Category Archives: Comic Books

MANGA: Oishinbo, A la Carte: Japanese Cuisine –Estranged Father and Son Coerced to Devise the Ultimate Menu!

Oishinbo is a long-running manga series that encompasses more than one hundred issues in Japan. Perhaps it’s because VIZ Media is uncertain about the North American reaction to a manga about the world of cooking and food culture, but the North American market they have chosen to publish a kind of “greatest hits” series of select stories taken from the series and present them in “a la carte” editions. Japanese Cuisine in the first in this unique series and the unique challenge presented to an estranged father and son.

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Kaibara Yuzan is the father – an artist and founder and director of The Gourmet Club. Yamaoka Shiro is the son – he’s a journalist for the Tozai News. They are estranged because of both their headstrong personalities and because Yamaoka destroyed all of his father’s paintings and pottery to punish him for always placing his family second to his obsession with food. When Ohara Daizo, publisher of the Tozai News, places Yamaoka in charge of the Ultimate Menu Project and asks Kaibara to work with his son, the reaction is not what he was hoping for.

Japanese Cuisine is not just a tale about the creation of a menu – it’s about the kind of people it takes to do things right, and whether Japan even has a cuisine. In the pages of this manga you will find intriguing and entertaining characters who grow as people even as they learn about Japan’s food and food culture. The manga starts off with two sashimi recipes before the story even begins – and within the pages of the manga, we learn why what appears to be so simple is really not.

Between the ongoing clash between father and son, and the responses of their friends and colleagues, we learn as much about Japanese culture as its food. Oishinbo A la Carte: Japanese Cuisine is an enthralling look at Japanese culture from a perspective we’ve never seen before. Tetsu Kariya [story] and Akira Hanasaki have created something, here, that is not just extremely good, but something that is genuinely unique.

Final Grade: A

Comic Books: DEVIL’S DUE PUBLISHING TAKES IT TO THE LIMIT WITH NEW COMIC SERIES BASED ON THE LIFE OF ROCK BAND HINDER

Devil’s Due Becomes First Comic Publisher to Offer Tour Book in Comic Form

 

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Devil’s Due Publishing, which has long been known for their licensed books, including holding the rights for the Halloween and Chucky franchises, announced today that it has partnered with multi-platinum rock act Hinder to produce a limited-edition comic-themed tour book, and is in talks to produce a monthly comic series based on the band’s upcoming “Take It to the Limit” tour.  The first “Take It to the Limit” book will serve as the band’s tour book, which will accompany their 2009 tour.

DDP has been making name for themselves in recent years by developing original comic crossovers and series built around existing stars. Most notably DDP recently developed, produced and published Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia’s “Rest,” which fans first got a look at in San Diego at the 2008Comic-Con. 

Hinder front man Austin Winkler is excited about the group’s collaboration with DDP. “Growing up every kid dreams about being in a comic book, or being a super hero, we have a new and exciting opportunity to be portrayed in a comic book series of our own. We are going to have a blast with this, it will be a lot of fun, this is for our fans, and they will be heavily involved in this, we think they will love it. All in the name of ‘rocknroll’!”

Channeling the spirit of 80s arena rock, Hinder which consists of Austin Winkler (vocals), Mark King (guitar), Blower (guitar), Mark Rodden (Bass), Cody Hanson (drums)  released their Universal Records debut, Extreme Behavior, in September of 2005 going triple platinum and spent 2 ½ years on the road in support remaining on Billboard’s Top 200 for more than 70 weeks. Hinder were recently honored with three BMI Awards including Pop Song of the Year and Internet Song of the Year for “Lips Of An Angel.”  Hinder’s sophomore release, Take It To The Limit, will be in stores November 4 on Universal/Republic.

For more about the rock group Hinder, check out their official Site. For more information and the latest updates on the Hinder comic series, please visit Devils Due Publishing’s website.

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MANGA: COWA! Something Completely Different From The Creator of Dragon Ball Z

Akira Toriyama is best known for the manga/anime series Dragon Ball Z, but he has done a good deal more. One of his most entertaining is COWA!, the tale of a half-vampire/half-werekoala named Paifu and his friends as they seek a cure for Monster Flu – a disease that affects ghosts, were-beings, vampires and all other monsters, but not humans.

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The world of COWA! is one where humans and monsters generally co-exist in peace – human children go to school during the day, while their monster counterparts go to the same schools at night. Paifu and his best friend, a ghost named Jose Rodriguez, are typical kids who like to play pranks, skip school and enjoy their lives/unlives. When a strange illness strikes their friends and relatives, the two set out to find the cure. They enlist the aid of a curmudgeonly former sumo named Mr. Maruyama – but known as The Volcano – and another kid, Arpon, who considers himself Paifu’s arch-enemy, tags along [to swipe the credit if they’re successful].

Toriyama’s storytelling is clever enough, and his art guileless enough, that COWA!, although aimed at younger readers, is terrific fun for everyone. The characters are beautifully developed; the plotting is more than sufficient to hold one’s attention; the twists aren’t telegraphed, and the ending is satisfying enough that I, for one, would love to see more of the characters.

The first chapter [sixteen pages] of the book are in color – and beautifully done – which allows the reader to imagine the “real” look of the black & white remainder of the story. It’s kind of amazing to see the range of color to be found in Toriyama’s nights.

COWA! is thoroughly delightful.

Final Grade: A

COMIC BOOK NEWS: Because I haven’t had my fill of Creepy Kids here comes the origin of Magneto!

