Write for No Flying No Tights!

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at writing reviews or blogging about comics, graphic novels, manga or anime AND you are a working librarian or on your way to becoming one, we want you!

We are seeking a diverse array of interested writers and reviewers interested in all kinds of comics.  If you’ve applied in the past, please apply again with your updated information and experience.

For REVIEWERS, expectations are:

  • To turn in (at least) one review a month.
  • Select titles for review from our submitted review copies first, then owned/borrowed copies second
  • To help create recommended and/or topical lists
  • To occasionally contribute special features

For FEATURE WRITERS, expectations are:

  • Coordinate and write (at least) one article or list per month
  • Work with other writers and reviewers on the site to create group lists and quick pick lists to ensure bringing in multiple opinions
  • Coordinate and participate in special features as needed including round table discussions, Classic Fantastic columns, and discussions of library-specific topics relating  to comics (cataloging, programming, displays, etc.)

All writing takes time (more than you might think.) Working with other writers on staff also means lists and features will be a group effort, and all posts go through revision and editing.  Consider whether you can commit to a schedule of reading or watching titles, writing up reviews that speak critically to the positives and negatives of each title, and turning in those reviews promptly each month.  Be prepared to discuss constructive criticism and work with our editors to craft your submissions. Creating successful lists requires inspiration and attention to detail on top of significant writing, editing, and formatting. We all have busy library lives: think through what you have time for and what you can commit to working on.

 

Please understand that we only accept applications from librarians or library school students as a way to keep the perspective of the site consistent and distinct.

We can offer review copies of titles (both in print and in digital formats) and a chance to write for a professionally recognized resource. To be clear, we cannot offer payment except in the form of the review copies of titles. If you are interested, please fill out our official application forms.

I (Robin Brenner) and many of our reviewers and staff will be attending ALA Midwinter, so if any of you have questions, we’re happy to try to meet up in person at ALA!

Please send in your application by January 31, 2020.

We will get in touch with all applicants by March 1, 2020.

The List: Best/Worst Graphic Novels and Manga for Grown-ups

On Sunday, June 26th, at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, the Graphic Novel Member Interest Group put on what has become an annual panel listing what may be the best (and a few of the worst) graphic novels to come out in the past three years. This year’s list focuses on graphic novels for grown-ups. While not all the books listed are necessarily for mature audiences only, they all will be of interest primarily to adults.

This year’s panelists were Thomas Maluk, a blogger for panels.net, Marcela Peres, a member of the Valkyries, and Gina Gagliano, marketing and publicity manager for First Second. Thomas and Marcela are also on the No Flying No Tights staff. Their choices are completely subjective and they have made their choices based on their experiences as readers, booksellers, and bloggers rather than as librarians.

Sadly, this is just the list with none of the commentary that went along with it at the panel. If you have any specific questions about any of their choices, please comment below.

GRAPHIC NOVEL MEMBER INTEREST GROUP PRESENTS
BEST AND WORST GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA
FOR GROWN-UPS

Best New Graphic Novel or Manga
NIJIGAHARA HOLOGRAPH
Inio Asano
Fantagraphics
9781606995839

THE THRILLING ADVENTURES OF LOVELACE AND BABBAGE
Sydney Padua
Knopf
9780307908278

THE SCULPTOR
Scott McCloud
First Second
9781596435735

THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE
Sonny Liew
Knopf
9781101870693

LUCKY PENNY
Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota
Oni
9781620102879

KILL MY MOTHER
Jules Feiffer
Liveright
9781631491061

Best New Graphic Novel or Manga Series
SHUTTER
Joe Keatinge
Image
9781632151452

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Image
9781632150196

CLEAN ROOM
Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
DC Comics
9781401262754

DESCENDER
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Image
9781632154262

UNFOLLOW
Rob Williams
DC Comics
9781401262747

Best New Graphic Novel or Manga Continuing Series
SAGA
Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
Image
9781607066019

WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY?
Fumi Yoshinaga
Vertical
9781939130389

SUNNY
Taiyo Matsumoto
VIZ Media
9781421555256

BITCH PLANET
Kelly Sue DeConnick and
Valentine De Landro
Image
9781632153661

LAZARUS
Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
Image
9781607068099

Best Graphic Non-Fiction or Memoir
DARK NIGHT: A TRUE BATMAN STORY
Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso
DC Comics
9781401241438

THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE
Riad Sattouf
Henry Holt
9781627793445

THINGS TO DO IN A RETIREMENT HOME TRAILER PARK
Aneurin Wright
Penn State University Press
9780271071121

DARE TO DISAPPOINT
Ozge Samanci
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
9780374316983

Worst Graphic Novels and Manga
GET JIRO: BLOOD AND SUSHI
Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose
DC Comics
9781401265007

HERE
Richard McGuire
Knopf
9780375406508

Graphic Novels and Manga We’re Most Looking Forward to Reading
ROLLING BLACKOUTS
Sarah Glidden
Drawn & Quarterly
9781770462557

BECOMING ANDY WARHOL
Nick Bertozzi and Pierce Hargan
Abrams
9781419718755

MONSTRESS
Margorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Image
9781632157096

Underrated but Wonderful Graphic Novels and Manga
MANIFEST DESTINY
Chris Dingess
Image
9781607069829

VINLAND SAGA
Makoto Yukimura
Vertical
9781612624204

LADY KILLER
Joelle Jones and Jamie Rich
Dark Horse
2940152648751

GORGEOUS
Cathy G. Johnson
Koyama Press
9781927668276

Interview: The Boston Super Heroes

In early May of this year, my library hosted our first big superhero day, Avengers Day. For more about how our day-long event was planned and executed, please head on over to School Library Journal for all the nitty gritty details.

In producing this event, we partnered with the remarkable charity organization the Boston Super Heroes (BSH). As an official charity group devoted to spreading their love of superheroes around the city, they had only just begun to work at large scale events when we nabbed them for our day. In speaking with the group founder, Anthony Ferranti, he confirmed their commitment to charity work and the special place libraries hold for the group, “We will always do library programs because libraries are a place open to everyone, for everyone to come to. We don’t want libraries to disappear.”

AvengersDayGroup

The entire Boston Super Heroes group from Avengers Day, with their fans and a librarian or two.

The members’ enthusiasm, commitment, and sincere delight in sharing their heroes with comics fans of all ages continues to be inspiring. I got in touch with them again to talk heroes, libraries, and to gather advice for librarians on how to best connect with and partner with their local cosplayers.

BSHSelfie

Group selfie before the heroes hit the main stacks, taken by Scarlet Witch (Faith D’Isa).

No Flying No Tights: How did you first get involved in cosplaying?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): I’ve been cosplaying since 7th grade and can hardly remember how I started. I always did big Halloween costumes but then I think I found a group of Canadian cosplayers on YouTube and realized that people did Halloween ALL THE TIME and just as hardcore as I did. My dad started taking me to cons then and I’ve been cosplaying since.

Phil MacRamos (Nick Fury): Cosplaying felt like an extension of acting to me. Just improvisational theatre with an established character.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): I first got into cosplaying through anime. In high school I heard about Anime Boston and got a couple friends to go with me to check it out. I cosplayed Sebastian from Black Butler. It was awesome. That was my first con and it felt like home.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): For my second year at Anime Boston, I decided to try wearing a costume at a convention for the first time and all the positive vibes and good times that ensued made me a cosplayer for life.

Sean Derr (Captain America): Already considering myself a huge super fan of comics and Marvel, I built and pieced together a replica shield because I thought it would be a cool collector’s item. For a completely separate reason, a group of friends and I decided to dress up like superheroes and surprise our friend for his bachelor party. Fast forward a year or so and I found myself in Boston with a free weekend, and lo & behold Boston Comic-Con was in town. I decided what better place to go and use my costume and shield again. While I was there I met some incredible people who showed me the world of cosplay, and I have been laughing, smiling, and having an incredible time ever since.

CaptainAmericaThor

Captain America (Sean Derr) with a young Thor.

