historical fiction

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,…

Rubicon

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Depicting modern warfare in comics or film is tricky business. Mark Long, Dan Capel, and their collaborators approach the topic in a unique way with Rubicon. In this graphic novel, Long and Capel take the plot of the Japanese medieval epic,…

Ayako

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Ayako is a story of post-war Japan, told from the perspective of the Tenge family. Made wonderfully rich by the vast amount of farmland they’ve owned, the American occupation of Japan has helped to establish new reforms that will now…

Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, vols. 1-8

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What if a persistent small pox-like epidemic reduced 17th century Japan’s male population by three-quarters, leaving the traditionally paternalistic country’s fate in the hands of its women? It’s a fascinating question and one which creator Fumi Yoshinaga handles beautifully and…

Message to Adolf Part 2

Message to Adolf Part 2 Cover

Where the first part of Message to Adolf sets the stage for the story, in this second part, the stage is mostly ruined. Criticisms that were expressed in the review of the first part of the story (that the story…

Message to Adolf, Part 1

Message to Adolf part 1.

There is a thing that happens when you read enough Osamu Tezuka: you keep comparing each work that you read to his greater body of work. That’s not necessarily fair, but it happens, and in this case Message to Adolf,…

Thermae Romae, vols. 1-2

Roman bath engineer Lucius just wants to contribute to the Empire’s greatness and the happiness of its people, so when he loses his job because his designs are considered outdated, he’s understandably bitter. To cheer him up his friend treats…

Blade of the Immortal, vols. 1-26

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Fugitive swordsman Manji is tired of living with regrets, without purpose, and without any foreseeable end in sight, due to his body’s mysterious ability to repair itself. Told by his wizened one-time benefactor that taking the lives of 1000 evil…

American Vampire, vol. 1

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The introduction to this book informs us that Stephen King was so impressed by the idea behind American Vampire that when Scott Snyder approached him about writing a promotional blurb for the series King asked if he might write for…

The Prince: A Round Table Comic

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In 1532, Machiavelli published a treatise on prince craft (although it was probably written earlier). The idea of writing a book that would spell out how to rule was radical for its time. That Machiavelli’s guideline to getting and keeping…

Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2

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Alexia Tarabotti, now married and known as Lady Macon, is back and nothing can keep her down for long: not waking to find a regiment of soldiers camped on her front lawn, not having her husband depart for Scotland with…

Unterzakhn

Fanya and Esther Feinberg are twin girls growing up in the lower east side Jewish ghetto of New York City at the beginning of the 20th century. It is not a safe or clean place, and has limited opportunities for…