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Swag Bag: Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2012 Edition!

Swag Bag: TCAF 2012 Edition

This past weekend was Toronto Comics Art Fest – one of the best comic shows in North America for meeting and greeting comic artists and checking out their work. It was my second year to attend and I loved it. And who can possibly leave a show as magnificent as TCAF without an armful of comics? Certainly not I! The ability to buy directly from creators is an experience that blows my mind, I adore it and TCAF offers the perfect fix.

Bento Comics – a collection of artists whose works you can read online then have published print-on-demand – had a new anthology available: Peter Pan and the Language of the Dead. I was giddy to see it, as a fan of Bento Comics’ anthologies and a huge Peter Pan junkie. The theme combo was brilliant – it was so unnerving but at the same time fascinating. Wonderful!

Ultimate Kate or DieAnother anthology collection I picked up was Cautionary Fables & Fairy Tales which includes a story by one of my favourite artist/writer combos, Katie and Steven Shanahan. It’s a pretty hefty book with a bunch of artists new to me. I’m looking forward to discovering some new creators to follow.

Becky Cloonan premiered her new self-published short, The Mire, and I was quick to nab a copy. I haven’t read it yet but just the print quality and a quick flip-through shows it was worth each and every penny. Fellow Haligonian Jordyn F. Bochon also premiered a print collection of her comic, The Terrible Death of Finnigan Strap. Two other Halifax artists present whose works I couldn’t miss were Mike Holmes‘ – who had copies of his creative multi-style self-portrait art book, Mikenesses – and Kate Leth who debut her collected comic, Ultimate Kate or Die.

A lot of artists at the show were selling print editions of their web comics so I took the opportunity to buy a bunch. I don’t typically read comics on the web but when an opportunity to try them out via print arises, I go for it! I bought a book of Octopus Pie, Earthsong (Vol.01) and In The Air (Vol.01). Of the three I’ve read In The Air so far and it was great! I hope I enjoy the others just as much, and it’s fun knowing there’s more to read online should I be unable to wait for more to hit the printers.

Teahouse (Chapter 03)There are a few web published comics that I read each week though, and of course I couldn’t possibly resist purchasing the print versions of those. The print editions of Starfighter (Vol.01) and Teahouse (Vol. 03) were both gorgeously reproduced and will now sit proudly on my BL shelves (once I’ve finished oogling them for hours). The colourist of Teahouse, Christina, was also selling hardcover books of her web comic (which I also follow regularly), Fox Sister.

Vertical Inc had a booth at TCAF and I was able to pick up a few volumes of manga from them too. For new volumes, I got Flowers of Evil (Vol.01) – very twisted! – and GTO: 14 Days of Shonan (Vol.02). An older book I’d been having trouble finding was Osamu Tezuka’s MW, which I’m now happy to have in my hands.

Outside of TCAF, I visited The Beguiling where I always know I’ll find a stack of goodies to buy. I was giddy to find a missing volume of One Thousand and One Nights (Vol.07) and an out of print copy of an old comic favourite of mine, My Faith in Frankie. Then it was boys’ love stock up time with Right Here, Right Now (Vol.01-02), The Desert Prince, Black Sun (Vol.02) and, in currently joint ownership with my awesome roommate, four volumes of bara manga. Not easy finding this stuff! Well… unless you’re at the Beguiling. Thanks, Chris!

Thus sums up my Toronto Comics Art Festival purchases for 2012 – all fantastic! It’s a great show that I look forward to attending again next year and I hope others do as well (and let me know!).


Swag Bag: Very Merry Month of Manga In April – No Foolin’!

Swag Bag: April 2012

It’s the return of Swag Bag! In this once-was-weekly article I give a quick rundown of the books I bought that week and some brief thoughts, be it itty-bitty reviews if I’ve read them or first impressions if I haven’t. Since it’s been a long while since I’ve written one, this one is going to recap all my April purchases instead of just one week’s… so it’s a bit long. As always I encourage readers to share their recent purchases in the comments section!

Kamisama Kiss (Vol.08)I continued a few of my on-going shonen series with Viz Media‘s Blue Excorcist (Vol.07), Bleach (Vol.39) and Bakuman (Vol.10), the latter of which has just ended in Japan. Much as I wish sometimes series I like would go on forever, it’s comforting knowing there’s an end in sight. Kamisama Kiss (Vol.08) and Dawn of the Arcana (Vol.03) gave me a Shojo Beat fix, though I’m still not quite sure if I even like Dawn of the Arcana. Maybe now I’ll find out? So tricky to tell.

