Author Archive for Thomas Maluck

My Love Story!!, vols. 1-3

My Love Story!! Volume 1 Cover

Takeo Goda is the best thing to happen to shojo manga. He is a towering, muscular super-athlete, and characters like him are usually nowhere to be found in sparkly romances. His main love interest, the bubbly dessert cook Rinko Yamato,…

Sword Art Online: Progressive, vol. 1

Sword Art Online Progressive cover

Your assessment of Sword Art Online: Progressive will come down to your tolerance for fanservice: targeted objectification or hypersexualization of anime and manga characters. All fanservice aside, this is a fairly entertaining debut story for Asuna Yuuki, one of the breakout stars of…

She-Hulk, vols. 1-2

shehulk

Superhero comics have to go a long way to impress me, and it’s not just because this site is called No Flying No Tights. The dramas and conflicts of superheroes are oftentimes so rote and formulaic that they can blend together…

Batgirl: The Batgirl of Burnside

Batgirl of Burnside cover

The Batgirl of Burnside is a new take on Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl that retains its core character. This change is symbolized by the series’ numbering: this trade is volume one, but it’s comprised of issues 35–40 of the New 52 series. Confused readers may wonder which rules apply:…

The Harlem Hellfighters

Harlem Hellfighters cover

Educators and researchers: let’s all heave a collective sigh of disappointment that this is not truly a work of nonfiction. Max Brooks testifies that he conducted a lot of research and worked on this story for a long time, both before…

Howard the Duck, iss. 1

Howard the Duck #1

Howard the Duck‘s new tagline: “trapped in a world he’s grown accustomed to” has multiple meanings—the series’ first tagline was “trapped in a world he never made!”. Fans will understand it as an evolution of the character, one that will not mimic Steve Gerber’s…

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman

Jaco The Galactic Patrolman cover

Jaco is an alien who wishes his reputation preceded him; as it stands, his creator, Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball fame, is the one with a reputation. Jaco cruises the galaxy under the impression that he is an elite agent of justice, when in…

My Neighbor Seki, vol. 1

My Neighbor Seki Volume 1

The beauty of the “slice of life” genre is that a multitude of content can be contained within a simple premise. If I tell you that Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star are each about a small group of high school girls and their everyday routines,…

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

DBZ Battle of Gods

Let’s be real: Dragon Ball Z is so entrenched in the consciousness of so many anime fans that it has become the quintessential all-ages action comedy. At my library, this movie received the same reaction from boys and girls, men and women: “There’s a new DBZ?!”…

JSA Omnibus, vol. 1

JSA Omnibus Volume One Cover

Justice Society of America Omnibus represents several things. For comics fans and historians, it represents the rebirth of the superhero team, both their original forms and the legacies they have passed down. For DC fans, it represents the early days…

Unico

Unico Cover

Unico fits perfectly among the Greek myths: the pet of Psyche kidnapped by a jealous Venus, sprightly Unico is transported to different times and places, only to be whisked away with his memory wiped after a few days’ time. At worst, Unico leaves his new friends…

The Manga Guide To Linear Algebra

The Manga Guide To Linear Algebra Cover

The cover of this guide to linear algebra promises “Comics Inside!” Is there a chance that this math lesson could be fun? Shin Takahashi hopes so, at least. The author’s preface acts as an extended disclaimer, making the goals of the book clear to…

The Strain, vol. #1

The Strain Vol. 1

Graphic novels are getting a pretty sweet slice of the multimedia pie these days. From adult fare like Game of Thrones and True Blood to cartoons like Adventure Time and My Little Pony, comic adaptations have been pretty successful at…

Street Fighter Classic, vol. #1: Hadoken

Street Fighter Classic volume one cover image

Street Fighter has been a popular franchise for Capcom since 1991 when Street Fighter II debuted. This book draws its cast from the expansive Street Fighter universe, giving writer Ken Siu-Chong plenty of fodder for constant, rapid martial arts encounters. It’s no surprise…

Con Report: SPX 2014

Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland is generally renowned as the “alternative” comics convention, focusing on indies, chapbooks, web comics, and, well, small presses. The fact of the matter is that the convention is bursting with content. Case in point:…

Vinland Saga, Books 1-3

Vinland Saga Book One Cover

Makoto Yukimura’s claim to fame before Vinland Saga was a relatively brief manga series called Planetes. It was a “hard sci-fi” series that focused on the lives of a team of orbiting garbage collectors. There was a default main character,…

The Heart of Thomas

Heart of Thomas

Moto Hagio helped define the Boys’ Love genre back in the 1970s as one of the “Showa 24,” female mangaka who told the kinds of stories they wanted to read and, in doing so, jump-started shojo publishing. This epic tale,…

ValhallaCon 2014

Christine Brunson cosplaying Bioshock Infinite.

The first year of a convention’s existence is like watching a sapling sprout from the ground: there’s not much to expect from the young seed, but you want to see it grow into something strong and beautiful. ValhallaCon is one…

The Art of The Wind Rises

When it comes to the films of Studio Ghibli, a common description of the viewing experience is that it’s like watching a painting in motion. Art books of the films are therefore akin to flipping through a museum gallery and The Art of The Wind Rises…