It was so hard to chose the image for this post. There were so many great new series in December. The Wicked + The Divine won out but Princess Ugg and the Little World of Liz Climo were also contenders.
Heartbroken Chocolatier, volume 8 (French) by Setona Mizushiro
- Sohta has finally been reunited with his muse, the woman who led him to become a chocolatier. But it isn’t the great love affair he expected and he begins to regret hurting Elena in order to pursue Saeko. Meanwhile Karuoko tries to forget her onesided love for Sohta and meet someone new. But this isn’t the type of manga where anyone is happy in love. This beautiful, unhappy manga will end in the next volume.
Hinterkind, volume 2: Written in Blood by Ian Edginton
- In volume one, we saw how fairy creatures took over the earth and humans have been driven to near extinction. In volume 2 we begin to glimpse the power struggle within the fairy royal family. Meanwhile our fleeing heroes encounter ever more monstrous antagonists: centaurs, ogres and nazi vampires… though the monsters are not always the ones who look more inhuman. This is an enthralling and horrifying magical post-apocalyptic world.
Ippo, volume 58 to 61 (French) by George Morikawa
- Takemura challenges David Eagle in order to conquer a second category. For the first time, Takemura seems to be in serious trouble. I was on the edge of my seat. It could have gone either way. It takes up the four volumes (if you count the opening fights) but it never felt long. Morikawa somehow makes every fight fresh.
The Little World of Liz Climo by Liz Climo
- A collection of Climo’s funny and adorable animal gags. Guarantied to make you smile. Check out her tumblr while I wait for her new book: Lobster is the Best Medicine.
Mon Histoire, volume 4 (French) by Kazune Kawahara and Aruko
- Oda is in love with Sunakawa’s sister but she’s not interested in him because she has long been secretly in love with the-complete-opposite-of-bishounen Takeo. Oda tries to get her to confess to Takeo so that he can break her heart. A hilarious, unusual shojo romance.
My Little Pony: Adventures in Friendship, volume 1
- A nice little hardcover collection of MLP stories. But this one is only for people who aren’t buying any other pony comics as the stories are all drawn from previous volumes. A nice present for new fans but there’s nothing new for the hardcore fans.
My Little Pony: Friends Forever, volume 2
- More pony short stories. Fluttershy’s animals can suddenly talk, Trixie becomes queen of the Diamond dogs (and it’s worse than it sounds), Luna wants to learn to be funny and Applejack and Rarity go on a roadtrip. Tons of pony friendship fun.
Princess Ugg, volume 1 by Ted Neifeh
- Ulga is the princess of the warlike mountain tribe. She dresses in skins and wields axes. She travels to the valley to attend the princess academy in order to learn about diplomacy but she is frustrated by the etiquette lessons and the vain, snobbish princesses who go to school with her. This is Naifeh at his best: many great female characters with different strengths and flaws to overcome, amazing art and dialogue (both intelligent and funny). I love that it is all about finding diplomatic solutions to seemingly impossible personality conflicts and making use of each person’s strengths. I want so much more of this.
Swamp Thing, volume 3 by Alan Moore
- This was probably the most horrifying volume of Swamp Thing so far. It involves a crazy radioactive murderer, a very unusual and gross form of vampire, werewolf women and a haunted house. Great writing and guarantied shills. Swamp Thing is quickly becoming my favorite Alan Moore series. Yeah, even more than watchmen.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, volume 2: Enemies Old, Enemies New by Kevin Eastman
- Splinter and the Turtles finally find Rafael again and the reunited brothers learn more about their past lives. There’s some interesting new backstory and great actiong scenes. But the best thing? The turtles also finally get their different coloured headbands! That made the series so much easier to follow. I realized how a lot of my frustration with the first volume had to do with the decision to give them no distinguishing features.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time by Paul Allor and Erik Burnham
- A series of shorts in which the Eastman Turtles travel to different periods in time. Each is written by a different team and is loosely connected. Though it can be read independently of the main series, it does give a better sense of the ancient relationship between Kraang’s people and the earth. Not sure if you want to read these? Dinosaur-riding alien brains. Coolest. Thing. Ever.
Tomb Raider, volume 1: Season of the Witch by Gail Simone
- This comic picks up where the 2013 video game ends. It’s not my favorite Gail Simone comic, perhaps because I haven’t played the game. It’s perfectly coherent to people new to the series but I simply didn’t buy the mythology. There are some great diverse characters, chase scenes and ancient gods. Fans will probably enjoy the comic a great deal but given the choice, I prefer Simone on Red Sonja.
The Wicked + The Divine, volume 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen
- Every 90 years, 12 gods return as young people. These living gods become superstars, famous and loved. Then after two years of fame and adoration, they die. Laura is a groupie who becomes involved with the gods and tries to thwart a plot to smear their names and destroy them. This comic is unlike any other I’ve read recently. The gods are all different and truly charismatic. Lucifer, who is the focus of this volume, is an intelligent, androgynous, morally ambiguous woman with a Bowie esthetic and I fell in love with her a little. A must read.
XXXHolic Rei, volume 2 by Clamp
- Watanuki continues to help Yuuko fulfill supernatural requests. But we increasingly get the sense that something is off, that perhaps Watanuki is deceiving himself about something. This is my favorite Clamp series, full of light humour, magical realism.
Yukarism, volume 1 by Chika Shioma
- An interesting new series about a young man who can remember his past life in the Edo period pleasure quarters and writes books about it. Of course he meets a girl who was his lover in this past life. Nothing new there but there is a slight twist and the glimpse at Edo Japan is fascinating.