NFNT: What led you to join the Boston Super Heroes group, and especially to join up for events like Avengers Day?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): I found Boston Super Heroes through some mutual friends in the cosplaying community in my first year of college in Boston, and eventually joined up as an admin. I’ve done character parties before so this sort of charity work was immediately sounding like a great opportunity to me, especially as we’ve started to move the group towards a more charitable direction!

Phil MacRamos (Nick Fury): My first con was in Boston, met some folks for a photo shoot. Really connected with [Boston Super Heroes founder] Anthony Ferranti and he extended the invite. Great decision.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): I joined the Boston Super Heroes because I wanted to get more into cosplay and make friends with like interests. At the time I was thinking about making a Groot cosplay from Guardians of the Galaxy. I had a friend from school who joined the BSH on Facebook and I thought that joining as well would be a good opportunity to see other superhero/supervillain cosplays. I decided to help with the charity events because I know that if I was little I would have loved to see people in costumes like these and I wanted to use my costume to help and make people smile.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): I met a few cosplayers (who now I consider friends) at Anime Boston this year at a superhero photoshoot and one of them sent me an invite via Facebook. I always wanted to do events that give back to the community, especially for the kids.

Sean Derr (Captain America): I heard about the BSH at [Boston Comic-Con] and joined up to be connected with people sharing a similar interest. I joined the Avengers Day event because I realized that I could actually use my newfound hobby to make more people smile and to help make lifelong memories for kids.

11216515_10206973300360748_5996249084977958055_o

Nick Fury (Phil MacRamos) checks out the library’s comics collection.

NFNT: What inspired you to choose the character you did for the Avengers event?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): I’ve been a big Scarlet Witch fan since I was a kid reading comics. She’s been my favorite character since then (along with her brother [Quicksilver]), and because the film had just come out it seemed like a perfect opportunity to bring her to life for some kids who’d just been introduced to her.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): I chose to be Groot for Avengers Day because it is currently my only hero costume and because I thought people would enjoy seeing Groot there.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): Spider-Man saved my life. I grew up watching his cartoons and reading his comic books as a child and his stories always hit home for me. A couple years ago, one of my friends was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in front of me and I was traumatized. Without even realizing it, I turned to Spider-Man for strength, especially with how he dealt with his guilt and anger from his uncle passing the same way. It still hurts to this day, but Spider-Man and Peter Parker’s character has given me strength and hope that life gets better through the tragedies.

Sean Derr (Captain America): I’ve always liked captain America, he’s a huge Boy Scout and does what’s right and fair because it’s right and fair. It echoed my own upbringing and I felt a connection. He’s also a man out of place and time, and at various points in my life I’ve felt similarly.

11289365_10206973301040765_7965228014794428991_o

Spider-Man (Peter Vann) amid the crowds of fans.

NFNT: What was your favorite reaction from an attendee during the day?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): My favorite reaction during the day was the little girl who came up to Black Widow and I saying that she wanted to make sure she found us because she gets very excited about female superheroes and wanted to meet as many as she could. As a girl who’s been into superheroes, I know how isolating some of the media and merchandise can be so it was really great to be able to make her day like that. There was also the little boy who was slowly starting to believe we were the real deal and started quizzing us on our lives, and later said he was sorry that my brother died.

Phil MacRamos (Nick Fury): The kids in the quiet room sneaking up behind me, trying to figure out who I was.

Groot

Groot (Amanda Gibson) greets Baby Groot and a young fan.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): My favorite reaction from the event was this little boy in a Spider-Man outfit who came with a baby Groot toy and let me hold it. He kept coming back to see me and asked me to stand with him in the group photo.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): I remember one little girl was all smiles to see me like I was her long lost best friend and laughing through and through.

Sean Derr (Captain America): A boy asked if I was the real Captain America, to which I responded “of course!” His jaw dropped to the floor, smiled ear to ear, and gave me a high five.

NFNT: If librarians are interested in hosting such an event, what would you want them to know about what you do and what you’ll need to be a success?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): If other librarians want to host an event like this I think they should definitely focus on the idea of maintaining how real this world is for kids. As adults we’re aware of the idea of these heroes being fictional but for kids, these characters are important and real role models. This means having your staff also help with that illusion (things like calling characters by name and talking to them as if they’re the real deal) and making sure your costumed characters are professional and in character, not to mention of course never letting kids see them out of costume.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): I think for these events, that librarians should know a bit about the characters that will be attending so that they can help keep the kids in the illusion.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): I definitely need my freedom to roam and interact, but also take breaks for myself without drawing attention. Also, a little structure is nice but not standing stationed for picture-taking.

Sean Derr (Captain America): The green room space before hand was awesome. It allowed us to change on site and grab a break if needed while not breaking character in front of the kids. From experience, it helps having a few people act as controllers and come in to give the cosplayers breaks or pause a line of photos so we don’t have to be the bad guys, cause it’s way too hard to say no to a child.

11312812_10206511298682185_2412764338327736123_o

Story time with Captain America (Sean Derr), Scarlet Witch (Faith D’Isa), and Black Widow (Lauren Murray), as well as Peggy Carter at the front (Kelsey Young.)

NFNT: If librarians aren’t local to Boston, do you have any advice or resources you’d recommend they use to find similar cosplay charity groups in other areas?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): I’d say definitely make connections with your local comic shops. Often these shops have contacts with costume groups in the area who might be willing to put on an event like this, either as customers or through doing special events of their own.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): I would ask cons or comic stores if they have any information about specific groups. This group at least seems really good at communicating with places we attend, so the places we have been should be able to get in contact with us.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): Honestly, I got lucky that I met the people that I did and had the chance to join such a wonderful organization.

Sean Derr (Captain America): Join and connect with a group like the BSH and ask for information or contacts in their area. Most of us meet fellow cosplayers at conventions all over. We usually know someone that knows someone and we’re always happy to help especially when it’s something we love!

NFNT: Any advice for teens (or adults, or librarians) who are interested in getting started cosplaying? Resources on cosplay you’d recommend?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): If you want to start cosplaying, dive right in! My first cosplay at a con was a manga character who wore a large white shirt and jeans—I didn’t know how to craft or sew yet but I just put myself out there and felt so welcomed into the community. There are tons of Facebook groups that are also great discussion forums for making your own cosplay and places to buy costumes and wigs to start off—just start searching “cosplay” and specify it to groups and tons will come up, from Disney to Game of Thrones and superheroes and everything in between! There’s also a new app called Cosplay Amino which is a social community for cosplayers where people post their costumes, ask questions, and share tutorials and ideas.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): Just go for it! Find a character that you absolutely love that you would love to be. Keeping that kind of mindset can really help you make a good cosplay. Personally, Home Depot and Walmart are my best friends when it it comes to supplies. I’ve been told there are a lot of good online resources for specific stuff as well and if necessary you can sometimes commission other cosplayers to make things.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): My first Spider-Man suit was a blotched disaster and scared little children away. It’s trial and error with making the outfit but there are cosplayers and cosplay groups online who are willing to help. Also, don’t pay any mind to any negative comments towards your outfit or body. Cosplay is for everybody and is supposed to be a fun experience. If a random jerk says something otherwise, just ignore them and go about your business because at the end of the day, the positive outweighs the negative.

Sean Derr (Captain America): therfp.com is great for showing how to make props and building things. Attend a convention in the area and talk to the cosplayers there. We love talking about our costumes and props. If they can’t actually attend, try to just get in the lobby and ask people as they enter/exit.

NFNT: Any other comments or advice you’d want to share concerning the group, events like these, or the day itself?

Faith D’Isa (Scarlet Witch): I don’t really know what else to share other than how absolutely rewarding this experience is, and if people are on the fence about participating or hosting an event like this—do it! It’s a lot of work but the payoff is indescribable.

Amanda Gibson (Groot): Make sure you take care of yourself when you’re in costume. Keep in mind how functional the costume is when you are building it or else you may end up in trouble.

Peter Vann (Spider-Man): The staff did a wonderful job accommodating making the group feel welcome and I will always remember that day!

