20th Century Boys

Welcome to Kuriousity

News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

SITE RETIRED - Thank you for the years of support and readership!

Posts Tagged Fantagraphics

Massive Bara Anthology Rescued by Fantagraphics

Massive Bara Anthology Rescued by Fantagraphics

It looks like I was mourning the bara anthology, Massive, a little prematurely.

Fantagraphics recently announced that they’ve picked up the license for the anthology, Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. It features a number of Japan’s best known bara artists, including the previously English-published creator, Gengoroh Tagame.

The late-publisher Picture Box Inc was originally slated to release the collection but announced they were shutting down as of the end of December. You can read more about the book in my original news post about the license and via an interview about it on Robot6, who originally broke this news.

The current release plan is next fall.

Credit for me reading the news first goes to AnimeNewsNetwork.


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – May 8, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - May 8, 2013

Oops on my belated posting of last week’s On The Shelf! But I was at TCAF, so can you blame me? I’ll have some write-ups on my recent trip there later this week. You can read my thoughts on last week’s new manga by checking out On The Shelf  for May 8, 2013 with this week’s new manga coming soon!

Bakuman (Vol.19) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Black Bird (Vol.16) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Bleach 3-in-1 (Vol.05) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Claymore (Vol.22) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Dance in the Vampire Bund (Vol.14) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Dengeki Daisy (Vol.12) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Heroman (Vol.04) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Hunter x Hunter (Vol.30) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
La Corda Doro (Vol.17) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Naruto 3-in-1 (Vol.05) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Naruto (Vol.61) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Otomen (Vol.15) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Pokémon Adventures (Vol.16) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Psyren (Vol.10) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Strobe Edge (Vol.04) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Tegami Bachi (Vol.13) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Wandering Son (Vol.04) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
We Were There (Vol.16) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]
Zero’s Familiar Omnibus (Vol.01) [Amazon CANAmazon US, RightStuf]


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – January 16, 2013

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - January 16, 2013

Heart of Thomas! I was able to buy this book last week, but Diamond Comics is now officially shipping it out to bookstores. Be sure to grab a copy while you can!

You can read my thoughts and first impressions of all this week’s titles over at Otaku USA’s On The Shelf column.

Afterschool Charisma (Vol.07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Dogs (Vol.07) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Heart of Thomas [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Jormungand (Vol.10) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]
Missions of Love (Vol.02) [Amazon CAN, Amazon US, RightStuf]


Swag Bag: Boys’ Love Beginnings, Cops and Curls

Swag Bag: Boys' Love Beginnings, Cops and Curls

It’s the return of Swag Bag! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Many months in fact. Yikes. 2012 wasn’t a very good year for me after the summer hit so both my buying and my enjoyment of said purchases dipped a lot. Fortunately things are looking up, and it’s a brand new year! It’s the perfect time to kick back into some enjoyable old habits and Swag Bag shall be one of them, my semi-weekly column where I briefly share my first impressions on what I bought that week.

So, without further ado, here are my first purchases of 2013, courtesy of (as almost-always) my favourite local store, Strange Adventures:

Bleach (Vol. 54)This is the first time in a while that I’ve purchased a single volume of Bleach. This week’s new volume, Bleach (Vol.54), marks the end of Viz Media‘s speed up of the print editions. They’ve come really close to catching up with the Japanese releases now after their recent two-books-a-month trend. I still haven’t gotten used to Rukia’s new hair cut, as seen on this volume’s cover. I like it, it’s cute, but it definitely doesn’t help with confusion between characters when hair styles are often one of few defining features. As for the volume content itself, I’m looking forward to the return of Uryuu Ishida! Ah, one track mind sometimes…

Also out from Viz Media was Otomen (Vol. 14). I really loved what happened in the previous volume, but it made me wonder where the series would go now that one of the biggest plot points had been pretty much resolved.  In what seems like a well decided move, this newest volume spends more time focusing on the secondary characters. I’m not an especially big fan of Kitora and his flower obsession, but it was nice seeing him grow as a character. I do really want to see what Hajime chooses to do when forced to confront his Father  about his love for make-up and makeovers someday, and this volume does a great job setting up that conflict.

Then there’s Danza, which despite my thought that it was after seeing the book, did not in fact come from Viz Media. Published by Kodansha Comics, Danza uses the larger cut size I’m more accustomed to from Viz Media’s signature line, not to mention it’s Viz that usually publishes Natsume Ono’s work. It’s definitely a nice touch though, for collectors like me who enjoy putting creator’s work together. Danza fits very nicely on the shelf with my other Natsume Ono books. It’s another collection of her short stories, which I always enjoy, even if admittedly I would still describe them as rather dull. Consistently pretty good, but never something I’d rant, rave and weep over the completion of.