Arisa (Vol.07) was a quick-to-buy volume. I really like this series, though it is going on far too long. Suspense is one thing but get to the reveals already! And I hope comatose sister wakes up soon… I suppose I shouldn’t complain much about suspense in that kind of story after I finish reading 20th Century Boys (Vol.20). If you want a master of comic suspense, you need look no further than Naoki Usawara. So much suspense, all the time, and while sometimes it’s almost painful how much the story plays on that, it’s completely worth it. Definitely one of my favourites.

Digital Manga and Yen Press are publishing some of my other favourite currently running series, the kind that nestle neatly between the genres of shonen and shoujo. Of those I bought Black Butler (Vol.09), Countdown: 7 Days (Vol.02), Replica (Vol.02) and Durarara!! (Vol.02). I was surprised to see Durarara!! has a shiny gold finish on the cover letters; pleasantly surprised, of course. It’s a neat addition that hopefully means well for the book’s sales. It deserves them too, this series is great and I’m really glad it’s been licensed so I can finally read what all the fuss was about.

Speaking of high quality releases, Yen Press’s English edition of A Bride’s Story – WOW. It always amazes me how good it looks, not to mention of course how gorgeous the artwork is. It’s a beautiful piece of work all around. I was thrilled this month to pick up a copy of volume three. I also bought Bunny Drop (Vol.04) which is the start of the series’ time-skip to cute little Rin now being a teenager. So far my opinion on it is very… meh. Actually it’s more like, ‘I wish I’d stopped at three’. So sad.

Continuingly getting better however is Sailor Moon! Kodansha Comics recently released the fourth volume and while it was a little painfully episodic (one character after another being kidnapped), it had a lot of good Tuxedo Mask character development that the anime barely scratched the surface of. It makes me really like him as a character and even his relationship with Usagi more too. On the opposite end of the likeability scale are the characters of Itazura na Kiss (Vol.08) – why am I still reading this series!? Classic shoujo or not, the cons of the non-existant relationship are far outweighing the funny moments. Bleh.

Osamu Tezuka's DororoThankfully there were other omnibus to buy that were able to almost completely wash the ick of Itazura away – Vertical Inc’s Dororo (by Osamu Tezuka! and over 800 pages!) and Viz Media’s Cross Game (Vol.07). Cross Game has easily become one of my favourite comic series I’ve ever read – I get completely engrossed reading every volume. It’s just so good! The ability to make the everyday incrediably compelling and interesting is a skill Mitsuru Adachi definitely has. Another series that makes rather boring activities still charming to read is Seven Seas‘ Blood Alone (Vol.06). Don’t let the word vampire turn you off this one, it’s really sweet and has some good action sequences that are pretty realistic in their execution. Nothing too over the top and thus refreshingly believable.

This past week I also purchased my first digital manga volumes after buying myself an iPad (oh my credit card, it weeps!). Printed-versions are still my much preferred, but with some publishers now offering titles we’ll only ever see legally available in English via digital, I’d rather read them digitally than not at all. The iPad’s big screen and crisp graphics also offers a really nice reading experience, which I hope to go into with more detail at a later date.

After looking through different manga purchasing options, including Yen Press, Viz Media and Digital Manga’s apps, the site that earned my money was SuBLime – Viz Media’s new boys’ love publishing arm. The company sells digital copies you can then either read through your web browser on their website or download as a PDF to read however you digitally-please. This flexibility plus the tidy $5.99 price tag won me over. I bought three one-shots – Devil’s Honey, Oku-san’s Daily Fantasies and The Bed of My Dear King. All three were enjoyable in their own ways and I plan to share how and why soon.

…and that was my manga buying for April! What was in your swag bags this month?


Swag Bag: Mew Mew Manga Power

Swag Bag

New York Comic Con may’ve been almost a month ago but I’m still digging myself out of the stacks of stuff I bought there. What I brought back from the ‘big apple’ remains a post for another day but October proved itself manga-behemonth enough in release count to ensure every release-day was another manga buying opportunity.

Read more…


Swag Bag: Sailor Moon! And Other Awesome Things

Swag Bag:

Every week when I hit the local comic store for new books, I’m excited. I love buying new books and generally enjoy just about everything I buy. Some weeks though just have an extra-high ratio of awesome. This was one of those weeks!