Sean Derr (Captain America): It was an incredible time and I’d be honored to do it again, so spread the word about groups like ours and people like us!

At the Brookline Public Library, we’ve now had the group participate in three events, including our Superhero Edible Book Festival and our Batman Day, both of which were a huge draw for our patrons young and old. The group is currently on hiatus in terms of booking new events until the new year, but never fear, they’ll be back in 2016.

Thanks to the entire group for partnering with libraries to make amazing memories for our attendees.

You can find the Boston Super Heroes at their website as well as over on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Tumblr.

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: I traveled with a friend to the convention on Saturday, September 13 and wound up arriving late, missing all of the panels I had anticipated attending. We left SPX without any disappointments, though.

SPX-2

The author and Jeffrey Rowland.

The layout of SPX within the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel is pretty basic: a huge, perpetually crowded ballroom for artists and vendors on the second floor, and two panel rooms directly underneath on the ground floor. Impossible to get lost, right? My friend and I were glad the convention handed out maps to navigate the rings of booths. We took a blind first pass in a large circle to get a feel for the place, then focused on the studios/artists we knew we had to see. Parents were undoubtedly grateful for the “Family Friendly” booths indicated on the map, as each booth’s content was radically different from the next, and families looking for Owly or Donald Duck or Raina Telgemeier probably don’t want to walk their kid directly into a bong-smoking Jesus or a slab of t-shirts reading, “Fuck this and fuck you.” (Or maybe they do! I’m not here to judge.)

The slate of publishers was as varied as it was full of talent. Describing them in any sort of order could only resemble the sensory experience of browsing a massive flea market of passionate creators, tainted by my biases and straining to not sound like a giant advertisement. Big small presses (is that how they are labeled?) such as Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, and Top Shelf were the most “corporate” entities I could find on the show floor, while dozens of self-publishers and indie presses showed off and signed their eye-catching merchandise. I was surprised by Self Made Hero, who have a heavy slate of quality books that I will need to check out over time (why did I not know them already?). Seeing a print copy of the anime/Simpsons mash-up “Bartkira” blew my mind and was an instant purchase, even if it only contained samples of the larger project. Early copies of the Kickstarter-funded “Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream” were massive and stuffed with creative layouts.

The back wall of the floor included a slew of my favorite webcomics folks from TopatoCo, including KC Green, Jon Rosenberg, Chris Hastings, and Jeffrey Rowland, who was a formative webcomics author I’ve read since high school. Rowland was unassuming as TopatoCo’s cashier, but agreed to a quick photo anyway. I missed Tom Tomorrow, who was out to lunch (if you’re reading this, Tom: I love your work!). Print editions of the massively popular interactive webcomic Homestuck were on sale, which I never thought I’d see, and I bet plenty of young people’s minds would be blown to find them on a library shelf. I took a chance on Pete Sickman-Garner’s sick sense of humor. Books were signed (if not simply gushed over) with Raina Telgemeier, Jillian Tamaki, Charles Burns, Mimi Pond, Emily Carroll, and Ed Piskor, a set of names that should sing “great comics” to you, in case you can’t hear it yet.

SPX-3

Some convention bloggers are mature enough to resist photographing their “book haul.” I remain easily excited by piles of books.

The lines to see these artists were never long, if there was a line at all. I observed some packed speaker panels, though, especially for Lynda Barry, whose signing afterward created a line that stretched through the hallway outside the show floor. I said hey to Chris Butcher, whom I met earlier this year on a manga panel for the American Library Association, and he introduced me to some friendly folks from Koyama Press.

One of my favorite meetings at SPX was purely by accident. Despite missing the comics journalism and criticism panel, I kept an eye out for the speakers and eventually spotted Brigid Alverson crossing the hall. I introduced myself and told her I really liked her work, and she took a moment to speak with me. While this happened, my friend and I noticed that the guy she was walking with wore an “Atomcat” Osamu Tezuka t-shirt, at which point she said, “Oh, and this is my friend, Ed Sizemore,” causing us to gasp. A few moments later, Johanna Carlson showed up and introduced herself. Meeting graphic novel critics/reporters is a fringe benefit to me at these kinds of conventions, as I enjoy talking to people who read way too many comics.

SPX-1

The author, Ed Sizemore, and Brigid Alverson.

The other major fringe benefit is gathering Nintendo 3DS streetpasses, which is a transfer of data between the game consoles whenever they come within a certain range of each other. Every so often I would spot some gamers camped out for a panel or resting at a table and mentally take note to check my 3DS alerts. If this paragraph has done nothing else, it should inform you that SPX is extremely geek-friendly. There was not much cosplay on display, though the occasional child in a Pokemon outfit or knitted beard could be found. While I am loathe to engage in low-brow stereotyping of people according to their fashion and interests, I have to say, Lenscrafters would make a killing as an SPX vendor, given all the glasses worn.

I left Maryland the next day after my friend and I ate brunch at Ize’s Deli, a small but wonderful eatery with plenty of local flavor. As we ate, I spotted someone in a “Pimp My Bookcart” t-shirt (always with the recognizable t-shirts, this guy) and decided to say hi as a (presumably) fellow librarian. The stranger said he used to be a librarian but had started taking classes with the Center For Cartoon Studies. “That means you’re Andrew Shuping,” I said, and we shook hands as fellow No Flying, No Tights writers.

I don’t know how often I will return to SPX, having driven up from South Carolina this time, but the mixture of alternative presses, easy organization, diehard audience, and friendly faces puts it a notch above the larger, flashier, more expensive shows. I may have missed the panels and Ignatz Awards that were initially mapped out, but my autographed book haul thanks SPX for the experience.

Hot Off the Press!

Highlights from the past week, with commentary from the NFNT gang:

 AbovetheDreamlessDead

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics (First Second, 9781626720657)
Jennifer W: I would personally like to read Above the Dreamless Dead. It’s not the kind of thing I’d usually enjoy, but I discovered WWI poetry as a teen and was obsessed with it for a while.

 comics-an-age-of-license-lucy-knisley

An Age of License (Fantagraphics, 9781606997680)
Andrew S: This falls into the same type of category as Lucy Knisley’s first book, French Milk, but Lucy’s storytelling abilities and artistic talents have grown tremendously since then and the mix of life, crushes, and journeys is beautifully told.

 Batwoman-Proper-Cover

Batwoman Volume 4: This Blood is Thick (DC Comics, 9781401249991)
Thomas: Batwoman’s artwork continues to look so gorgeous my eyes hurt. J.H. Williams III just doesn’t quit.

 ElDeafor

El Deafo (Amulet, 9781419712173)
Andrew S: Everyone needs to go read it. Like now. I put El Deafo in the fictional realistic biographical section, similar to Drama by Raina Telgemeier. I had the chance to meet Cece Bell at BookExpo and she was kind, generous, and awesome.

 FinderThirdWorld

Finder: Third World (Dark Horse, 9781616554675)
Jenny: I’ve already put in a request for Finder: Third World. I will read anything Carla Speed McNeil writes/draws, especially if it’s a new Finder story.

 Forever_Evil_Vol_1_1_Textless

Forever Evil (DC Comics, 9781401248918)
Thomas: Forever Evil is a neat DC event that gives Lex Luthor an opportunity to begrudgingly play the good guy.

 KillMyMother

Kill My Mother (Liveright, 9780871403148)
Jenny: After reading encouraging NPR and NYT Book Review reviews of Jules Feiffer’s noir detective tale Kill My Mother, I thought it’d be perfect for a future graphic novel discussion.

 LibraryWars12

Library Wars: Love and War Volume 12 (Viz, 9781421569512)
Thomas: I am professionally obligated to endorse Kiiro Yumi’s Library Wars to all library-addicted people.

 NewLoneWolfandCub2

New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 2 (Dark Horse, 9781616553579)
Andrew S: The New Lone Wolf and Cub is also something that I can’t wait to pick up.

 Noragami1

Noragami: Stray God Volume 1 (Kodansha, 9781612629063)
Jessikah: Noragami is something to look out for.  It’s a fun story, and I think it will be popular.