Girlfriends (Vol.02)I can’t say the same for the last two books this week however – Heart of Thomas and Girlfriends (Vol.02). Girlfriends is now over with this second omnibus edition. I really adored this series, and greatly lament we don’t get more yuri series available in English. I found myself empathizing far more with the characters in Girlfriends than I have in 90% of the shoujo series I’ve read over the years. It made it a somewhat emotional read but all the more satisfying for it.

Heart of Thomas was similar for me in ways, resonating a lot more on an emotional level for various reasons. While Girlfriends is a great example of a modern yuri, Heart of Thomas is probably the best example of the earliest of boys’ love works. It helped define the genres of shoujo and boys’ love as we know them today, and I couldn’t wish for anything more substantial as a starting point. I hope to go into my thoughts with more detail in a full review someday, but as I’m still in the hazy afterglow of completing it, I will say for now that this story of suicide, love, abuse, friendship and family was very, very good.

That does it for this week’s Swag Bag. As always, feel more than free to share what purchases you’ve made recently and if you’d recommend them!


Fantagraphics Publishing Inio Asano’s Horror Series, Nijigahara Holograph

Nijigahara

Fantagraphics is hitting off the new year with a new license already, announcing though Robot 6, that they will be releasing Inio Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph.

Viz Media has released two books by Inio Asano – What A Wonderful World and solaninBoth are great reads that have a keen sensitivity and sympathy to being a young adult and struggling with the decisions that will define and effect your life. Because I know Inio Asano writes for characters so well and feeling so grounded, I’m all the more curious about reading this new book because unlike those previous two, this is a horror story. Sometimes stories of the human mind are easily the scariest of all! And then toss bugs in the mix? Eep.

“Even as butterflies ominously proliferate in town, the rumor of a mysterious creature lurking in the tunnel behind the school spreads among the children. When the body of Arié Kimura’s mother is found by this tunnel’s entrance, next to apparently human traces, the legend seems to be confirmed. Is the end of the world coming? In order to appease the wrath of the beast, the children decide to offer it a sacrifice: The unfortunate Arié, whom they believe to be the cause of the curse, is shoved into a well that leads to the Nijigahara tunnel — an act that in turns pushes Komatsuzaki, the budding thug who has carried a torch for Arié for a while already, entirely over the edge.

But this is only the beginning of the complex, challenging, obliquely told Nijigahara Holograph, which takes place in two separate timelines and involves the suicidal Suzuki; Higure, his stalkerish would-be girlfriend; and their teacher Miss Sakaki, whose heavily bandaged face remains a mystery; and many more — brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, teach- ers, aggressors and victims who are all inextricably linked to one another and all will eventually — ten years later — have to live with what they’ve done or suffered through.”

Nijigahara Holograph will be released as a single, 200-page hardcover book for $26.99/US, which should be around $33.99/CAN based on their past releases. You can see some sample pages provided by Fantagraphics over at Robot 6. Currently there’s no set release date that’s been publicly announced.


Otaku USA: On The Shelf – July 11, 2012

Otaku USA: On The Shelf - July 11, 2012

There is lots of diversity this week as seven publishers all step up to the shipping plate to deliver their goods tomorrow (be here now, Wednesday-goodness!). While there are more volumes I’d put on must-buy lists than books I wouldn’t, exceptionally notables for me include Fantagraphic‘s Wandering Son (Vol.03), SuBLime‘s Awkward Silence and Seven SeasJack the Ripper: Hell Blade (Vol.01).

You can read the complete list of books shipping this week over at the usual place, Otaku USA’s On The Shelf article by yours truly.


Diamond Manga Previews: January 2012

Diamond Manga Previews: January 2012

Diamond Comics is North America’s largest comic book distributor. If you have a local comic store in your area, it’s very likely they get their books from them. Every month Diamond releases a giant magazine, Previews, containing all the products they have – from comics, manga, DVDs and merchandise – that will be released starting in about two months’ time, giving retailers and buyers the chance to put their orders in before shipping dates.