Kodansha Comics‘ editions of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Vol. 01) and Codename: Sailor V (Vol. 01) – I have them. Turns out I somehow wanted them even more than I thought because the emotional reaction I had to holding them in my hand was a surprise even to myself. Much relief and happiness. They’re adorable books on the outside and were lots and lots of fun on the inside. It hurt to finish the first Sailor Moon and not have a second volume to leap into.

Thankfully I had other volumes of manga I was jumping up and down in anticipation for (not literally of course but you get the idea) – XXXHolic (Vol. 17) and Arisa (Vol. 04). XXXHolic is one of my favourite manga series and I’m thrilled there’re still new volumes to look forward to. I get caught off-guard every time I see a new volume or listing for it with DelRey‘s name still attached though – it and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles were the only manga series the company held onto and it’s easy to forget that with Kodansha Comics releasing so many of their previous titles.

Speaking of series that do a good job blending shoujo and shonen elements together in one book (… of which I meant Tsubasa, if you haven’t read it), I bought the new volume of Yuu Watase’s Arata (Vol. 07). I have a love/like relationship with the series – some books really good, some volumes really meh. Flipping through I see more ‘our world’ stuff so I’m looking forward to that. I think there’s a lot of potential for interesting material in that part of the story but it keeps being sidelined.

Bakuman (Vol. 06)Viz Media padded this week’s purchases further with House of Five Leaves (Vol. 04)Grand Guignol Orchestra (Vol. 04) and Bakuman (Vol. 06). I’m not sure how I missed this volume of Bakuman for so long but the upside is that if I really like it, I have only a week to wait for the new book. I’ve been liking it more and more with every volume too so the outlook seems good that I’ll really enjoy this one.

Lastly – for manga – I bought Yen Press‘s My Girlfriend’s A Geek (Vol. 04). I like this series for its very in-the-know humour about the genre and fandom but after three volumes, it’s wearing thin. What I really want to see is some evolution in the leads’ relationship where the guy actually confronts how insanely selfish, self-absorbed and demanding his girlfriend is. Fingers crossed?

To end this week’s Swag Bag, while I don’t usually write about the non-manga comics I buy, I have to take a paragraph to point people to the gorgeously released, highly entertaining, absolutely hilarious and completely worth every penny release of Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant. Instead of going on about what’s so great about it, I’ll simply direct you to her website where you can read the strips and see first hand why everyone should buy this book.


Swag Bag: Until The Full Moon in the Belly of the Beast

Swag Bag

Books, books and more books! Digital manga may be picking up speed but I’m so thankful we still have bookshelves, upon bookshelves of manga to buy. This past week I got a bunch of new titles along with scattered older titles that I missed.

I also secured remaining plans for my trip to New York next month for NYAF/NYCC. Going to the con again is going to fun, meeting new and old acquaintances amazing and then there’s the opportunity to step foot into Kinokuniya again. A place of manga beauty… Anyway! Any other Kuriousity readers going this year?

In terms of goodies bought here at home recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find an early copy of Osamu Tezuka’s The Book of Human Insects. It’s published by Vertical Inc. and is a nice hardcover edition. I wasn’t expecting it to be flipped, since I’m so accustomed to reading their Black Jack books, but at least it doesn’t take long getting used to reading it the other way around.

Ikigami (Vol. 07)Adding some new boys’ love to my shelves, I bought the one-shot Midnight Bloom from Digital Manga and two volumes of the Takumi-kun series: Tales Out of Season and Barefoot Waltz. I also bought The Betrayal Knows My Name (Vol. 01) which though not undeniably boys’ love yet, is definitely leaning the way. This one’s an omnibus release which is a format I’m becoming more and more fond of – so much manga in one affordable go!

To my sadness, I bought the last volume of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Vol. 07). It’s not actually the last volume of the series itself but looks like (based on retailer listings) that it’ll be the last one Viz Media is going to release. It’s unfortunate, but I suppose not very surprising as it doesn’t look to have sold very well. Starting something new to try and off-set the abrupt end, I bought my much anticipated Drifters (Vol. 01) from Dark Horse.

Another new series I bought (this one on a total whim because it was there) was Mardock Scramble (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics. From them I also bought Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 02) and Until the Full Moon (Vol. 01). There was a huge quality contrast between these two titles – Until the Full Moon looked beautiful with a really nice paper stock for the cover. Phoenix Wright however had really low resolution artwork on the cover that was pixelated and fuzzy – it looked like a bootleg product. Not good, Kodansha!