Jenny: Ooh, yes, Noragami looks swell. The anime adaptation is quite well done and managed to make me get all emotionally invested, so I expect the source material will be just as good.

SeraphoftheEnd1

Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign Volume 1 (Viz, 9781421571515)
Marissa: I really enjoyed Seraph of the End volume 1 and am excited to read the next volume. I don’t usually buy manga for myself anymore, but I was drawn to the summary and artwork in Barnes and Nobles and was not disappointed. I think I may actually buy the second one, as well. And, of course, I told the teen librarian to buy it for our library.

Jenny: I enjoyed the first volume of Seraph of the End, too! I wasn’t expecting much when I picked it up, but it surprised me and now I’m curious to see where the mix of darkly serious and silly tones goes next.

 SkipBeat33

Skip Beat Volume 33 (Viz, 9781421569529)
Jenny: Skip Beat is great fun. I always look forward to seeing how nutty, talented Kyoko tackles her next challenge, be it a new role or her wonderfully slow-boil romance. The tension has really ramped up with this arc, so I’m all impatient to get my hands on volume 33.

 DisneyDonRosa1

Walt Disney – the Don Rosa Library Volume 1: Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun (Fantagraphics, 9781606997420)
Thomas: Don Rosa should be an institution here like he is in Europe.

 WhatDidYouEatYesterday4

What Did You Eat Yesterday Volume 4 (Vertical, 9781939130792)
Jenny: I want to see how What Did You Eat Yesterday 4 quietly reveals more of its characters’ lives while making me feel hungry and domestically inadequate (but not in a bad way).  🙂

 Wrenchies

The Wrenchies (First Second, 9781596434219)
Andrew S: Like everything that First Second puts out, I can’t get enough of it. The Wrenchies is fantastic. While dystopian tales have been overdone lately, this one will make you think and leave you wondering what reality is, what it can be, and what life is about. Extremely well done and worth owning.

 WWESlamCity

WWE Slam City Volume 1: Finished (Papercutz, 9781597077217)
Jennifer W:  I don’t know about literary quality, but I can tell you that I have pre-ordered WWE Slam City and expect it to be crazy popular.

 

AND NOW FOR THE COMPLETE LIST

 

The following list of new releases is compiled from Diamond Comic Distributors’ complete weekly shipping list and Anime News Network’s Releases encyclopedia

 

Graphic Novels

 

Action Lab

  • SKYWARD TP VOL 03 BATTLE AT THREE RIVERS

Amulet

  • EL DEAFO

Antarctic Press

  • GOLD DIGGER GOLD BRICK IV REMINTED ED

Avatar

  • GOD IS DEAD BOOK OF ACTS ALPHA GLYCON LEATHER CVR
  • GOD IS DEAD BOOK OF ACTS DLX COLL BOX SET

BOOM! Studios

  • WOODS TP VOL 01

Danger Zone

  • BO PLUSHY GANGSTA KINGDOM BO TP

Dark Horse

  • ALLEY OOP COMPLETE SUNDAYS HC VOL 02 1936 – 1938
  • AW YEAH COMICS TP VOL 01
  • FEAR AGENT TP VOL 06 2ND ED OUT OF STEP
  • FINDER THIRD WORLD TP
  • FURIOUS TP VOL 01 FALLEN STAR
  • JAYBIRD HC
  • LEGEND KORRA ART ANIMATED SERIES HC BOOK 02 SPIRITS
  • NEW LONE WOLF AND CUB TP VOL 02
  • PARIAH TP VOL 02

DC Comics 

  • BATWOMAN TP VOL 04 THIS BLOOD IS THICK
  • FOREVER EVIL HC
  • JLA EARTH 2 TP NEW ED
  • MARTIAN MANHUNTER RINGS OF SATURN TP
  • MR PUNCH 20TH ANNIVERSARY ED HC

Fantagraphics

  • AGE OF LICENSE GN
  • DISNEY ROSA DUCK LIBRARY HC VOL 01 SCROOGE SON OF SUN

First Second

  • ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD WWI IN POETRY & COMICS HC
  • WRENCHIES GN

Gen Manga

  • KAMEN GN VOL 01

IDW

  • DUNGEONS & DRAGONS FORGOTTEN REALMS OMNIBUS TP VOL 02
  • GI JOE ORIGINS OMNIBUS TP VOL 02
  • JUDGE DREDD (IDW) TP VOL 05
  • JUDGE DREDD MEGA CITY TWO TP
  • MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC TP VOL 05
  • TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES TP VOL 03
  • TMNT ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SP ED HC
  • TRANSFORMERS IDW COLL PHASE 2 HC VOL 01

Image

  • EGOS TP VOL 01 QUINTESSENCE
  • MERCENARY SEA TP VOL 01
  • WALKING DEAD HC VOL 10

Kodansha

  • NORAGAMI STRAY GOD GN VOL 01

Liveright

  • KILL MY MOTHER GN

Marvel

  • DARK TOWER GUNSLINGER OMNIBUS HC SLIPCASE
  • DEADPOOL MINIBUS HC
  • INFINITY TP
  • KICK-ASS 3 PREM HC
  • MMW FAMOUS FIRSTS 75TH ANNIV SLIPCASE SET
  • OZ OMNIBUS HC
  • REVENGE SECRET ORIGIN OF EMILY THORNE PREM HC

Papercutz

  • WWE SLAM CITY HC VOL 01 FINISHED

Seven Seas Entertainment

  • A CENTAURS LIFE GN VOL 04
  • ALICE I/T COUNTRY OF CLOVER KNIGHTS KNOWLEDGE GN VOL 02
  • MAYO CHICKI GN VOL 07
  • ZEROS FAMILIAR CHEVALIER GN VOL 02

Shambhala

  • MUSASHI GN

Simon & Schuster

  • MASTERFUL MARKS CARTOONIST WHO CHANGED THE WORLD HC

Studio Farlaine

  • FARLAINE GOBLIN TP VOL 01

Titan

  • A1 PRESENTS CARPE DIEM HC VOL 01 I HATE MONDAYS
  • ALIEN LEGION DEAD & BURIED OMNIBUS TP
  • DOCTOR GRORDBORT PRES ONSLAUGHT HC
  • EPIC CHRONICLES HAGAR THE HORRIBLE HC 1980-81
  • FOUR HORSEMEN O/T APOCALYPSE HC
  • VOID HC

Vertical

  • WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY GN VOL 04

Viz

  • BLEACH 3IN1 TP VOL 09
  • DAWN OF THE ARCANA GN VOL 13
  • DRAGON BALL 3IN1 TP VOL 06
  • LIBRARY WARS LOVE & WAR GN VOL 12
  • MIDNIGHT SECRETARY GN VOL 07
  • NARUTO 3IN1 TP VOL 09
  • NISEKOI FALSE LOVE GN VOL 05
  • ONE PIECE GN VOL 72
  • PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE GN VOL 04
  • POKEMON ADVENTURES GN BOX SET VOL 03 RUBY SAPPHIRE
  • POKEMON ADVENTURES GN VOL 24 FIRE RED LEAF GREEN
  • POKEMON BLACK & WHITE GN BOX SET VOL 02
  • SERAPH OF END VAMPIRE REIGN GN VOL 02
  • SKIP BEAT GN VOL 33
  • TIME KILLERS GN
  • YU GI OH 5DS GN VOL 06

Anime

Funimation

  • Baka and Test Season 1 Collection
  • Baka and Test Season 2 Collection
  • Hal – the Movie

NIS America

  • Love Live! School Idol Project – Season 1

The Right Stuf International

  • Junjo Romantica – Season 1 Collection

Sentai

  • Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
  • Gatchaman Crowds – Complete Collection
  • Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – Complete Collection

Viz

  • Blood Lad Complete Series

Keep in mind that titles are not always available from book vendors on the same dates as they are released in comic book stores, so not all of these will be available everywhere at the same time. Check with your vendors, just to be sure!

Hot Off the Press!

