A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{July 21, 2013}   Comics and manga of the week (99 & 100)

MLPI have been reviewing the comics I read for 100 weeks now! And man, do I read a lot of them.

Here are some more with a touch of 80s nostalgia.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search part 2 by Gene Luan Yang

  • In this second volume of the Search, we find out more about Zuko’s mother and the events that made her leave the palace. Azula continues her quick descent into madness. Yang writes a story to rival the brilliant TV show. He captures the humour, that magic and the depth of characters. I can’t wait for Part 3!

Barakamon, volume 1 by Satsuki Yoshino

  • Handa is a young calligrapher who is sent to a small island town after he punches out an competition judge. There he meets a young tomboy who always seems to be up to no good. She will not leave him to work in peace; hilarity ensues. I was reminded a lot of the kind of quiet, episodic humour of Yotsuba?! Very enjoyable but I’m not in a rush to read more.

False Memories – Volume 1 by Isaku Natsume

  • Nakano and Tsuda had a brief fling in High School. Surprised by the affect it had on him and hurt by Tsuda’s casual treatment of him, Nakano wants nothing more than to forget it. So of course they meet again 10 years later, employees in two partner toy companies. A sweet love story that takes it’s time. Not much sexy stuff in this first volume if that’s what you’re looking for.

Genius by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen

  • Ted has been called a genius all his life but now he is in a slump and he might lose his job over it, just when his wife needs his medical insurance the most. Could Einstein’s last secret be the solution to all his problems? A quiet, introspective comic about genius, learning and relationships. Beautifully executed.

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain

  • Well, this was a lot more gruesome than I had been expecting. In a near future, the culinary arts have supplanted all other arts and the mobs are run by successful chefs. Jiro is a sushi chef that has murderous reactions to poor sushi etiquette. Both mob bosses want him; he needs to play them against each other to maintain his independence. A good comic but, the setting aside, it just feels like another yakuza/mafia story, and quite a gratuitously bloody one too.

Hawkeye, volume 2: Little Hits by Matt Fraction

  • I admit it, I’m one of those people who mocks the archers of the DC and Marvel universes but Fraction has been doing a great job with this series. He follows Hawkeye when he is not with the Avengers and is instead tangling with mobsters and femmes fatales while trying to protect the residents of his apartment building. The first volume was better. The sequence of events is all screwed up in this one and it’s hard to follow at times. It’s still a great adventure though and the art pops.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Volume 1 by Katie Cook

  • I still have my huge childhood MLP collection, I have enjoyed the new cartoon (though I have not yet reached fanatical levels) but I was still surprised by the quality of this comic. In it our six pony friends must confront the changeling queen who has ponynapped the Cutie Mark Crusaders. The story is funny and engaging and the ponies are remarkably expressive, especially the changeling queen. And there are so many references to 80s pop culture, I was awash in nostalgia. Don’t let their cuteness fool you, this is a quality story that anyone could enjoy.

The New Ghostbusters – Volume 5 by Erik Burnham

  • I used to love the (real) Ghostbusters as a kid and this was a perfect jumping off spot for the comic. The Ghostbusters have vanished and it’s up to their faithful secretary Janine to lead a new group to bust ghosts and track down their predecessors. Very funny and action packed like the Ghostbusters I remembered. The new characters are also great (and mostly female!). Well worth it for old fans of the cartoon.

Les Secrets de Lea, volume 1 & 2 (French) by Yuu Yabuuchi

  • I started this series with the understanding that it was a kind of sex ed manual for girls entering puberty. And it does that nicely, addressing physical changes, pregnancy and all that in an engaging way without feeling like an educational pamphlet. I wasn’t expecting the sci fi angle, and I don’t know if I like it. Each of the volumes is the story of a different girl named Lea. The first is awaiting a new baby sister whose future self has befriended her and is helping her understand her mother’s pregnancy and the changes in her own body. The second Lea is visited by an alien who has taken on the persona of her dead twin in order to study humanity. Cute but occasionally odd.

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