Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
We’re continuing our look at the year ahead in comics with a rundown of Yen Press’ plans up through the summer. The company has their own online schedule that you can peruse, but I thought it might be useful to point out a few titles of note. As with Viz and other manga publishers, I’m not going to list every single ongoing volume that they’ve got in the hopper, but merely highlight the ones that strike my fancy. I’m flighty that way.
Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol. 1 by Stephenie Meyer and adapted by Young Kim. The vampire juggernaut finally meets comics. It’s a perfect fit, considering this thing is basically a shojo manga in goth drag. Will it be as ginormously successful as every seems to think it will? Probably.
Spice and Wolf by Isuna Hasekura and Keito Koume. That sounds vaguely naughty, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s about an itinerant merchant who teams up with a wolf-god to exploit a kingdom’s depleting currency. Shenanigans, no doubt, ensue. 192 pages, $12.99.
Yotsuba&! Vol. 8 by Kiyohiko Azuma. I point out the release of this volume merely because I really, really like Yotsuba.
Kobato Vol. 1 and 2 by CLAMP The CLAMP collective’s latest series deals with a young woman who alleviates other people’s romantic sufferings so that she can have her own wish come true. The catch is she can’t fall in love with anyone she helps.
My Girlfrend’s A Geek by PENTABU by Rize Shinba. Oh, you wish pal. No, this one’s about a guy who dates a yaoi fanatic. That could go to some interesting places.
Darker Than Black Omnibus original story by BONES & Tensai Okamura, art by NOKIYA, script in collaboration with Arklight This book collects the two-volume manga about a mysterious, supernatural assassin. 384 pages, $18.99.
HIGURASHI WHEN THEY CRY: Time Killing Arc story by Ryukishi07, art by Yoshiki Tonogai A new chapter in an ongoing series about a mysterious Twin Peaks-like village where bad stuff goes down. At least, I think that’s what it’s about. 192 pages, $11.99.
Daniel X Vol. 1 by story by James Patterson, art by SeungHui Kye Following the apparent success of the Maximum Ride adaptation, Yen attempts to tackle another series from Patterson, the Henry Ford of literature, this one being about an orphaned alien on Earth with fantastic powers. Hmmm, sounds familiar.
The Clique: The Manga story by Lisi Harrsion, art by Yishan Li. Another popular teen series, this one being in a more Gossip Girlish vein, gets mangaized.
Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime by Mizuki Nomura Not a comic at all, but a light novel about “Konoha Inoue, a gifted writer who’s lost his passion, who’s inducted into his school’s literature club by it’s only other member, the beautiful Touko Amano – a book goblin who literally devours the printed word.”
Himeyuka & Rozione’s Story by Sumomo Yumeka A young woman befriends a mysterious little boy. That’s about all I can suss out of this one.
RomeoxJuliet Omnibus art by COM, original story by William Shakespeare The classic love story gets a manga twist/update. Will it finally have a happy ending? It better not.
Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution, Volume 1 by Yuuki Fujinari An overweight, former child beauty contestant launches into a program to lose weight with the help of the hot boys in her neighborhood. That happens all the time, right?
Goldilocks and the Seven Squat Bears by Émile Bravo Not manga at all but Eurocomics! Or, more specifically, an all ages book from the author of My Mom is in America and She Met Buffalo Bill. I really liked that book a lot, so I’ll definitely be trying to track this down come summer.
Gossip Girl: The Manga, Volume 1 art and adaptation by HyeKyung Baek, original concept by Cecily von Ziegesar. The title says it all, doesn’t it?