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Before he was the Master of Magnetism and the most radical mutant rights activist mankind has ever seen – Magneto was just a boy growing up in Nazi Germany.  In the Marvel Knights tradition of Spider-Man: Reign and Silver Surfer: Requiem comes X-Men: Magneto Testament #1 (of 5)!  Witness the evolution of one of the most popular and controversial X-Men villains of all time!  Superstar writer Greg Pak (World War Hulk, Incredible Hercules) is taking fans back to the year 1935 to show the difficulties and horrors Erik Lensherr faced growing up Jewish in Nazi occupied Germany.  From award-winning artist Carmine Di Giandomenico (Daredevil: Batllin’ Jack Murdock), comes the definitive origin story of the Master of Magnetism!  It all begins with a silver chain, a first crush, and a dictator’s rise to power…

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COMICBOOK NEWS: Check out the Four Pages of War Machine kicking Skrull Ass!

Iron Man: Director S.H.I.E.L.D #33 Iron Man: Director S.H.I.E.L.D #33 

With Iron Man occupied in the Savage Land, the Skrulls may think they’ve eliminated their armored opposition, but War Machine is out to prove them wrong in this must-read Secret Invasion tie-in! Iron Man: Director S.H.I.E.L.D #33, from acclaimed Thunderbolts writer Christos Gage and fan favorite artist Sean Chen (Nova), kicks off “War Machine: Weapon on S.H.I.E.L.D,” which redefines War Machine’s place in the Marvel Universe as a result of Secret Invasion…and setting the stage of his upcoming ongoing series! A major new chapter in Tony and Rhodey’s history begins right here!  With Secret Invasion and related tie-ins selling out quickly at Diamond, and a lead in to the hotly anticipated War Machine series, Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on Iron Man: Director S.H.I.E.L.D #33. It’s time for the Skrulls to say hello to Tony’s not-so-little friend!

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MARVEL COMICS NEWS: Whedon’s final issue of Runaways is here.

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Joss Whedon’s final issue on Runaways is here! Runaways #30, the final issue in Whedon’s and superstar artist Michael Ryan’s time traveling epic ties everything up and wraps it in an antique bow. With our heroes trapped in 1907, they continue to try and find a way back to the future they belong in. But once a super-powered war breaks out on the streets of New York, it makes finding a solution that much harder. This is the arc has everyone talking and raving about Runaways! Matthew J. Brady of Comicsbulletin.com says “It’s all rather eventful, and Whedon makes it enjoyable, delivering the trademark Runaways dialogue that Brian K. Vaughan established” and Daniel Crown of IGN.com states “Rough, yet strangely endearing. And most importantly, at least to me, it feels definitively different from the current Marvel Universe, serving its purpose as a nice break from the status quo.” This series has been a smash hit from the beginning of Whedon’s run right up to the very end. Will our heroes find their way back and will someone else be joining them? Find out in Whedon’s monumental conclusion Runaways #30.  You can see a preview of the issue after the jump.

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COMIC BOOK NEWS: Mark Miller brings Fantastic Four and Wolverine Together

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Three universes collide this year during writer Mark Millar’s run on exciting Marvel titles. Beginning with his newest epic tale, 1985, Millar lays down the foundation for things to come as Marvel: 1985, FANTASTIC FOUR and WOLVERINE all intertwine in a very big way. After his run on Ultimates, and his unforgettable blockbuster Civil War, Millar explores remote and familiar corners of the Marvel Universe in ways that only the man behind such past blockbuster series could. Watch as these stories come to life with the help of long time Ultimates collaborator Bryan Hitch, Civil War’s Steve McNiven, and renowned film and comic artist Tommy Lee Edwards.

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COMIC BOOK RELEASE LIST: Make mine Marvel, New Comics this week

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Hey there True Believers, here’s your official list of comic books, collections and posters arriving in comic stores on May 29th, 2008. For more information on any of these titles, and on upcoming mighty Marvel releases, please visit http://www.marvel.com/catalog/?date=2008-05-29 or contact your local comic book retailer at 1-888-comicbook. Stay tuned each week for a brand new list of Marvel releases so that you’ll never miss your favorite heroes in action!

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COMIC NEWS: Three Musketeers comes to comics

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I love the swashbuckler and there’s no greater story than the Three Musketeers. The folks at Marvel Comics are bringing this classic book to comics and we have some the early pages. It’s brought to us by the team that did their last adaptation – The Man In The Iron Mask, which I started reading on Marvel’s frustratingly half-assed digital comics service. The 6 issue mini-series hits the shelves this month. Take a gander at this beautiful artwork.

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Shakespeare – The Manga Edition

Shakespeare The Manga Edition

I fancy myself an avid reader, but I’m hardly “literate.” I generally read magazines and text books but rarely do I sit down and attempt to read something like Shakespeare for fun.  I need it dumbed down and get rid of all thos, thous, etc. Speak English man! Maybe CliffNotes new series of Manga inspired Shakes is what I need. From what I’ve seen the art looks beautiful. I’m in the process of setting up an interview with the author of the books and will be reading them in the next few days. In the meantime check out the press release. I’m actually looking forward to getting these in my grubby little hands. Throwing on a Beret, sip some Expresso and read these. I’ll be part of the literati in no time.

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Swamp Thing: The Series : Cheap & Cheesy – But True to the Spirit of the Comic!

The Series Review EclipseMagazine.com TVonDVD 

With the WGA strike about to hit the three month mark, and with limited new episodes of our favorite programs remaining [and most done for the year, or at least until late April/early May], here’s a suggestion: try a few cable series that have recently premiered on DVD. Today we’re looking at one of USA’s earliest series, Swamp Thing: The Series, the first season of which – from Shout Factory! – is now in stores.

Continue reading Swamp Thing: The Series : Cheap & Cheesy – But True to the Spirit of the Comic!