Highlights from the past two weeks, with commentary from the NFNT gang:

Amulet-6-Cover

Amulet Volume 6: Escape from Lucien (Scholastic/Graphix, 9780545433150)

Ellen: I already read an ARC of the new Amulet, but I’m STILL psyched to have the book coming out!  Totally going to grab it and read it again.

Jessikah: Amulet is also a constant favorite on our shelves, and I don’t blame the kids, because I LOVE this series.

Chi11

Chi’s Sweet Home Volume 11 (Vertical, 9781939130518)

Marissa: I love Chi’s Sweet Home and cannot wait for volume 11! I got a lot of my kids into it, as well. It’s such an adorable series.

Jessikah: I am also happy to see more Chi’s sweet home.  My kids eat those volumes alive, and I’m always in need to reorders.  Plus, who can resist that cute kitty?

DisplacedPersons_cover_3x3_300

Displaced Persons (Image, 9781632151216)

Gail: I am certainly looking forward to Displaced Persons — have a signed copy in my hands but have not yet had a chance to read it.

HipHopFamilyTree2

Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 2 (Fantagraphics, 9781606997567)

Garrett: I’ve been following Piskor’s Hip-Hop Family Tree on boingboing…really good stuff.

Jellaby2

Jellaby Volume 2: Monster in the City (Capstone, 9781434291967)

Jessikah: I am happy to see the second Jellaby back in print.  I would love to see a third issue come about.  I can dream, right?

Andrew S: I’m also excited about the new release of Jellaby (and I think that he is working on a 3rd volume…or thought I read that somewhere. Maybe. Hopefully.)

SamuraiExecutioner2

Samurai Executioner Omnibus Volume 2 (Dark Horse, 9781616553203)

?Garrett: I’ve always been a fan of the black & white samurai dramas and Dark Horse has been re-releasing Lone Wolf and Cub and Samurai Executioner in omnibus editions. I think that’s great primarily because they were first released in those teeny little pulp-style books, and I found those to be completely infuriating to read. The omnibus editions are about twice as big…the art and text are much easier to digest in addition to the books themselves being easier to hold and read.

ScottPilgrimColor5

Scott Pilgrim Color Edition Volume 5 (Oni, 9781620100042)

Andrew S: I’m happy to see the 5th volume of Scott Pilgrim color coming out. I love the original and the color just really enhances it.

Sisters

Sisters (Scholastic/Graphix, 9780545540605)

Robin: Yay for Sisters!  I got a chance to read this ahead, and it brought back all the joys (and grumpiness) of being a younger sister to my older, much cooler sister.  Or so she thought.  And I thought too, I admit. 🙂

Jessikah: Yay for Sisters, and all things Raina! (Including the reprint of the Babysitters Club graphic novels.)

Andrew S: Love, love, LOVE Sisters and the latest version of Amulet!  Got both at BEA and got Raina to sign Sisters for me. Just as awesome as Smile and Drama.

Rachel: I just read Smile earlier this summer and loved it, so I’m psyched to read Sisters too!

TalesDesignedtoThrizzle1

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume 1 (Fantagraphics, 9781606997642)

?Garrett: I’d love to have Tales Designed to Thrizzle for my home shelf; alas, I missed the boat on the hardback of volume 1, and now it’s all expensive. Michael Kupperman is a national treasure. I’m dead serious. If you haven’t checked this out or Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010, I highly suggest you do so.

TsubasaOmnibus1

Tsubasa Omnibus Volume 1 (Kodansha, 9781612625959)

?Jessikah: An omnibus edition of Tsubasa?  That’s plain fantastic.

VinlandSaga4

Vinland Saga Volume 4 (Kodansha, 9781612624235)

Thomas: Vinland Saga Volume 4 is essentially the “Red Wedding” of the series and y’all need to hop on board the hype train WOO WOOOOOO

AND NOW FOR THE COMPLETE LIST

The following list of new releases is compiled from Diamond Comic Distributors’ complete weekly shipping list and Anime News Network’s Releases encyclopedia

Graphic Novels

Action Lab

  • VAMPLETS NIGHTMARE NURSERY HC BOOK 02

Alternative Comics

  • NIGHT O/T LIVING VIDIOTS GN

Ape Entertainment

  • RUN LIKE HELL GN

Archie Comics

  • BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS TP VOL 04
  • SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ARCHIVES TP VOL 23

BOOM! Studios

  • ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA & CAKE MATHEMATICAL ED HC
  • BRAVEST WARRIORS TP VOL 03
  • DEAD LETTERS TP VOL 01
  • KILLER OMNIBUS TP VOL 02
  • SUICIDE RISK TP VOL 03

Caliber Entertainment

  • CARBON GN
  • Capstone
  • JELLABY GN VOL 02 MONSTER IN THE CITY

Comixtribe

  • RED TEN TP VOL 01

Dark Horse

  • GUNS OF SHADOW VALLEY HC
  • SAMURAI EXECUTIONER OMNIBUS TP VOL 02
  • SECOND CHANCE AT SARAH HC
  • STAR WARS LEGACY II TP VOL 03 WANTED ANIA SOLO
  • STAR WARS LUCAS DRAFT DELUXE ED HC BOX SET

DC Comics

  • BATMAN ARKHAM UNHINGED HC VOL 04
  • BATMAN ARKHAM UNHINGED TP VOL 03
  • BATMAN EARTH ONE TP
  • BATMAN INCORPORATED TP VOL 02 GOTHAMS MOST WANTED
  • BRIGHTEST DAY OMNIBUS HC
  • FLASH HC VOL 04 REVERSE
  • FLASH TP VOL 03 GORILLA WARFARE
  • GREEN LANTERN WRATH OF THE FIRST LANTERN TP
  • HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE TP VOL 03
  • INVISIBLES HC BOOK 02 DELUXE EDITION
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK TP VOL 04 THE REBIRTH OF EVIL
  • KATANA TP VOL 01 SOULTAKER
  • LUCIFER TP VOL 04
  • PREACHER TP BOOK 05

Dynamite

  • DEJAH THORIS & GREEN MEN OF MARS TP VOL 02
  • GRIMM PORTLAND WU GN
  • HEART OF THE BEAST HC 20TH ANNV ED
  • KINGS WATCH TP VOL 01
  • LEGENDS OF RED SONJA TP VOL 01
  • PATHFINDER HC VOL 02 TOOTH & CLAW
  • VAMPIRELLA BITES TP
  • WARLORD OF MARS TP VOL 04

Fantagraphics

  • CONSCIENCE OF A CARTOONIST HC
  • HIP HOP FAMILY TREE GN VOL 02
  • JIM HC
  • PEANUTS WAITING FOR GREAT PUMPKIN HC
  • TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE TP VOL 01

First Second

  • GIANTS BEWARE GN
  • ODD DUCK GN

Hermes

  • PHANTOM COMP SUNDAYS HC VOL 02 1943-1945

Humanoids

  • EL NINO OMNIBUS HC
  • MEGALEX HC

IDW

  • AIRBOY ARCHIVE TP VOL 02
  • GI JOE SILENT INTERLUDE 30TH ANNV ED HC
  • MONSTER & MADMAN TP
  • MY LITTLE PONY TP VOL 03 RETURN OF HARMONY
  • SINISTER DEXTER TP
  • TMNT ADVENTURES TP VOL 08

Image

  • DISPLACED PERSONS OGN

Jet City Comics

  • HUGH HOWEYS WOOL GN

Kenzer & Co.