Until The Full Moon (Vol. 01)From Viz Media I continued a handful of on-going series with Pokemon: Black & White (Vol. 03), Bleach (Vol. 36) and Toriko (Vol. 06). I’ve already read Bleach and it was really good – a great flashback volume into the pasts of all the Shinigami. Toriko was just really, really, really weird still (they’re fighting a battle inside a giant mammoth’s intestines!) and I can’t help but love it because of that. I then purchased Fall in Love Like a Comic (Vol. 01 – 02), having just recently read and enjoyed the first volume from the library.

Lastly I bought a whole stack of old Tokyopop titles thanks to Strange Adventures‘ great discounted manga section. First I bought Soul Rescue (Vol. 01 – 02) since it’s by the same creator as Otomen, which Viz Media currently publishes. Because the cover looked really pretty, I then bought Million Tears (Vol. 01 – 02). Forget About Love (Vol. 01) was the last of my TP titles and unfortunately never had anything further than that published (so here’s hoping I don’t like it too much?).

Alas it looks like no Sailor Moon for me this week (why, Diamond Comics, why?!) but I’ve still lots and lots to read. Time to get started! So what’s in your Swag Bag this week?


Swag Bag: Samurai, Incubus, Rabbits and Tyrants

Swag Bag

My bedroom is finally under control! A week of vacation as I transition to a new job plus a very release-heavy month, not to mention a few trips to my local library, have ensured every inch of my desk, floor and shelves were littered with material waiting to be read and watched. Upside to cleaning your room at least is there’s almost always something you’ll discover  you haven’t read yet, or perhaps just want to revisit.  Naturally among the now organized chaos are a bunch of the things I bought this past week:

For my birthday I received a gift card to Chapters. While I avoid buying from there in-store (too expensive!), their online prices are still pretty good, especially for the more niche material and some harder to find titles. Thus, it was just that I filled my digital shopping cart with.

Mister Mistress (Vol. 01)Boys’ love made up the bulk of my online purchase with my most eagerly awaited purchase being the hardcopy edition of Digital Manga‘s Rabbit Man, Tiger Man (Vol. 01). Second to that fun and charming tale of yakuza/doctor love, was Tyrant Who Falls In Love (Vol. 03). Never enough Hinako Takanaga on the bookshelves! Even Yen Press had some boys’ love to offer me with Tale of the Waning Moon (Vol. 02) and I picked up an older title I missed from Deux Press called Mister Mistress (Vol. 01). It’s almost unfortunate I enjoyed it so much since volume two is looking very tricky to find.

Using up the last pennies of my credit, I bought One Pound Gospel (Vol. 04) which is the end of the series. On the other end of series collection, I bought Descendants of Darkness (Vol. 01) which finishes off my collection of that series as well.

Next up it was into my local comic store, Strange Adventures, where I picked up the new releases (which if you’re curious about the complete recent lists for, check out my Otaku USA articles, On The Shelf). Viz Media dominated my purchasing stack, which I suppose by now should stop seeming like an anomaly.

I was really excited to get my hands on Kaze Hikaru (Vol. 19) – it’s one of my favourite series but there’s a long wait between books. It’s a really long series too so I’m always worried Viz Media will drop it. Everyone buy the series so this doesn’t happen! It’s really charming and wonderfully drawn.

Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14)Also in the pile of awesome swag was 20th Century Boys (Vol. 16), Otomen (Vol. 11), Tenjo Tenge (Vol. 02) and Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 08). A pleasant surprise was the size of Pokemon Adventures (Vol. 14). It’s notably thicker than past volumes and works really well with the content considering it’s the huge climax of all the plot lines coming together since volume one. Pokemon and trainers everywhere!

And lastly, to make my shopping bags all the heavier, a got a few volumes of manga from the library. Looking for something lighthearted and fluff-heavy, I borrowed Fall In Love Like A Comic (Vol. 01). A really fun discovery though was Saint Young Men (Vol. 01-03). I can’t read Japanese but that didn’t stop me from borrowing the books so I can oogle the amusing pictures and hope all the more someone licenses it. Buddha and Jesus living together in an apartment – how could you not be curious?

That was my Swag Bag this week – what about you?


Swag Bag: Sunshine Surgeons and Flopping Fantasies

Swag Bag - August 12

It’s been a little while I’ve had a Swag Bag column. In a very disorganized way it suits the current state of my apartment, where I keep finding books I’d forgotten I bought! Upside is I always find something new to read, inadvertently stopping myself from simply reading everything the moment I get home.

So what goodies have I been ‘finding’ over the last couple of weeks?

