Monday, March 14, 2011

Lets go Old School...

If you like classics then I must highly recommend Lone Wolf & Cub. Many of us have seen this book on the shelves of bookstores and kept right on looking for a book we would actually buy. I confess I probably would never have read it if not for my History of Comic Books class (thank you Professor L.) The art work is a little gritty and sometimes to stark but the more you read it, the more you don’t mind. What really hooks you in is the storyline. The series follows two rogue samurai, father and infant son, who travel around Japan as swords for hire. This series is rich with Japanese culture.

After reading the first book I wanted my neighbors to commit seppuku. Seriously.   The samurai code and honor are concepts that seem unreal in our current society. Anyway, give the first book a read. Its small enough to fit in your pocket and will burn well if you are dissatisfied…Did I mention there was a good amount of sex and gore?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Never heard of CLAMP? Crawl out of your Hole and visit a Book store!

One of my favorite groups of manga artists are CLAMP. If you like manga and have never heard of CLAMP then you need to crawl out of the hole you live in and make your way to the nearest bookstore! CLAMP is composed of 4 women who have been creating manga since the 80s. One of the things that make CLAMP an amazing group is their diversity.  Romance, Action, Violence. Their work has it all. One of my favorite works by them is a series called X/1999 which is currently on hold and has been for several years.

The series is about a battle to determine if man will continue to dominate the earth. The two apposing forces represent the Earth (the Dragons of Earth) and Heaven (the Dragons of Heaven). One force fights on behalf of the Earth which has been damaged by mankind’s harmful ways; they seek to destroy all of humanity to save the earth. The other group fights on behalf of Heaven and seek to save mankind. There are a lot of details that go into the story but really you should check out a volume yourself. Because of the graphic nature of the story and the direction it was headed, their publishers asked them to change the story. In X, one of the ways that the Dragons of Earth fight is to defile places and cause massive earthquakes which kill a lot of people. At the time this series was running, there were several large earthquakes in Japan and lots of casualties which added to the request that the story move in another direction.
 To my knowledge the series is still on hiatus (pretty sure it’s been like 4+years…) Still a good read even if it stops suddenly. Art work is beautiful and it has an array of interesting and well developed characters. One of my favorites so check it out! I had intended to talk about CLAMP but got stuck on X…Maybe I will touch on some of their other great works another time…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Favorite Horror Mangas

Today my boss really pissed me off. I wanted to stomp on his face. Instead I envisioned him as a character in some of my favorite horror mangas. If I had to list the top three horror managa’s that I have read I would have to say they were Uzumaki by Junji Ito, Portus by June Abe and the Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu. Let’s start with Portus. The mysterious suicide of a girl leads her friend to start her own investigation. She becomes entrapped in a video game called Portus. Once she reaches the final level a boy appears who ensnares her inside a nightmarish fantasy world. The story gets creepy pretty quickly as she tries to solve the mystery of the boy and game before she ends up like her very dead friend. Its only one volume long so I recommend you sit at a bookstore and read it for free : )

Feeling bold? Spiral into horror! Uzumaki is about a town that becomes overrun with the mysterious spiral. Art work is amazing as is the story line. Uzumaki is only 3 volumes long and worth owning so don’t be cheap and view the scanlations. This one looks good on anybodies book shelf.

Finally a manga I confess to have only read the first volume…The Drifting Classroom. An entire school is sucked into an alternate dimension. Once again a bunch of kids and their teachers are put to the test. Would you do anything to survive? I sure as hell would…

I am always looking for new manga and the horror genre is of particular interest so let me know if you have any good recommendations!

Monday, February 14, 2011

In honor of Valentine's day...

In honor of Valentines Day, today I read a good old fashioned love story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl go to movie theater. Boy cuts holes in his pockets. Need I say more? Art work is pretty mediocre at best. Somehow they manage to put forth a lot more effort to add details to the dirty scenes. So it goes. I think this is a wonderful love story. No really. You should give it to your girlfriend to read this Valentine’s Day.  I’m sure she will like it :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reading Eden at work. You should too

Today as I sat in my office pretending to do work, I read several different genres of manga. It made me very grateful that I have a job I can pretend to do while reading manga. Lately I have really been into a manga called Eden no Ori (Cage of Eden).

A bunch of Japanese school kids are returning from a trip when their plane crashes on a mysterious island. As expected, things quickly get all Lord of the flies with a good amount of violence and death. What complicates things is the appearance of massive prehistoric creatures thought to be extinct. Herbivores? I think not. There is a good amount of panty shots and crude sexual content (for those of you who like that sort of thing) and the storyline is actually very interesting. Artwork is decent. You will know after reading the first chapter if you like it or not. Personally, I really like it and since this is my blog, I think that’s all that matters…right? On a similar but not actually similar note, I must also highly recommend Hiroki Endo’s Eden: Its an Endless World! 
Art work is very detailed and yeah it kicks ass. The story takes place in the aftermath of a pandemic that wipes out a good portion of the world and follows two children who are immune to the virus. There are government dealings and political goings on and lots of details that I just won’t write about. The story jumps forward sometimes by large chunks of time (20 years) which only adds more depth to an already complex piece. So Eden no Ori and Eden: It’s an Endless World! Check them both out and tell me what you think!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Welcome. The more I do this the better these titles will become..

Welcome to Manga Drains my Wallet. Because, well it just does. Those books aren't cheap and they just keep coming... With the advent of scanners it has certainly become easier to peruse a multitude of different manga genres online without making a purchase but there is something I find wonderfully special about holding a book in my hands. Not gonna lie, I read online a lot but I also support the effort to translate many great works by purchasing tangible manga joy. That being said, this blog might possibly read like a 3rd graders imagination, jumping from topic to topic. I like manga. I like amine. I like to read. And if its not evident yet, I like to write. Lets combine the lot and have some great discussions about our favorite works. Hopefully your comments will lead me to discover some new manga/anime and I can repay the favor : )