  • KODT BUNDLE OF TROUBLE TP VOL 45

Kickstart Comics

  • ROBOT CLOWN MOB GN

Kodansha

  • ATTACK ON TITAN BEFORE THE FALL GN VOL 02
  • FAIRY TAIL GN VOL 41
  • HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN GN VOL 01
  • MISSIONS OF LOVE GN VOL 08
  • MONSTER SOUL GN VOL 02
  • MY LITTLE MONSTER GN VOL 03
  • NEGIMA GN VOL 28 NEW PTG
  • TSUBASA OMNIBUS GN VOL 01
  • VINLAND SAGA GN VOL 04

Magnetic Press

  • ZAYA HC

Marvel

  • CAPTAIN AMERICA EPIC COLLECTION SOCIETY SERPENTS TP
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA PREM HC VOL 04 IRON NAIL
  • DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID TP VOL 06
  • DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY COMPLETE COLL TP VOL 04
  • JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY BY GILLEN TP VOL 02 COMPLETE COLL
  • LOKI AGENT OF ASGARD TP VOL 01 TRUST ME
  • PUNISHER TP VOL 01 BLACK AND WHITE
  • WINTER SOLDIER TP BITTER MARCH

Microcosm

  • SNAKEPIT 10 YEAR ANNVERSARY ED GN

NBM

  • ZOMBILLENIUM HC VOL 02 HUMAN RESOURCES

Oni

  • SCOTT PILGRIM COLOR HC VOL 05
  • THE PEOPLE INSIDE HC

Panini

  • DOCTOR WHO CRUEL SEA GN

Papercutz

  • DINOSAURS HC VOL 03 JURASSIC SMARTS
  • LEGO LEGENDS OF CHIMA GN VOL 02 RIGHT DECISION
  • SMURFS ANTHOLOGY HC VOL 03
  • TOTO TROUBLE VOL 02 DEADLY JOKESTER
  • WWE SLAM CITY GN VOL 01 FINISHED

Penguin

  • LENA FINKLES MAGIC BARREL GN

PS Artbooks

  • ACG COLL WORKS ADV INTO UNKNOWN SLIPCASE ED VOL 08
  • ACG COLL WORKS FORBIDDEN WORLDS HC VOL 07
  • ACG COLL WORKS FORBIDDEN WORLDS SLIPCASE ED VOL 07
  • HARVEY HORRORS BLACK CAT MYSTERY SOFTIE TP VOL 03
  • HARVEY HORRORS COLL PACK BLACK CAT MYSTERY HC ED
  • ROY THOMAS PRESENTS SHEENA QUEEN JUNGLE VOL 01

Razor Wolf Entertainment

  • SWORD AND THE BUTTERFLY GN

Rebellion/2000 AD

  • ABC WARRIORS VOLGAN WAR GN VOL 04
  • US JUDGE DREDD COMP CASE FILES TP VOL 08

Rorschach Entertainment

  • BULLYS BULLY TP VOL 01

Scholastic Graphix

  • AMULET SC VOL 06 ESCAPE FROM LUCIEN
  • BABY SITTERS CLUB GN VOL 01 KRISTYS GREAT IDEA NEW PTG
  • SISTERS GN
  • SMILE SISTERS SC BOX SET

SelfMadeHero

  • LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY TP VOL 02

Seven Seas Entertainment

  • ALICES ADV IN WONDERLAND & THROUGH LOOKING GLASS GN VOL 01
  • HAGANAI I DONT HAVE MANY FRIENDS GN VOL 08
  • MONSTER MUSUME GN VOL 04
  • STRIKE WITCHES TP VOL 01 1937 FUSO SEA INCIDENT

Titan

  • FIRST KINGDOM HC VOL 05

T Pub

  • TWISTED DARK GN VOL 01

TOON Books

  • SHARK KING TP

Valiant

  • BLOODSHOT TP VOL 05 GET SOME
  • SHADOWMAN END TIMES TP

Vertical

  • CHI’S SWEET HOME GN VOL 11
  • FROM THE NEW WORLD GN VOL 05
  • WOLFSMUND GN VOL 05

Viz

  • DEADMAN WONDERLAND GN VOL 04?DOROHEDORO GN VOL 13
  • GANGSTA GN VOL 03
  • GYO GN VOL 01 2ND ED
  • GYO GN VOL 02 2ND ED
  • IKIGAMI ULTIMATE LIMIT GN VOL 10
  • ITSUWARIBITO GN VOL 12
  • LOVELESS GN VOL 12
  • MAGI GN VOL 07

What’s Making Us Happy This Week

Here’s our staff highlights for this week — all the titles, creators, programs, conferences, and library shenanigans that made our past couple of weeks, comics-wise!

[all_around id=”27″]

Hot Off the Press!

Highlights from the past week, with commentary from the NFNT gang:

alexada_tp_v1

Alex & Ada Volume 1 (Image, 9781632150066)

Anna: I’m definitely buying Alex + Ada for my library. It’s a sweet, beautiful book that ought to appeal strongly to people who liked “Her.”

anohana

anohana: the Flower We Saw that Day (Aniplex)

Jessikah: I am looking forward to anohana.

chew_omnivore_hc_v4

Chew Omnivore Edition Volume 4 (Image, 9781632150318)

Thomas: I had trouble getting into this series after the first two skinny trades, but I always see it recommended as a can’t-miss comedy. Would anyone like to nudge me into giving this series a second chance? (Invitation goes for NFNT members and site commenters)
Andrew S: I’m also really, really happy to see Chew Omnivore Edition coming out. I almost missed it, but this is one of my favorite series and I only buy it in the Omnivore Edition (yes, I’m one of those) because…well because I can. Thomas you should definitely give it second look! For me I think I really got hooked with the 1st Omnivore edition and it just gets better from there in my opinion.

KilllaKill

Kill la Kill  (Aniplex)
Jessikah: I am pleased to see Kill la Kill being released!
Allen: I’m thrilled that Kill La Kill is getting out there, even if the release is a bit out of whack (I believe it’s only four episodes). Best to just wait for the inevitable Complete release. The whole show is available on Crunchyroll for a much cheaper price.
Thomas: This anime and High School of the Dead are both series that my anime?club’s teens know and like but acknowledge we will never watch in the library.

Seconds

Seconds (Ballantine, 9780345529374)
Caitlin: I’m curious to read Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new book – I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim series and the premise for this one sounds interesting.
Jessikah: I’m super excited to see Seconds!
Thomas: Pretty sure this will be the “Did you read it?” title among comics fans for the next year.
Tessa: I’m also excited for Seconds.
Andrew S: I’m really looking forward to Seconds and I’ve had my copy staring at me since Monday and I just haven’t had a chance to pick it up and read it through yet, but what I did read is fantastic.

Tales_of_the_Batman_J.H._Williams_III

Tales of the Batman J.H. Williams III (DC Comics, 9781401247621)

Thomas: JH Williams III can illustrate the tales of anyone and I will get in?line to read it.

Usagi Yojimbo Volume 28: Red Scorpion (Dark Horse, 9781616553982)

Andrew S: I’m always, always, ALWAYS happy to see more Usagi Yojimbo. Stan Sakai’s is one of my favorite storytellers and his line work is just absolutely drop dead gorgeous.

AD.YouthIsWasted.cvr_Layout 1

Youth is Wasted (Adhouse, 9781935233275)
Tessa: I’m excited for the Noah Van Sciver short story collection from Adhouse (Youth is Wasted).
Andrew S: I’m also interested in taking a look at Youth Is Wasted. I’ve heard Noah’s name for a couple of years now and the work looks interesting and Adhouse puts out some good stuff, so…

AND NOW FOR THE COMPLETE LIST

The following list of new releases is compiled from Diamond Comic Distributors’ complete weekly shipping list and Anime News Network’s Releases encyclopedia

Graphic Novels

Adhouse

  • YOUTH IS WASTED GN

Archie Comics

  • SONIC SAGA TP VOL 05 ENERJAK REBORN
  • SONIC UNIVERSE TP VOL 07

Ballantine

  • SECONDS GN

BOOM! Studios

  • HACKTIVIST HC

Burlyman Entertainment

  • DOC FRANKENSTEIN TP VOL 01 MESSIAH OF SCIENCE RESURRECTED

Cinebook

  • ALONE GN VOL 01
  • IZNOGOUD GN VOL 08 ROCKETS TO STARDOM
  • IZNOGOUD GN VOL 10 RELENTLESS
  • LARGO WINCH GN VOL 14 RED HOT WRATH
  • LUCKY LUKE TP VOL 46 PONY EXPRESS