Starting off with some shoujo, I picked up the fourth volume of Kobato. It’s not my favourite CLAMP series but I’m still enjoying it’s cute-factor. I reviewed this volume earlier in the week and really liked the cameos from CLAMP’s other series. For something less fantasy and more kooky, I bought Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 05) – which I recently learned is created by a male manga-ka (the more you know!) Edit: Or not? See comments below!. For a story darker than those two put together, Arisa (Vol. 03) fit the bill perfectly continuing to deceive anyone I show with its cutesy covers.

Dengeki Daisy (Vol. 05)After drawing a lot of attention back when it was first announced by Viz Media, volumes one and two of Pokemon Black & White have hit comic store shelves (they were in most big chain bookstores a couple weeks back). The size of them is interesting – more square shaped than Viz’s standard books and considerably thinner, more similar to the way they used to publish Pokemon Adventures during its first graphic novel run. I love reading a manga with the Pokemon from the new games and they’ve got no shortage of attitude based on what I’ve flipped through so far.

The second omnibus collection of Full Metal Alchemist offered me something substantially larger in regards to page-count. Having finished this, I’ve now read the equivalent of six volumes of the original run, and it’s official – I’m hooked. So good! It’s going to be hard not to rush out and buy the rest of the series in singles. At first the omnibus paper quality bothered me (it’s noticeably thinner than the single books) but it really doesn’t make much of a difference when you’re reading as long as you don’t try to hold your book up by a single sheet (and why would you do that in the first place?).

High quality publishing from Viz Media are two books from their Viz Signature collection – Ooku (Vol. 06) and La Quinta Camera. I openly admit that I can barely grasp who is who and what’s going on half the time in the grand scheme of things in Ooku but Fumi Yoshinaga makes every scene so potent with drama and expression that I’m completely engrossed all the time anyway.

From Vertical Inc, I bought the newest volume of Black Jack (Vol. 15) – always an absolute must-have! This volume comes in sunny shades of yellow, an eye-catching but somber reminder that sun is something we’ve seen very little of this summer here in Nova Scotia! Ah well, a new volume of Black Jack can always chase away the rainy day blues.

Deltora Quest (Vol. 01)Looking to try a new series, and get a fantasy-fix in the process, I picked up Deltora Quest (Vol. 01) from Kodansha Comics. The plot sounded super generic but that’s not always a bad thing. Unfortunately the art style, which has already had my roommate and I in giggles over some of the super awkward panel choices and character designs, has me questioning the purchase. We’ll see how I feel about it as a whole when my review goes up early next week.

And finally, to fill in some empty spots on my bookshelf, I bought Tale of an Unknown Country (Vol. 02) from the now non-existent CMX and Natsume’s Book of Friends (Vol. 05), which is a random volume mid-series I somehow managed to miss purchasing.

What was in your swag bag this week?


Swag Bag: Gender, Drama and Baseball

Swag Bag

Another week gone by and another stack of lovely new books to read! Lately I’ve been reading a lot of older titles since my haul at Animaritime but this week’s new titles definitely put up a huge fight for my attention (and who am I kidding, they won!).

First up was  the new volume of Black Butler (Vol. 06) from Yen Press. Knowing that the whole curry fiasco is behind us and another mystery is afoot had me extra eager for this book. I was not disappointed! This series is worth  buying for the art alone – such gorgeous Victorian outfits ranging from the wonderful to just plain weird. Throw in some detective work and sexual tension between pretty people and it’s an easy sell.

Much less in-your-face about its charms is the fourth volume of Cross Game. I’ve completely fallen in love with this series – I love the baseball games, the characters, the romance – it’s all good! It’s so relaxing, the kind of book you just want to curl up in bed with and not put down until you’re done. Plus I think I join the many in-story characters who have a crush on Aoba.

Adding two more volume sixes to go with Black Butler, I also bought Rin-Ne (Vol. 06) and Time & Again (Vol. 06). Both are series I have hesitations buying because the volumes have been hit or miss since the beginning. All the same, this is the final volume of Time & Again so I had to pick it up to see how things fare between the leads. Rin-Ne I buy consistently because when it’s good I really enjoy it, the kind of entertainment only Rumiko Takahashi can offer.

Speaking of hit or miss, two books came in the mail this week from DramaQueen – Missing Road and JUNK!. With three books now under their belt since their ‘comeback’ began, I’m ready to give them another chance and take a look at the new offerings. First impressions say the quality of the publishing itself is great but will the content itself hold up?

