A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{January 31, 2014}   Comics and manga of January

idw-publishing-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-new-animated-adventures-tpb-1After School Charisma, volume 7 & 8 by Kumiko Suekane

  • The rogue clones, with clone Hitler as their spokesperson, go to the media to reveal the supposed horrors of St. Kleio Academy. Shiro attempts to counter their move with disastrous results. There is something even more sinister than I thought going on and the series raises a lot of interesting moral dilemmas. Is fate destined to repeat itself? And can the clones live up to their originals?

Black Butler, volume 16 by Yana Toboso

  • I cannot wait for the boarding school storyline to end, it is really one of the low points of a very good, macabre series. It does however contain a cricket match worthy of the most ridiculous of sports manga, and you know how I like those. 🙂

Cat vs Human by Yasmine Surovec

  • Based on her webcomic/blog of the same name, Surovec brings out the highs and lows of being owned by a cat with humour, insight and adorable kitties! For all the Cat Ladies and Guys out there.

Captain Marvel, volume 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick

  • I’ve been very impressed with the new Captain Marvel series; I like it for many of the same reasons I love Power Girl. In this volume a brain injury leaves Captain Marvel grounded but she finds it hard to resist the urge to fly, even if it might mean her life. Also, I need to point out the return of Monica, who has also gone by Captain Marvel. I haven’t seen her since Nextwave and it made my day.

A Century Temptation by Kairi Shimotsuki

  • A very disappointing BL manga about a vampire allergic to human blood falls for a human. I found myself groaning throughout my reading… no, not in that way. 😛 A poorly structured plot, lots of cliches and unlikable characters. Pass.

Deflower the Boss by Ayan Sakuragi

  • I confess that I bought this for the ridiculous cover and the handsome business men on the cover. The manga was surprisingly enjoyable. It is not as silly as the title but rather deals with a long suppressed love for a friend and coworker. And there are some pretty good, steamy scenes.

A Devil and her Love Song, volume 12 & 13 by Miyoshi Tomori

  • These are the final volumes of this charming series. Each of the secondary characters gets a chapter to wrap up their story lines, quite well if you ask me. Maria and her boyfriend Shin are separated and then reunited but the series is ultimately, as at the start, about friendship more than love and I was thrilled to read it.

Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Califiore

  • Megalopolis is a city inhabited by numerous super powered heroes but one day they snap and turn their powers on the citizens to terrifying results. This series follows a small (and diverse) group of humans trying to escape the city and survive. I was reminded a bit of Irredeemable but though the idea is not entirely new, it was well executed and ends powerfully. Glad I supported the Kickstarter.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, volume 3 by Katie Cook

  • The third volume of MLP takes a different directions, focusing on Big Mackintosh and the romance between Twilight Sparkle’s nerdy brother and the beautiful princess Cadance. But though our heroines are nearly absent, the volume is still good fun and full of the 80s pop culture reference that I love.

Nobles Paysans, volume 1 (French) by Hiromu Arakawa

  • Though you may know her as the author of Full Metal Alchemist, Arakawa spent several years of her adult life working on her family farm in Hokkaido (the inspiration for her agricultural series Silver Spoon). This manga, part gag strip and part autobiography, tells the story of this part of her life. It’s engaging and hilarious.

The Olympians, volume 6: Aphrodite: Goddess of Love by George O’Connor

  • O’Connor continues to blow me away with his thoughtful and entertaining comic versions of the Greek myths. I love that his Aphrodite is actually the most powerful of the Gods, older than any of the Olympians and with power over even Zeus. His interpretation of the story of Paris and the Golden apple gives plausible reasons why three powerful goddesses would care which was more beautiful (though Eris steals the show with her antics). A must read series. I kind of hope he takes on other mythologies after he finishes with the Olympians.

Ooku, volume 8 & 9 by Fumi Yoshinaga

  • Yoshimune must chose a successor after a successful rule. Most of the court favors her second daughter over her elder physically disabled daughter. Her choice she makes will affect the future of this alternate Japan. Meanwhile a half-Japanese scholar of Holland studies is brought to the Inner Chambers to study the red pox that decimated the male population. This is a beautiful,  intelligent and occasionally overwhelming (so many characters!) series that continues to impress me. I can’t wait for volume 10!

President Momoi Kun by Higashi Nishida

  • A absurd little manga that I found myself laughing with. The new company president (neither the reader nor president nor the reader has any idea what the company does) arrives with the goal of finding a male lover. Hijinx ensue. There is no plot to speak of but it’s worth a laugh.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The New Animated Adventures, volume 1 by Kenny Byerly

  • I love love love Nickelodeon’s new TMNT cartoon, it is fun, funny and cleverly written. And I’m pleased to say that the comic lives up to the cartoon. This volume contains four action and humour packed adventures. TMNT fans old and new should really read this.

Valentin by Yves Pelletier and Pascale Girard

  • A young woman, unhappy and lonely in her relationship finds comfort in a cat named Valentin, who her boyfriend is highly allergic to. I picked this up after my visit to La Pasteque’s 15th anniversary exhibit at the Musee des Beaux Arts (love them!). It’s a unique, surprising story and I was completely charmed by the water colours and by Valentin.

The Walking Dead, Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman

  • This huge (and heavy!) volume compendium covers the first 8 volumes of Kirkman’s zombie saga. It is hard, violent and quick paced, a must for any zombie fan (though there are some rape and torture scenes later on which would be too much for many readers). But. I’m going to say something rare for an avid reader: I like the TV series better. I prefer the pacing and the characterization in the TV series and the comic has no Daryl. No Daryl at all. And he makes the series for me.

Wandering Son, volume 6 by Shimura Takako

  • Nitori and his classmates are putting on a play, a version of Romeo and Juliet. Nitori’s secret wish is to be Juliet to his friend Takatsuki’s Romeo but Chiba, who is in love with him wants to be his Romeo. But neither gets their wish. A sweet and sensitive manga about trans gendered youth discovering who they truly are.

Wild Honey by Sei Takenaka

  • A boy from a werewolf clan falls for a human from a rival school against family tradition. If you like supernatural BL, you might enjoy this slightly raunchy romp though the supernatural element is limited to Hina’s partial transformation into a wolf. Honestly, I had no strong feelings about this manga either way.

X-Factor, Volume 21: The End of X-Factor by Peter David

  • X-Factor is one of my favorite Marvel series but the last volume was a little week, simply contenting itself with wrapping up everyone’s storylines. It brings little new except a highly confusing explanation of Longshot and Shatterstar’ origins and relationship to each other. Still, I’m going to miss Jamie and his crew.

Young Avengers, volume 2: Alternative Culture by Kieron Gillen

  • Young Avengers!!! This volume opens strong with a depowered Prodigy hilariously counseling heroes on strategy over the phone and takes the Young Avengers through multiple dimensions to find a kidnapped Speed. Billy and Tommy’s relationship is strained by Billy’s reality altering power and Loki brings much needed hilarity and chaos to the world. Gillen has been doing wonders with the series as he did with Journey into Mystery.

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