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Posts Tagged est em

TCAF 2014: Manga Artist est em Announced as Featured Guest

TCAF 2014: Manga Artist est em Announced as Featured Guest

One of my most anticipated yearly events – TCAF, the Toronto Comics Art Festival, has just announced their featured guests for 2014. Among them is manga artist, est em!

This is really exciting news for fans of est em. Thanks in part to several of her series being licensed in English, there are quite a few of us! Known predominantly for her boys’ love series, est em’s English-released titles include Age Called Blue, Kine In!Red Blinds the Foolish, Seduce me After The ShowTableau No. 20 and ULTRAS.

I love est em’s artwork which errs on the side of more realistic than the usual willowy boys’ love characters, and her strong characterization makes for great drama that plays out in unique scenarios. Not all of her books hit it off with me, but her work is always something I’ll pick up when it’s released. I’m currently awaiting the arrival of her most recent work, Tableau No. 20, from SuBLime.

You can read my review of Seduce Me After The Show, and Shannon Fay has reviewed Age Called Blue and ULTRAS.

est em isn’t the only talent on the list I’m excited to see there, so I encourage all comic lovers to check it out and plan their attendance! TCAF organizers will soon be announcing the 300+ other comic creators who will be exhibiting at the free event which takes place at the Toronto Reference Library in Toronto, Ontario on May 10th – 11th.

PR: SuBLime Debuts est em’s Passionate Art Romance TABLEAU NUMERO 20!


A Mysterious Drawing Ignites A Provocative Love Affair In This Collection Of Manga Short Stories From One Of The Most Critically Esteemed Creators Of The Yaoi Genre.

San Francisco, CA, October 8, 2013 – SuBLime, the global yaoi manga (graphic novel) publishing initiative between VIZ Media and Japan’s Animate, Ltd. (Animate), unites passion and art for its latest North American release – TABLEAU NUMÉRO 20. The new single-volume edition from creator est em is available today, is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers, and carries a print MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN. A digital version is also available at an MSRP of USD $5.99 and offers fans two methods of digital access to the volume on – a DRM-free downloadable PDF that is viewable on any enabled eReader device and computer, and via the online manga viewer found on the web site.

Ten years ago, while still a student, Maurice stumbled across an illustration in an artist’s sketchbook that instantly captivated him – a drawing of a beautiful youth with sad, gentle eyes, an expression that spoke of love and forgiveness. Now settled into a successful career as an art restoration expert, Maurice is shocked by the sudden appearance of a young man who looks exactly like the one in the drawing. Who, in fact, insists that he is the one in the drawing… A collection of short stories by the incomparable est em.

Read more…

SuBLime Celebrates Anniversary with New Manga Licenses

SuBLime Celebrates Anniversary with New Manga Licenses

SuBLime celebrated their one year anniversary yesterday. It was on January 31st, 2012 that SuBLime released it’s first digital books, including volume one of their re-release of Love Pistols. Happy book-day, SuBLime!

In honour of their one year of boys’ love, they’ve announced their acquisition of some more. The following two books (which are featured in the picture above) have been licensed for print and digital releases:

Man of Tango – Tetuzoh Okadaya
September 2013

Tableau Numéro 20 – est em
October 2013

If Tetuzoh Okadaya’s Man of Tango looks familiar, that’s because the now defunct Deux Press had licensed the title back in 2008. It’s great to see such a classy looking book get a second chance!

“Angie, though hailed as “The Man of Tango,” had never truly felt the deep, fiery passion of Latin dance. That is, until he met Hiro, a man born from a Latin mother, who was under his Japanese grandfather’s custody and now lives as a Japanese citizen. Now, a slow, seething desire begins to rock his body and soul! At first feeling a nostalgic familiarity toward the Latin dancer, Hiro finds himself drawn into the seductive beat of a Latin dance, opening his body and heart to the smoldering heat of his Tango partner.” – Deux Press

Tableau Numéro 20 is a collection of short stories by est em, whose other works released in English include Seduce Me After The Show and Age Called Blue.

SuBLime also announced four additional licenses that would be digital only:

Perfect Training – Kanpeki na Shiiku & Yuiji Aniya (June 2013)
Sweet Monster – Amasugi Monster & Tsubaki Mikage (June 2013)
Pretty Men Fighting Dirty – Otokomae Dorowars! & Sakira (July 2013)
Lost Letters – Yagi-san Yuubin & Sakae Kusama (August 2013)

Though some of us weep at the lack of print availability, all of these titles seem worth a look based on those covers, and the quality of SuBLime’s digital releases are really good too. For the collectors, SuBLime also announced a sale with – all their print books are 40% if you purchase two or more. Nice!

Review: ULTRAS


Manga-ka: Est em
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: June 2012

Synopsis: “An avid game of love between rivals! Soccer fans are notorious, but ULTRAS like Al and Leon take it to another level! They eat, breathe, and sleep for their beloved teams and their rivalries, like the rivalry between Liberta and FC Madrid. When the Spanish national soccer team wins the European championship, fans around the country unite to celebrate. Sparks fly when Al and Leon first meet amidst the festivities, but what happens when these two ULTRAS unknowingly find themselves on opposite sides of a passionate rivalry!?”

Soccer might seem like a weird thing to get all Romeo-and-Juliet over, but under Est Em’s direction it works. She has a skill for grounding her stories while keeping them interesting and quirky. It’s her skill and unique sensibilities that keeps ULTRAS from being a standard collection of yaoi short stories.

Read more…

Review: Age Called Blue

Reviewer: Shannon Fay

Manga-ka: Est Em
Publisher: Netcomics
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: October 2009

Synopsis: “Forbidden love has a way of intertwining itself with destiny. Nick and Billy share a dream to become rock stars, but the dream comes crashing down the night Nick steals Billy’s guitar and life savings to pay off a debt. The crime breaks down the barrier of friendship between the two boys, revealing a far deeper level of connection than either was willing to admit. However, other members of the band grow tired of Nick’s free-thinking and careless ways. They want the “hippie” out of the band, leaving Billy faced with a heart-wrenching decision. He can either sacrifice his music, a career into which he’s invested countless hours of sweat and blood. Or he can sacrifice the boy who stole his heart long ago…”

Age Called Blue doesn’t feel like a yaoi manga. Instead it feels like a comic that happens to have gay leads. While the focus is on the main characters’ relationship, it’s more complicated than them just being boyfriends. For Nick, Billy is all he has in the world, while for Billy, Nick is the only thing holding him back. The way the characters act is sadly realistic, making this a believable and interesting drama.

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Review: Seduce Me After the Show

Manga-ka: Est Em
Publisher: Deux Press
Rating: Teen (18+)
Released: May 2008

Synopsis: “A stylish, tempestuous dance of anguish and passion. Seduce Me After the Show contains seven short stories which take place within the artistic worlds of dance, painting and music. Overall themes focus on the dichotomy of hope & despair as well as the relationship between pleasure and longing. Devastated by the death of his world famous dancer mother, Theo Gallardo abandons his own dancing cateer to become an actor and co-stars in a film with popular Hollywood idol Darren Fergus.”

Seduce Me After the Show is a collection of seven short stories. Numerous positive reviews prompted me to pick this title up, and though I did find it a nice overall read, ultimately for me its greatest failing was not living up to its community hype.

Read more…

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