Dark Horse

  • BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SPIKE: INTO THE LIGHT HC
  • GRINDHOUSE MIDNIGHT TP VOL 01
  • PICTURES THAT TICK VOL 02
  • USAGI YOJIMBO LTD HC VOL 28 RED SCORPION

DC Comics

  • BATMAN A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC
  • BIRDS OF PREY TP VOL 04 THE CRUELEST CUT
  • DAMIAN SON OF BATMAN DELUXE ED HC
  • DJANGO UNCHAINED TP
  • JOKER A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS HC
  • SUPERGIRL TP VOL 04 OUT OF THE PAST
  • TALES OF THE BATMAN JH WILLIAMS III HC
  • TEEN TITANS TP VOL 04 LIGHT AND DARK

Dynamite

  • CODENAME ACTION TP VOL 01
  • SPIDER TP VOL 03 CITY OF CRIME

Fantagraphics

  • DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 05 PHANTOM BLOT
  • PRINCE VALIANT HC VOL 09 1953-1954

Gen Manga Entertainment

  • ANOMAL GN
  • ONE IS ENOUGH GN

Humanoids

  • SANCTUM HC

IDW

  • GATE WAY NEW WORLD TP
  • LUST TP
  • POWERPUFF GIRLS CLASSICS TP VOL 04 PICTURE PERFECT
  • TARZAN RUSS MANNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS HC VOL 03 1971-1974
  • TMNT ANIMATED TP VOL 04 MUTAGEN MAYHEM
  • X-FILES CLASSICS HC VOL 04

Image

  • ALEX + ADA TP VOL 01
  • APHRODITE IX REBIRTH TP VOL 02
  • BAD DOG TP VOL 01 IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY
  • CHEW OMNIVORE ED HC VOL 04
  • DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 01 REAGAN YOUTH

Lerner

  • LILY RENEE ESCAPE ARTIST GN

Little, Brown

  • MONSTER HIGH HOPES & SCREAMS GN

Marvel

  • BLACK WIDOW TP VOL 01 FINELY WOVEN THREAD
  • MMW AVENGERS HC VOL 14

PS Artbooks

  • ACG COLL WORKS FORBIDDEN WORLDS SLIPCASE ED VOL 06

Udon

  • STREET FIGHTER IV HC VOL 01 WAGES OF SIN

 

Anime

Aniplex

  • anohana: the Flower We Saw That Day
  • Kill la Kill
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: the Movie Part 1 & 2

Funimation

  • Deadman Wonderland: Complete Series

New Video Group

  • Mononoke –  Complete Collection
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Complete Set

Sentai

  • To Love Ru Darkness

Keep in mind that titles are not always available from book vendors on the same dates as they are released in comic book stores, so not all of these will be available everywhere at the same time. Check with your vendors, just to be sure!

Opposing ReViewpoints: What We Hated that Everyone Else Loved

Welcome to a brand new feature here at No Flying No Tights, Opposing ReViewpoints.

It’s important, as reviewers and collection builders, to acknowledge our own biases and work to maintain balanced selections.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have those titles we can’t like, and get a tiny bit of glee out of sharing those dislikes.  We all acknowledge, in this discussion, that the titles and creators mentioned have merit for many readers.  They just didn’t work for us.

In our Opposing ReViewpoints series, we at NFNT will be duking it out (verbally, only occasionally physically) over titles, creators, and other comics issues.  Our staff will take sides: hate or love, offense or defense.  Since it’s comics, everyone, no matter how open-minded, has that one thing that just irks them (flames, flames on the side of my face!), we hope this will be an entertaining forum for critiquing the format and acknowledging just how subjective reading and reviewing can be.

In our first installment, I invited the entire staff to chime in with a basic example: the book or series they hated that everyone else loved.

StoneFrog1TOON Books and The Stone Frog

Jennifer W.: I am not an unadulterated fan of TOON books. I love the idea and they’ve done some great things for comics, especially for beginning readers, but many of their books seem to sacrifice story to art. I particularly disliked Stone Frog, their foray into graphics for middle grade. It received generally positive reviews and I’ve had some vigorous arguments with people about it. People seem to like the complexity of the art, but I feel it lacks in child-appeal – and that goes for many of TOON’s titles, which have significantly lower circulation numbers than most easy readers.

If you haven’t read it, Stone Frog is a dream-like blend of Alice in Wonderland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend with intricate black and white illustrations and a sometimes marvelous, often terrifying dream landscape that combines to create a new adventure that is firmly rooted in classic children’s literature.

Unfortunately, I can’t think of a single child who’d be interested in reading this. It’s about a beginning chapter level, very simple dialogue, old-fashioned clothes and behavior, some very frightening images, and the whole “dream fantasy” plot is rather cliche.

TinyTitansTiny Titans

Snow: My quibble with Tiny Titans is also appeal-related. I don’t doubt that the comic attracts kids, particularly because of the adorable art. And I’m sure they think the comics are silly. Why are those crazy characters doing those crazy things? But therein lies the problem: it’s not a comic for folks (of any age) who don’t know the entire DC Universe backstory. Too many of the jokes depend upon the reader knowing about various “crises” or different incarnations of characters and stuff like that. Tiny Titans is a comic for devoted fans to buy and maybe share with their kids, not a comic to get readers hooked on American superheroes. I’d rather see DC (and Marvel) spend the time and effort to create comics for kids that introduce their characters in a kid appropriate fashion. They give kids tons of opportunities to buy shirts and toys and a ton of other stuff with their characters’ images on them. Why can’t they create some actual comic books at the same time? Isn’t that why a comic book company exists?

Okay, so my rant might be more about the availability of superhero titles for kids from the big two. But I’m sick of folks saying, “But Tiny Titans is for kids!” No, it’s for fans, and it’s appropriate for kids. There’s a difference.

Jennifer W.: I definitely agree Snow. I found Tiny Titans mildly amusing (even though I know very little of the universe) but I didn’t purchase it for the library because my patrons aren’t really interested in that type of comic – they want “real” stories about the superheroes they love, like Batman the Brave and the Bold! But they’re all 6-8 years old. Sigh.

Sword Art Online

Jessikah: Everyone seems to applaud Sword Art Online (SAO) for the story, the depth of the characters, and the darker psychological elements.

Here’s my beef.  I like the idea of SAO.  People all around the world are playing a multiplayer online role-playing game, and suddenly their minds are trapped in the world.  Disconnecting could kill them!  I especially liked it the first time when it was called .hack//Sign.  Seriously. .hack//Sign isn’t that old of a series.  Do people not realize that SAO is basically the same plot?

But, I digress: similar scenarios between anime series isn’t all that uncommon. My real issue is that I felt SAO did nothing to improve upon the ground had .hack//Sign covered. Sure, SAO is super pretty and all, but I didn’t find the characters to be all that intriguing.  The protagonist, Kirito, felt kind of dull, and in the spirit of a cliche harem anime, every girl he runs meets falls in love with him!  Eventually he develops a meaningful relationship with a girl called Asuna who is far more interesting than Kirito himself.  By the 13th episode, the story in SAO is seemingly wrapped up in a haphazard manner, but then you find out that it’s not actually freaking over yet!  Basically there is a whole other half season and this time, they turn Asuna into a damsel in distress!  Why?  Maybe if the original story was drawn out across these episodes, the motivation of the (first) villain would not have felt so contrived, and the characters could have been better developed.  I felt that failed to live up to the precedent set by its big sister, which kept plot twists coming up until the very last scene.

AttackonTitanAttack on Titan

Allen: I’ve got beef with Attack on Titan. At first, I think the show does a BRILLIANT job of conveying the terror and sheer horror of a population having their world turned upside down by the invading Titan. Eren’s rage is palpable and understandable (if a bit over the top) and the method of fighting Titans is pretty damn cool. It’s like Spider-Man but with swords!

What really kills the show is the twist. SPOILER WARNING!!!

