Lots of fantasy, gaming and supernatural series are launching in May, starting with Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which was originally drawn for Nintendo Power magazine back in the 1990s; I rounded up some of the most promising May releases at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog.
Also at the B&N blog, I celebrate the return of Vinland Saga with a look at what sets it apart from your average Viking story.
This blog has been a bit quiet because I went to TCAF last week, where I interviewed both Aya Kanno, the creator of Otomen and Requiem of the Rose King, and Gurihiru, the two-woman team that illustrates Dark Horse’s Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels. I’ll have more to say about that later, but for now, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read Jocelyne Allen’s essay on Aya Kanno and the importance of Otomen. Jocelyne was Kanno’s translator at TCAF and she did a superb job; she’s also the translator of Requiem of the Rose King, but this post is about why Otomen matters. I have to admit I had only glanced at Otomen before TCAF, but I prepped for the interviews (one individual and one onstage) by reading not only Otomen and Requiem but also Kanno’s earlier series, Blank Slate. Taken together, they are a remarkable body of work. Kanno is versatile, working in a number of styles, but also very smart, and as Jocelyne points out, Otomen gets really interesting after the first few volumes.
Seven Seas has announced three new manga licenses: The high school zombie series Hour of the Zombie (a.k.a. Igai—The Play Dead/Alive); a fanservice-y shonen title, The Testament of Sister New Devil, which is based on a light novel series; and an action comedy, My Monster Secret.Yen Press announced two new licenses last week: School-Live! (Gakkō Gurashi!), by Sadoru Chiba and Norimitsu Kaihō (Nitroplus), and Of the Red, the Light and the Ayakashi (Aka ya Akashi ya Ayakashi no), by HaccaWorks* and Nanao
Meanwhile, Viz has some license rescues, all digital: Eureka Seven, formerly published by Bandai; two vintage Tokyopop titles, Glass Wings and Flower of Deep Sleep; and Cheeky Angel, a Viz title that’s out of print.
And Crunchyroll has the digital release of Inuyashiki, by Gantz creator Hiroya Oku. Kodansha comics will start releasing it in print in August.
Big convention news:
- Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto will be coming to New York Comic Con in October;
- Yu-Gi-Oh! manga-ka Kazuki Takahashi will be at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July;
- And Julietta Suzuki, creator of Kamisama Kiss and Karakuri Odette (remember that one?) will make her first U.S. appearance at Anime Expo, also in July.
Justin Stroman has another one of his excellent insider posts up at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses; this time he interviews four manga translators about their work. He also investigates why he can’t read mature manga in the Viz apps.
Also, Ryan Holmberg has a longish but fascinating piece at The Comics Journal about blood banks and selling blood and why that pops up so often in manga.
In preparation for Kishimoto’s visit, Vernieda Vergara answers all your questions about Naruto. Well, some of them, anyway.
Shonen Jump is bringing back Jump Start, running a couple of chapters of new manga from the Japanese magazine; Lori Henderson takes a look at two new series.
Least surprising news item of the week: Shotaro Ishinomori’s Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past tops this week’s New York Times best-seller list.
Here’s a preview of Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #46.
News from Japan
- Kodansha has announced the winners of the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards. The Seven Deadly Sins and Yowamushi Pedal (recently licensed by Yen Press) tied for best shonen manga, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu got the nod for best shojo title, and Knights of Sidonia was named Best General Manga. Tochi Ueyama’s long-running series Cooking Papa got a special award as well.
- The monthly magazine Zero-Sum Ward is shutting down, but several series, including Wild Adapter, are being farmed out to other publications or online.
- Do you like Magi? So do lots of other people: A recent issue of Shonen Sunday reports that there are 18 million volumes in print.
- Kadokawa is launching Comic Walker GLOBAL, a companion to its Comic Walker digital manga site that features non-Japanese titles (mostly translated into Japanese).
- Shueisha will be selling a full-size reproduction of Masashi Kishimoto’s original art for the first chapter of Naruto.
Kristin on The Angel of Elhamburg (Comic Attack)
John Rose on vol. 18 of Black Butler (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Blade of the Immortal, vol. 31: Final Curtain (Experiments in Manga)
John Rose on vol. 5 of Blood Lad (The Fandom Post)
Day on vol. 2 of Citrus (Okazu)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 1 of D-Frag (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Evergreen (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
John Rose on vol. 38 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 43 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Ken H on vols. 2 and 3 of The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Sequential Ink)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of High School DxD (The Fandom Post)
AJ Adejare on vol. 1 of Kagerou Daze (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Kampfer (Okazu)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (Manga Xanadu)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 13 of Library Wars (The Fandom Post)
Anna N on vols. 1-3 of Magi (Manga Report)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Maria the Virgin Witch (Comics and More)
Erica Friedman on Murcielago (Okazu)
Ash Brown on vol. 3 of Mushishi (Experiments in Manga)
John Rose on vol. 1 of No. 6 (The Fandom Post)
Laura on No. 6 (Heart of Manga)
Jessica Uelmen on Ouran High School Host Club (The Mary Sue)
Lori Henderson on vols. 12-20 of Pandora Hearts (Manga Xanadu)
Chris Beveridge on Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on Priapus (Experiments in Manga)
Rebecca Henely on Puella Magi Oriko Magica: Extra Story and vol. 1 of Puella Magi Tart Magica (Women Write About Comics)
Nick Smith on Puella Magi Tart Magica, vol. 1: The Legend of Jeanne (ICv2)
Erica Friedman on Renai Manga (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of A Silent Voice (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
John Rose on vol. 3 of Soul Eater NOT! (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on Starlight Melody (Okazu)
Kristin on vols. 2 and 3 of Terra Formars (Comic Attack)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 8 of Triage X (The Fandom Post)
Scott Cederlund on Uzumaki (Panel Patter)
Ken H on vol. 6 of Wolfsmund (Sequential Ink)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 1 of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (The Fandom Post)
Sakura Eries on vol. 1 of Your Lie in April (The Fandom Post)