Wandering Son (Vol. 01)The big purchase this week was undoubtedly Wandering Son (Vol. 01), however. I’ve been waiting, waiting and waiting (patiently you see) for this book since it was announced. With this description, how could I not?

“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.”

The book has since been showered with praise and rightfully so for what it is. I absolutely loved reading it and will hopefully have a review done soon to highlight why. As a first impressions note, it’s another hardcover release from Fantagraphics so on publication quality alone you really get your money’s worth.

What was in your swag bag this week?


Swag Bag: Animaritime 2011 Edition!

Swag Bag: Animaritime 2011 Edition

We survived! Another year of Animaritime is behind us, bringing with it some much needed relaxation and a heavy sadness. I miss all the staff and chatting with the attendees and even that constant hectic mental state you get in when you’re running back and forth from 8am-12am everyday. Amazing times! If you’re curious to see some pictures or read some comments, our Facebook page is very lively this year.

Special thanks to Vertical Inc‘s Ed Chavez who attended as a guest and held several great manga panels. I loved being on a panel with him and Andre for our Manga Industry panel (my first time participating in a roundtable panel) and I learned a lot from Ed’s Manga Licensing panel (for the love of manga support our publishers!).

Though most of my attention stays as a staffer, I always make time to visit the vendors. I was really happy to see there was even more manga than usual this year and came back home with a satisfying stack of goodies.

Descendants of Darkness (Vol. 02)From the vendor Gamezilla (whose recently revamped store location I visited after the con ended) I got some great discounts on hard to find titles. My largest purchase was volumes 2-11 of Descendants of Darkness which I’ve been itching to reread – a supernatural story that teeters on the edge of being a boys’ love story. The switches between humour and really dark content is as strange as I remember it.

Having enjoyed the complete random of the last volume I read, I also bought Gatcha Gacha (Vol.06-07) and on some recommendations, Suppli (Vol. 02-03). Going for something newer, I bought the third volume of Afterschool Charisma.

Strange Adventures (always the Halifax store of choice!) returned as a vendor and had a bunch of manga to sift through. From there I found three volumes of Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel, volumes 4 and 5 of Itazura na Kiss and A Drifting Life (so I can finally leave the library copy for someone else!). Lastly, despite a lacklustre feeling from the first volume, I gave Saturn Apartments another chance by buying volumes 2 and 3.

Other random purchases included two pretty art books by names I can’t read the Kanji for (thus sadly can’t tell you who they are), and a stack of old Mixx magazines because I got them for pennies and enjoy the nostalgia factor.

So yay for convention weekend! Animaritime is always a blast and somehow manages to out-do itself every year. More memories, more manga – it’s all a win-win! So what was in your swag bag this week?


Swag Bag – Avatar and Attorneys

Swag Bag

It’s swag bag time! Purchases have been light these past couple weeks after an enjoyably hefty purchase stack last time but there’s still some highly recommendable goodies!

First up are two of my top favourite running series – 20th Century Boys (Vol. 15) and Black Jack (Vol. 14). I can always count on both to be consistantly entertaining and these new volumes were no exceptions. 20th Century Boys in particular always make me want a manga book-group or something of the sort here in Halifax – this is a series that demands discussion! And darn that Urasawa, the man can make a cliffhanger.

From Viz Media I picked up the newest volume of Bakuman (Vol. 05) which continues to be excessively wordy and flounders on decent main character interaction BUT manages to be fun and educational all the same. I find myself actually excited for the new volumes, especially since they’ve been getting better with each book (granted volume one definitely wasn’t hard to top).

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Vol. 01)Looking to start something new, I bought the first volume of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney by Kodansha Comics. I’ve never played the games and my knowledge of the story ends at people yelling ‘Objection!’, so it’ll be interesting to see how I find the manga edition.

Next, though not manga it definitely has it’s share of crossover interest: Dark Horse has released a huge collection of short Avatar: The Last Airbender comics in a full-colour book called Avatar: The Lost Adventures. I’ve been waiting a long time for something like this to come out so I literally ran to Strange Adventures to buy my copy – worth every penny and then some! Both the art and the writing is fantastic, very true to the original story with lots of humour – highly recommended!

And last but certainly not least, something else not manga related but still awesome – a Tardis Cookie Jar! Oh yes. I’ve recently gotten hooked to the new seasons of Doctor Who and after marathoning all six new seasons in two weeks, I couldn’t resist buying this when I saw it. It’s big, it’s blue and it lights up and makes that Tardis sound, you know the one. It’s so cute, I love it :)

So what was in your swag bag this week?


Take me back to the top!