Previews - January 2012

I’ve been picking up the Previews magazines for years, oogling all the different books coming out from publishers and wondering how long until the stacks of Preview magazines I’ve yet to get rid of will crush me in my sleep. Starting now I’ll be writing about the different manga content published in Previews each month here on Kuriousity. This includes all the manga titles listed, the top Manga sellers as tracked by Diamond and mention of other things of interest I spot. With the small two month window, Diamond Previews has rarely been the source of new licenses but it’s a great reminder and showcase of all the books coming our way soon, plus the perfect time to get your orders in, whether through Diamond or at your online retailer of choice.

I’ll also be including with these monthly Preview posts a downloadable PDF that you can print off and check off the manga  you’d like to order. Then it’s as easy as bringing it into your local comic or book store – wherever in your area that orders in through Diamond Comics! Currently the list is just the names and does not include the Diamond order codes. I’ve never come across a store that requires them for ordering but if yours does, let me know and I’ll include them on subsequent files:

January 2012 Manga Previews Checklist (PDF)

You may continue reading at your own discretion for my thoughts, elaborations, random pictures and the Top 10 Selling Manga of November 2011!

Read more…


Year In Review: Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

Lissa’s Favourites of 2011

There are no shortage of ‘Best Of’ lists this time of year. While I like popping around to different peoples’ sites and seeing what they thought, it’s a bit of a frustration that I can’t seem to write one myself. How people choose a solid list containing five or ten favourites, from across different genres and subject matters, is just something I can’t seem to muster the brain power for. Not enough conviction I suppose? There’s just so much to love!

But I can’t overlook the perfect chance to look back at all the great titles a year had to offer and 2011 had some really fantastic ones. So then where is this going, oh rambling one, you ask? My semi-traditional equivalent to the yearly best of – the random Lissa’s favourites and best-ofs list! Which really just means you get a lot more titles broken into a lot more categories so I can remain a lot more loving to a lot more series. And in some cases not so loving… From the Best Release Quality to the Favourite Fan Service and even to the most Gag Worthy – here are a bunch of my favourite titles from 2011!

Read more…


Review: Wandering Son (Vol. 01)



Manga-ka: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: July 2011

Synopsis: “The fifth grade. The threshold to puberty, and the beginning of the end of childhood innocence. Shuichi Nitori and his new friend Yoshino Takatsuki have happy homes, loving families, and are well-liked by their classmates, but they share a secret that further complicates a time of life that is awkward for anyone: Shuichi is a boy who wants to be a girl, and Yoshino is a girl who wants to be a boy.”

What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject – transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters’ lives.

The ‘wandering son’ of the title could refer to either of the main characters. Shuichi is a young boy drawn to girl’s clothes and dresses. Yoshino is a tomboy who likes to wear her big brother’s old high school uniform. When they end up in the same grade five class, the two become friends even before they find out eachothers’ secret.

Read more…


Boys’ Love Beginnings: Fantagraphics Licenses Heart of Thomas

Fantagraphics Licenses Heart of Thomas

Great news today for fans of boys’ love, shoujo and classic manga (and definitely if fans of all) – Fantagraphics has licensed Moto Hagio’s Heart of Thomas!

Created by Moto Hagio in the early 70s, Heart of Thomas has been cited as one of the earliest examples of boys’ love. It’s the story of a boy named Juli who comes to realize feelings he had for his friend Thomas, who commits suicide at the story’s beginning. A transfer student who bears a striking resemblance to Thomas acts as catalyst for Juli’s reflection.

Heart of Thomas is being released all in one go in a 480 page, hardcover edition. It’s scheduled for release in August 2012. Fantagraphics previously released a collection of short stories by Moto Hagio with Drunken Dreams & Other Stories. As a bonus to this news, it was great reading on their website that Drunken Dreams was “wildly successful” – congrats!

Admittedly it was my fault this news broke a bit prematurely. The retail link popped up when following a recommendation from Amazon via e-mail and a brief search from my phone to About:Manga‘s Heart of Thomas page (which linked to Fantagraphics) had me thinking I missed the license announcement. Inquiring on Twitter opened the floodgate to lots of happy cheers and the news was officially out! Fantagraphics were really on the ball and addressed my wondering almost immediately and then confirmed the license on their website shortly after. Go, go social media! I was very  impressed with how they handled it.

I’m really looking forward to reading Heart of Thomas. It piqued my interest after coming up a number of times during conversations re: Moto Hagio and Drunken Dream. We’ve got a year to wait but for almost 500+ pages, hardcover, and a classic manga we’d only dream of any other publisher releasing, it’ll be well worth it!


Take me back to the top!