Author Archive for Robin

Testament

Testament is a work I was not expecting to adore for the very simple reason that I’m entirely unaware of most of the stories of the Old Testament. I have virtually no religious background and so even well-known stories are…

Hikaru No Go, vol. 1

What’s a 6th grader to do when he’s suddenly cohabiting his own body with a master Go player from the Heian period (think early medieval Europe in the West)? Well, basically, he plays go. Go is a game similar to…

Eerie Queerie

Introduction First things first: this series is both unashamedly silly and unashamedly all about the pretty boys. Despite my general appetite for manga, and awareness of the penchant for wacky hijinks, this series surprised me numerous times as just how…

Eerie Queerie, vol. 1

Eerie Queerie follows the adventures of one Mitsuo, a loner high school student who has the misfortune of also being a medium. Due to his gentle nature, he’s prone to being taken over by any strong-willed ghost in the vicinity.…

Eerie Queerie, vol. 2

The second volume contains both my favorite moments thus far and some of the more bizarre (and vaguely unsettling) plot twists that have lead to my marveling at the boundaries Japanese comics push. On a school field trip, Mitsuo, Hasunuma,…

Eerie Queerie, vol. 3

In the third volume, matters get even more bizarre. Mitsuo and friends, including the enslaved ghost Kanau from volume 2, are all helping Mikuni prepare for the temple’s new year festivals and rituals. When another medium, the darkly handsome Itsuki,…

Eerie Queerie, vol. 4

I must admit, by the end of this series I am less enamored of its wackiness and more overwhelmed by its creepiness. I still root for the lovers to finally admit their feelings, and the series inane hilarity has its…

Hawaiian Dick: Byrd of Paradise

Hawaiian Dick reminds me of those great 1950s crime dramas, full of speeding cars, jumpin’ jazz scores, and tough P.I.’s looking for balancing shaky moral ground. It’s full of great reaction shots, car chases, snappy dialogue, and a few zombies.…

Tokyo Babylon

Introduction Tokyo Babylon is one of CLAMP’s earlier works, and though it sets the stage for the team’s apocalyptic X/1999 series, it also stands on its own. Tokyo Babylon follows the adventures of Sumeragi Subaru, the head of Sumeragi clan…

Tokyo Babylon, vol. 1

In this volume, we are introduced to our cast of characters — and though Hokuto is hit by the Exposition Fairy in a fairly obvious way, once we get all the explanations of who’s who out of the way, the…

Tokyo Babylon, vol. 2

The opening pages of volume 2 reaffirm that CLAMP are masters of dramatic layout, pulling out all of the cinematic stops they can to create drama with just a few lines of dialogue and powerful images. The sequence here follows…

Goldfish

Before Brian Michael Bendis was the guy on everyone’s writer list, before he had numerous comics produced at once, and before he helped Ultimate Spider-Man take off in cartoon form on MTV, he wrote some of the best damned crime…

Jinx

In the sequel to Goldfish, again featuring his striking black and white artwork, all of the fallout from when we last saw Goldfish has settled somewhat. Goldfish still has a talent for persuasion and collecting less than stellar associates. That…

Torso

Any film noir fans out there? You know, thuggish gangsters, whipsmart private detectives, dames with attitude? In Torso, an Eisner Award winner, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Andreyko retell the true story of what happened to Elliot Ness after his…

Kill Me, Kiss Me, vol. 1

“In the history of bad ideas, I am now convinced most of them involve cross-dressing.” So speaks Tae, the heroine of Kill Me, Kiss Me, an entertaining new manhwa (Korean print comic). This title plays on gender stereotypes and teenage…

Bone

Introduction There is a scene in Bone: Crown of Horns that perfectly sums up what makes the Bone series so special. Thorn Harvestar, our heroine, needs to touch the Crown of Horns, but she can’t quite reach; her leg is…

Fake

Introduction Imagine your typical buddy cop show: one detective, blunt to a fault and with a high opinion of himself, is saddled with a naive but well-meaning partner. After the expected whining about rookies and rank, the two men maneuver…

Fake, vol. 1

The first volume introduces us to the darkly handsome Dee and the endearing Ryo. Intrigued by his new partner’s shy manner and modesty, the out-as-bisexual Dee immediately starts needling Ryo about his sexuality and, in the tradition of wacky romances,…

Fake, vol. 2

Volume two finds Dee and Ryo taking a much needed vacation in England. Dee has anticipated the ultimate seduction — candles, wine, moonlight — until pesky Bikky and Carol crash the party (as they are wont to do) and Ryo…

Fake, vol. 3

In volume three, installments continue to take a more serious turn, though the slapstick humor, most notably in Dee and Bikky’s antagonistic bickering, is still very evident. Dee and Ryo end up with one of the most chilling investigations to…