- I love Soryo; she is such a skilled, versatile mangaka. I fell in love with her good girl/motor-cycle-riding bad boy shojo Mars years ago and her sci-fi thriller Eternal Sabbat blew me away. Cesare is a smart detailed history, addressing the infamous Borgia family and the complicated Italian politics that surrounded them. The art is gorgeous and the intrigue enthralling. She continues to impress me.
Maus: A survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman
- I can’t believe how long it has taken me to read this classic. I guess I read so much about it that I felt like I had read it. But, of course, actually reading it is an entirely different experience. For those who don’t know, Maus chronicles Spiegelman’s father’s experiences during the holocaust (with the Jews represented as mice, the Germans as cats, the Poles as pigs, etc.). It is a hard and honest tale that pulls no punches. It also addresses Spiegelman’s creative process and his trouble reconciling his father’s courage and his difficult personality. I was reminded of Bechdel’s memoirs about her own father, Fun Home, not in its content but in its approach; I wonder if she was influenced by it.
Saturn Apartments, volume 7 by Hisae Iwaoka
- In the final volume of this quiet sci-fi series, everything finally comes to a head. The lower level residents of the rings circling earth are locked into their section after a fire. Class tensions are rising and only Mitsu’s planned trip to the surface of earth may bring hope to his people. This is a lovely conclusion to a good series, one that gives hope in the goodness of people without ignoring their flaws.
Scott Pilgrim, volume 3: Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O’Malley
- I’m really impressed with this new, coloured edition of Scott Pilgrim. The huge manga fan that I am doesn’t think that everything needs colour but Nathan Fairbairn has done an amazing job. In this volume, Scott must face another of Ramona’s evil exes – a vegan with psychic powers, of course – and one of his own evil exes, Envy. Though it borders on the ludicrous at times, it’s all in good fun and has so many amusing manga and video game references.