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Posts Tagged Black Jack

Swag Bag – Culture-Shock, Doctors and Yuri

My local comic shop Strange Adventures is having a 20% off everything sale this month – hopefully that means lots of new books in the coming weeks!

While there this week I picked up a few different books:

Peepo Choo (Vol. 01) – This book was insane. I read it on the way home on the bus (for which thankfully I was sitting in the back because this is not the kind of book you want to think people are reading over your shoulder). Very 18+ material and pretty mean too. I liked it over all because of the sheer amount of ridiculous energy but the creator is definitely out to make a statement by being pretty insultive. But though over-emphasized, it’s still based on nerd-dom truths so you can’t hate it for that. The stereotypical anime fans versus comic fans scene is pretty entertaining and hits the nail on the head. The amount of sex and violence really surprised me though but I did very much find myself wishing it’d stick to those parts and leave the ‘weeabo’ drooling, shiney-eyed main character behind.

Black Jack (Vol. 12) – One of the series that I just cannot wait to pick-up – when I know it’s out, I must have it! This volume continues the trend of never disappointing. I do find each time I read a new volume I always think ‘this is darker than before’ in regards to how the stories end but since I have that thought every time, I think it just proves how much continuing good shock value some of the stories have, not that they’re actually getting more grim or serious over time.

And from the wonderful bargain bin I picked up volume four of Me & My Brothers and volume two of A Tale of an Unknown Country. I haven’t read either of the series before so reading through these volumes should give me an idea of if I’d like to hunt out the rest of the volumes.

And arriving in the mail for me this week was two volumes of Yuri Montogari which are really uniquely varied stories of lesbian-love stories (some with definite twists in some stories) and a copy of Moto Haigo’s Drunken Dream and Other Stories from Fantagraphics Books. I was really surprised to see Drunken Dreams is a large-trim, hardcover book with glossy decoration work.

And as a little birthday present for myself I picked up an artbook by Ken Mizuki titled Sarasa. It’s a pretty small artbook compared to the others in my collection (small page count) but the cost was cheap and the art inside still very pretty. I think this artist primarily does doujinshi so while I’ve never read any of their manga, it was neat to see some artwork in here that I remember seeing scattered across fan-forums back in the days of Gundam and Saint Seiya fandom.

And lastly, thanks to the public library, I’ve been reading the Manga Guide to Statistics. It’s admittedly weird reading something that makes me feel like I’ve been dropped back in high school yet at the same time I really have to give the book credit for being such a good teaching tool. I had to reread some parts a few times to grasp the more involved stuff yet the fact that it makes me want to learn this stuff enough to do so is impressing me in itself. I’m definitely planning on reading the other books in this series.


Super Savings: RightStuf Offers Stellar Vertical Savings

New sale over at RightStuf.com! It’s so tough when they have manga sales back-to-back to one another – the Viz Media sale likely put a good dent in many manga buyers’ wallets. Hopefully we still have some bookshelf space left as they offer up to 30% from Vertical Inc series for the rest of the week!

Lots of great titles there to suggest. My personal recommendation is definitely Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack – a brilliantly executed episodic manga about an unlicensed surgeon performing medical miracles around the world in a variety of situations ranging from the reality-grounded feats of skill to the unbelievably-out-there (tumour child anyone?). If  you’re looking for something on the darker side, I recommend another Osamu Tezuka title: MW – it’s creepy and fantastic, plus a one-shot.

For the more light-hearted reads, I recommend one of their newest (and already bestselling) series – Chi’s Sweet Home. If you like cats, this one’s for you. If you don’t like cats, it still manages to be pretty cute. There’s also Twin Spica which is a surprisingly gripping but still inherently optimistic story about a girl who wants to be an astronaut.

Sales like this are also a great time to pre-order some upcoming titles such as Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako which with this sale goes from $29.95 to $18.06.

As always I’m curious to know, what Vertical titles would you recommend or are planning to purchase?


Review: Black Jack (Vol. 07)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo

Manga-ka: Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: Vertical
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: September 2009

Synopsis: “Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic young genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats. Though a trained physician, he refuses to accept a medical license due to his hatred and mistrust of the medical community’s hypocrisy and corruption. Black Jack charges exorbitant fees for his services, the proceeds from which he uses to fund environmental projects and to aid victims of crime and corrupt capitalists. But because Black Jack keeps his true motives secret, his ethics are perceived as questionable and he is considered a selfish, uncaring devil.”

Though few qualms can be had for the fact that this seventh volume of Black Jack is more of the same, there are some distinct moments in the book that stand out in true effective fashion. Black Jack himself is most often seen by those around him as a money-grubber first and a doctor second but it’s no secret to readers that his cocky exterior and high prices still garnish a man of strong moral character.

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Release List: November 2009

Monthly Release List: November

Halloween month is behind us but with the chilly Autumn weather kicking in full force (or in some places even snow!), there’s still lots of reasons to wrap up in a warm blanket and relax at home – and of course how better than with a big stack of manga?

This month offers up lots of great titles including many of my favourites. Tokyopop offers up the newest volume of Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, which features Count D wearing some of the cuteness outfits you’ll ever see the ageless shopkeep in, and bookshelves will see the next volume of the cluttered but highly energized Zone-00. A new Hinako Takanaga title, Liberty Liberty, makes up their BLU offering for the month.

