally learn what happened to Kenji after the tragic events of the bloody New Years eve in 2000.

Chew, Volume 4: Flambé by John Layman and Rob Guillory

  • Chew is rapidely becoming one of my favorite comics, the art is beautiful and the concept is unique. In it Tony Chu, a cibopath who can see the history of the things he eats, continues to taste the most disgusting things to get to the bottom of murderous mysteries.

Gentlemen’s Agreement between a Rabbit & a Wolf by Shinano Oumi

  • Relationships between salarymen are my favorite kind of BL (second, for some reason, are yakuza) but I hate romances where a man’s inability to understand that “no means no” is portrayed as romantic passion. The side stories are much better in this respect but don’t read this unless you like your BL really graphic.

Laissée pour Comte, Volume 2 (French) by Mimori Seike and Isuzu Shibata

  • I feel really bad for Mireille who has had to replace her twin brother at the royal court only to learn that she has been lied to about the true reason for this deception. A fun gender bending fantasy. My favorite part? The ultra-manly (and super smelly) knights who work under Mireille’s brother Fred; they will ruin your romantic delusions of knights. 😉

Otomen, Volume 12 by Aya Kanno

  • This manga can be a little cheezy but I love the message that you should do what makes you happy regardless of gender conventions. This volume features the manliest crème brulé I’ve ever seen.

Northlanders, Volume 4: Plague Widow by Brian Wood

  • A widow and her daughter struggle to survive in a plague-torn town but they soon discover that there are far greater dangers facing them.

Northlanders, Volume 5: Metal and Other Stories by Brian Wood

  • A young blacksmith wages a one-man holy war against the christians invading his lands in the name of the old northern gods.

Power Girl, Volume 4: Old Friends by Judd Winnick

  • Don’t let the boob window fool you, Power Girl kicks ass. She’s one of my favorite super heroes. In this volume she struggles to hold her company together while battling Max Lord. Unfortunately some of the storylines conclude in a different book. I hate that.

Professeur Eiji, Volume 10 (French) by Akiko Monden

  • The final volume of a beautiful series about a troubled, unconventional teacher helping his equally troubled students. Eiji is a lot like Great Teacher Onizuka but prettier and less juvenile. ^_^

Puzzle, Volume 10 (French) by Ryo Ikuemi

  • An adult Kanna looks back on her youth and her friendship with Haru, who loved her but who would die at 15. A beautiful, touching story but since each volume is from the perspective of a different character, it can be hard to follow. Probably best read all at once. This volume features the strnagest, most senile waiter I have encountered in comics.

Sawako, Volume 11 (French) by Shiina Karuho

  • Sawako and Kazehaya have finally overcome all misunderstandings and are dating. We also get to see the beginning of their relationship from Kazehaya’s perspective. A sweet, optimistic tale of friendship and love. This series is published in English as Kimi ni Todoke.

The Story of Saiunkoku, Volume 6 by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

  • Shurei has finally passed the civil service exam and is struggling to be accepted as the first female official. This is probably the best ancient China-themed, male-harem manga you will ever read. Shurei’s drive to succeed in a male-dominated world is an inspiration.

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