realism

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…

Look Straight Ahead

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Jeremy, the protagonist of Look Straight Ahead by Elaine Will, is your typical teenager. To escape typical teenage pressures from his harsh parents and bullies at school, Jeremy draws. Both Jeremy and the reader become immersed in his art. Jeremy walks…

Danza

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In Danza, Creator Nasume Ono (Not Simple) presents an uneven collection of short stories surrounding the bonds of human relationships through parenthood, friendship, brotherhood, and, in the most touching story, cross-cultural family by marriage. The first story is pat and…

Punch Up! Vol. 1-4

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Maki Motoharu is a professional architect content to let his conservative clients think he’s too devoted to his job to take a wife. The truth is that Motoharu is a closeted homosexual with a thing for younger men. He is also workaholic…

Sumo

Sumo

I think I’ve gotten into the habit of reading graphic novels and expecting them to be lengthy series or intricate stand-alones that neatly wrap up every loose end. Sumo is neither of these things. This open-ended graphic novella is about…

Genius

Genius

“It’s always the little things. Small notions lost to the complex mind because of their innate simplicity. Ideas beating on the subconscious like sand grains re-depositing themselves on shores until some kid scoops them up and notices that it’s not…

Second Thoughts

I was actually putting off reviewing this title. I read it once. Then I read it again. By now, I’ve actually read it several times. Second Thoughts is a brief slice-of-life comic. In it, we meet two couples, both at…

No Longer Human, vols. 1-3

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“I’ve lived a life full of shame.” “Human beings terrify me…” While surfing the Internet for inspiration, manga-ka Furuya is drawn to the voice behind an enigmatic online diary titled No Longer Human. In it, a broken young man named…

American Widow

Alissa Torres’ story is the story of a quiet life. Torres met her future husband. They dated, fell in love and got married. They struggled with cultural differences (her husband was Columbian) and with the normal problems of everyday life,…

Five Pounds & Screaming

After well over a year with no success, newlyweds Ben and Eliza are ecstatic to finally get pregnant, but they soon discover that preparing for a new baby involves a lot more than just decorating the nursery and stocking up…

Green Arrow: Year One

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With the possible exception of Tony “Iron Man” Stark, I don’t think any superhero has suffered from mischaracterization in the Modern Age of Comics more frequently than Oliver Queen. The Green Arrow I was a fan of growing up was…

Chico and Rita

Chico and Rita aims to be an epic love story across the ages, but it falls a little flat for me.  Chico is a gifted musician in Havana, 1948. He is a bit of a player – he likes that…

14 Nights, volume 1

Cynical hedonist Nikita Koshkin is 27, overweight, and unfulfilled, both in his job at the local public health department and in his love life. After his doctor refuses to give him a prescription for the phantom pains he still suffers…

Marathon

Marathon

490 BCE – The Athenians have just pulled off the impossible and out-flanked the Persians in a battle on the fields of Marathon. But it was not a defeat. The Persians retreated to their ships and set sail for Athens.…