Viz Media takes home the many-much-manga prize yet again with tons of amazing new volumes, from Ikigami to Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden, and from Pluto to Kaze Hikaru. Del Rey offers up a healthy assortment this month as well including the next volume of the charming Yokaiden and the first volume of You Higuri’s Night Head Genesis.

Toss in a great assortment of charming manhwa from Yen Press and a new volume of Black Jack from Vertical and you have just some of the awesomeness that is November 2009! What books have dibs on your paychecks this month?

You can check out the full list of November 2009’s currently scheduled manga releases under the cut:

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NYAF 2009: Vertical Inc.

NYAF 2009 - Vertical Inc

Vertical Inc. took the panel stand yesterday at this weekend’s New York Anime Fest with first a handful of new licenses to share with the audience. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork

New Licenses:

Peepo Choo – Felipe Smith
Twin Spica – Kou Yaginuma
Needles – Nobuaki Tadano
Chi’s Sweet Home – Kanata Konami

Readers will likely recall the recent ‘leak’ of Chi’s Sweet Home on retail sites earlier in the month, which though soon met with denial of license by Vertical, was officially confirmed as an acquisition during their panel.  In a move causing a rift of opinion between fans, Chi’s Sweet Home will be released in full colour and flipped (everything mirrored so it would be read in English-format left-to-right).

During the panel’s Q&A, Black Jack was discussed as likely seeing release to 17 volumes, and that the license of Osamu Tezuka’s pioneering shoujo series, Princess Knight, is a strong candidate for license as well. Both fantastic news I’d say!


Release List: September 2009

Monthly Release List: September

It’s September! Students go back to school and everyone says goodbye to the final days of summer as we count down the days to a golden Autumn (though Autumn seems to have hit us early here in Nova Scotia this year!). Lots of goodies out this month, highlights being Yen Press’s complete rerelease of Yotsuba&! and a whole bunch of volume one’s from several different publishers.

You can check out September 2009’s currently scheduled manga releases under the cut:

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Review: Black Jack (Vol. 02)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo


Manga-ka: Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: Vertical
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2008

Synopsis: “Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic young genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats. Though a trained physician, he refuses to accept a medical license due to his hatred and mistrust of the medical community’s hypocrisy and corruption. This leads Black Jack to occasional run-ins with the authorities, as well as from gangsters and criminals who approach him for illegal operations.”

Volume two of Black Jack served as a real character-flesher for the enigmatic doctor. The opening chapter sees him faced with the reality of the human body, that there will always be some things he can’t ever control or predict. Seeing how stressed he became, even at the positive outcome of an otherwise bizarre case, spoke volumes about his faith in his own abilities and what he believes to be set in stone. It proved a strong opener to a book full of equally revealing stories of continuing medical mysteries and materialistic morality.

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Release List: July 2009

Is it just me or did June fly by really fast? Ah well, another month by means another month closer to more manga titles! Come on, we all know that’s how it works, right?

Lots of goodies coming out in July, including the next volume of Osamu Tezuka’s medical marvel, Black Jack, the much anticipated next volume of Naoki Urusawa’s Pluto and the thirteenth volume of Oh!Great’s energetically-paced Air Gear. Throw in the next volume of Tsubasa, a second volume of the hilariously cute Train*Train and the sequel one-shot, Mr. Flower Groom, and I’d say we’re in for a great month! And hopefully one that sees lots of fun licensing announcements at the upcoming Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con as well. Check out the full list of titles under the cut.

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Review: Black Jack (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo


Manga-ka: Osamu Tezuka
Publisher: Vertical
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: December 2008

Synopsis: “Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic young genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats and refuses to accept a medical license due to his hatred and mistrust of the medical community’s hypocrisy and corruption. This leads Black Jack to occasional run-ins with the authorities, as well as from gangsters and criminals who approach him for illegal operations. Black Jack chronicles the travails of an enigmatic surgeon-for-hire who is more good than he pretends to be.”

It was all in truth when I was told you don’t need to read Black Jack in order to enjoy the story. Each chapter sits alone as its own episodic medical tale. Volume one does have a lot of explanatory material to it however, such as the ‘birth’ of Black Jack’s assistant Pinoko, and more about the doctor’s disfiguring past. Truth be told though, I was actually a little disappointed in a way by the new information since I found the added mystery of not knowing, which again causes no boon to the story, was much of its allure when I initially took volume five as my starting point.

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PR: Tezuka in English Hosts Exclusive Manga Preview …

Tezuka in English Hosts Exclusive Manga Preview of DMP’s Swallowing the Earth

May 28, 2009 – TezukaInEnglish.com and Digital Manga Publishing are proud to announce an exclusive sneak peek of the “god of manga” Osamu Tezuka’s SWALLOWING THE EARTH. This free online preview contains the first 25 pages of the upcoming DMP PLATINUM release, and can be accessed here:

http://www.tezukaenfrancais.com/ste/

SWALLOWING THE EARTH depicts the mysterious beauty, Zephyrus, and her quest to avenge the wrongs done to women by men over the course of human history. The story represents a turning point in the content of Tezuka’s manga, marking a decidedly more adult approach in terms of satiric social commentary and human psychology. Originally written in 1968, SWALLOWING THE EARTH is an important and provocative tale in Tezuka’s catalog of work.

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