#524 “Assassination Classroom”

Assassination ClassroomHe’s taken a bite out of the moon! He’s threatening to destroy earth! He’s… teaching junior high? What is the many-tentacled Koro Sensei up to? Why is he up for letting a bunch of 14-year-olds try to kill him? Tim and Kumar talk about Yuusei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom – incomprehensible sound effects and all!

#512 “Queen Emeraldas”

Queen EmeraldasThe epic space opera Queen Emeraldas from Kodansha is the first release of manga in English by legendary cartoonist Leiji Matsumoto since 2002. Kumar and fellow Matsumoto advocate Ryan Cecil Smith dig into the recently-released first book of the 2-volume series and discuss Matsumoto’s relative obscurity in the West, the brutal morality of life in space, and potato heads on the sea of stars.

#412 Add Manga and Mix Well

Marine Corps Yumi and Hollow Fields

This week, Tim talks with two women who are mixing Japanese and Western influences in their comics!

First, Ana Moreno, former US Marine and writer of Marine Corps Yumi, drawn in a gag-manga style by Takeshi Nogami. A gag manga about joining the Marines?! (available in both English and Japanese)

Then, Aussie Madeleine Rosca, creator of Hollow Fields (reviewed on last week’s show). Why does her work read right to left? Does she get any guff from readers about imitating a Japanese style? Also, the art of revealing neither too many nor too few secrets as your story moves forward, and more.

#394 CLAMP’s “xxxHolic”; how addictive is it?

xxxHolicTim Across America, pt 4! Kimihiro Watanuki, an orphaned high school student whose name represents his birthday, one day finds himself entering a mysterious house. Inside he finds a couple of manic kids and a flirtatious witch named Yuko who grants wishes — for a price.

Tim, meanwhile, finds himself entering Des Moines, Iowa, where he meets up with Kory to discuss CLAMP’s manga xxxHolic — and also talking to James Gray at Mayhem Comics, Cards, and Games.

“Vinland Saga” Omnibus 1 beautifully drawn, written, packaged

by Kory Cerjak

Title: Vinland Saga
Author: Makoto Yukimura
Publisher: Kodansha USA

Vinland_SagaVinland Saga is an epic history story on the level of Koike and Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub or Ryoko Ikeda’s Rose of Versailles. Written by Makoto Yukimura of Planetes fame, this manga delivers an exciting story that has kept me on the edge of my seat through the first omnibus.

First published in Weekly Shonen Magazine by Kodansha, Vinland Saga was moved to Afternoon, a monthly magazine. After making the space story that is Planetes, Yukimura took about a year off, likely researching Vinland Saga’s history, before he returned in 2005 with the comic.

Kodansha USA’s publication is absolutely beautiful. It’s an omnibus of the first two volumes in an amazing hardcover with five glossy color pages at the beginning. The book is also a little bigger than most of your typical manga—about a half inch or an inch larger—and the text is larger and so easy to read as a result. As far as books I own, this Vinland Saga book is second only to Viz’s Nausicaa hardcovers.

In the first two chapters, we get such an amazing sense of character agency from the main character Thorfinn that those perfectly placed flashback chapters mean so much more for the audience than they would in lesser hands. We know that he wants revenge Continue reading “Vinland Saga” Omnibus 1 beautifully drawn, written, packaged

#188 Our local comics, and “Local”

7/13/09 Our local comics, and “Local”

Morning Comics Who is Company President Shima, and why do some committed Japanese fans try to imitate his life? Why on earth would anyone create a wine-tasting comic? The answers to these questions and more as Mulele and Tim flip through the latest issue of Japan’s Morning Comics.
Local Love her, hate her, or… don’t really care about her, Megan McKeenan’s North American journey in Local, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly, is worth discussing. Was there a point to the exercise? Tim and Brandon ponder.

#162 Mulele’s Kodansha Project

1/12/09 Mulele’s Kodansha Project

MindgatorThis week we’ll get the latest on Mulele’s project with the Japanese publisher Kodansha. This has been cooking for two years now. Will a published comic be the final result?

See more panels from The Mindgator