(Having Eren turn into a Titan was pretty weak and infuriating to me. The show ceased being about the challenge of humanity and how they will respond in the face of apocalyptic horror and turns into a fight between monsters. I have yet to finish it, but the twist really sucked the wind out from the sails.)

Jessikah: Allen, I did enjoy AOT, but I totally agree with you.  I almost quit after that happened.  I was so angry, I refused to pick it back up.  Then curiosity got the best of me.

MyBoyfriendisaMonster3My Boyfriend is a Monster Book #3 (My Boyfriend Bites)

Andrew: Yes, clearly I was not the intended audience for this book, but I read the first one and thought it was actually pretty decent as it tossed out some of the horrid cliched stereotypes, such as the female lead being dependent upon the guy.  Instead in the first book we had a female lead that was a star athlete, star student, well respected and could handle her own.  I had thought (mistakenly as it turns out) that the series would follow that couple along.  Instead, they did one offs showing different “monsters” and the third one, of course, is vampire related.

And maybe, maybe I should have stopped at the vampire part, but I figured I had started reading it, I should at least give it a try.  Instead I read a book that made my brain hurt from the sheer insanity of events that happen.   A good fantasy book that’s set in a recognizable realistic universe, like this one tries to be, has a good balance of both elements. In this one Jean-Paul, the “vampire” saves the female lead when she falls into an empty elevator shaft…by jumping down and landing before her and catching her.  And I can get that.  And I can kinda stretch my brain to see him stopping the falling elevator.  My brain breaks when the walls collapse on top of the elevator…and he’s still able to hold it.  And then it only takes two hours for rescue crews to get them out and let them leave…even though clearly what he did was beyond weird.  And that they were going to take an elevator down in a two story building even though they walked up the stairs to begin with.  And the female lead doesn’t figure there’s something weird with the dude for being able to hold up an elevator??  It takes her another chapter before she goes “Hey…maybe he’s not human.”  Basically it felt like a really, really, really bad B movie that had gone awry and they just went “eh…we’ll just keep going.”

But everyone else that reviewed it seems to love it!

Jennifer W.: Heh. I love that series, but only specific ones. The vampire one…uh, no. Some of them the plots are really strained and I felt that the quality of the artwork really varied. The first two are my personal favorites.

everygirl1Jeffrey Brown’s autobiographical comics

Thomas: Any time Jeffrey Brown writes about his own life, I want serial killers to appear in his book and end the story.

Don’t get me wrong, Brown’s proven over the course of multiple books and genres that he can flex his humor and creativity, as in the Star Wars books. His autobiographical works, however, are as aimless and shoegazing as a wordless “mumblecore” movie. I read Every Girl Is The End of The World For Me and A Matter of Life and dread the thought that the rest of his growing catalog might be just as dull. Maybe I’m reading his books incorrectly or don’t have a properly calibrated sense of humanity, but his sad-sack earnestness and white-bread existence only take the plot so far before I get impatient with watching him live a painfully ordinary life.

How far can emotional nuance get stretched before it’s just a monotone signal, signifying nothing?

Volume_1-Days_Gone_ByeThe Walking Dead

Jessikah: I know everyone loves The Walking Dead, but it just bores me to tears.  People are always talking about the characters, their interaction, the story, etc.  I believe that they all really find these things worthy.  I’ve tried to give it another shot, but the only emotion I get out of reading it is, “Meh”.  I really wish I didn’t feel this way, because I constantly hear friends and colleagues discussing it, and get that distinct memory of how I felt as a child when I was too sick to go to a birthday party.  Everyone else is having a good time with it, dammit!

Allen: I don’t blame you on that, Jessikah. For the comic, I was pretty much done with the whole thing around the time the characters found themselves in DC. I really liked it at first because the characters were interesting and I liked the idea of an ongoing zombie adventure. Problem is, it gets rote real fast. As for the TV show, I wish I stopped before season 3.

Thomas: The series is often sold on the notion that it depicts what surviving a zombie apocalypse would *really* require, but the story became, as Allen said, rote. I stuck with the series, partially because the hardcover editions were so nice to read, and the series had its ups and downs as it went, but the main villain who eventually replaced the Governor as the “big bad” was so over the top and juvenile I had to quit. For the record, it was hardcover book nine that broke me, which included the polarizing issue #100.

Andrew: I enjoyed the first few issues of The Walking Dead because it was different, or at least different enough for me for a time.  It reminded me of one of my favorite sci-fi stories, The Day of the Triffids which looks at surviving the apocalypse after living plants wipe out humanity.  And those first few issues captured that pretty well…but after that…it was just so much of the same and dystopia type future that I keep seeing that it just became dull and boring to me.  The Gutters webcomic did a strip about it that sums up how I feel about it pretty well.

Garrett: I’m not a huge fan of horror in general, and I really don’t like zombies in particular.  Already, the series had two strikes against it as far as I was concerned when I started reading it, but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because I was really enjoying Invincible.

I got through book 5 of the skinny trades, and I just couldn’t be bothered to purchase any more.  I think my problems with the series mostly stem from my complete disregard for the use of zombies.  I think that zombies have utterly ceased to be useful for representing anything anymore…they are tired, overdone, and have long since overstepped their roots in symbolizing capitalist consumerism or anything else remotely analogous to metaphor.  As far as I’m concerned, they have become nothing better than disaster porn that lacks anything sympathetic about the nature of the destruction.  If you look at Godzilla, for example, you see a creature that is capable of emotion despite being a force of nature. With zombies, they might as well just be a another earthquake or something.  I do not find anything interesting about them, at all.  I saw a trailer for some ridiculous super-storm movie (I can’t even remember the name) at the theater for X-Men and zombies might as well be the exact same thing. With The Walking Dead specifically, I also simply grew weary with the story.  It’s all grim, all the time, and while I understand that grim is a big part of horror, I just can’t get behind following a story so non-stop fraught with peril.  The plotting and the dialogue became a bit juvenile for me, and that’s an argument I have with Invincible as well…they seem to have irrevocably moved into soap opera territory and that bores me to tears.

Nanav1Nana

Jessikah: I started off enjoying it as it was a shoujo manga with a punk rock edge.  As people suggested I might, I really dug the art work and the characters.  Then they all started making insanely awful choices, and acting like flakes!  And it kept getting worse!  I wanted to scream at both Nanas through the pages.  There was a point when I literally (not even joking here) threw the book across the room in frustration.  After that I stopped.  I actually was emotionally invested in the story, but I couldn’t stomach it anymore.  That was a huge disappointment to me.

Frank Quitely

Robin: I’ll finish this installment. Those who have spoken to me know already that I just really, really cannot stand the way that Frank Quitely draws people.  There are many admirable things about the man’s work, from his pacing to his panel layout to his perspectives.  All good.  And yet, I cannot help but cringe when I see his character designs.

This really punched me in the gut when I was reading Warren Ellis’s The Authority, way back in 2000 (and now I feel especially old.)  I adored the whole package, from Ellis’s writing to the elegant art crafted by penciler from Bryan Hitch.  Then in came Frank Quitely (and Mark Millar on writing) and…I almost had to give the series up.

We went from this:

Absolutley_Authoritative

To this:

Millar 2001 - The Authority

 

And, as an example, Apollo and Midnighter went from looking like this:

ApolloMidnighterHitch

To this:

ApolloMidnighterQuitely

Always with the heavy jaws and creases around the mouth and heavy, heavy limbs.  Don’t get me started on how frightening the women look.

I’ve warned new comics readers, when diving in to traditional superhero comics, they need to be prepared for the fact that the writers and artists will change.  It’s especially unsettling to those who are used to media (manga, television) that rarely if ever change the basic look of characters.  It’s a bit like watching your favorite TV show, and then suddenly, mid-season, the showrunners swap out all the actors for folks who look a lot like the original cast of characters but are not actually the same people.  This can happen with the writing, too, but we’re all more used to writing shifting over the course of serials.  Art, on the other hand, causes much more of a gut reaction.

What do you think?

Come on, share with us your deepest, darkest criticisms.  There has yet to be a list that no one wants to argue about. Bring it.