Celebrating one year of publishing, Viz’s SuBLime yaoi imprint has announced a slew of new titles: six new titles and 11 debuting volumes. With manga still in the doldrum in the US, it’s good to see one imprint hanging in there—the appeal of boy’s love manga is still going strong. And who can resist a book called PRETTY MEN FIGHTING DIRTY?
Best known for his hectic DRAGONBALL series, Akira Toriyama is probably one of the most successful cartoonists of all time. His first big hit was DR. SLUMP, a slapstick humor strip about an inventor who creates a little girl robot who is hopelessly naive about the world.
Hijinks ensue. Hijinks that anyone who likes FAMILY GUY will appreciate. This is not sophisticated humor but it is energetic, wildly imaginative cartooning at the highest level. It’s also world building in the classic McCloudian-approved way, with the setting of Penguin Village, like Springfield or Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, a friendly place filled with colorful characters.
ICv2 catches the fact that two volumes of NARUTO will be released digitally before the print edition. Vol. 54 and Vol. 55 will be available as part of the shift to Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, the digital weekly that’s replacing the print edition. The availability window is pretty steep — NARUTO Vol. 54 is available now; the print version drops January 3.
It’s just a scheduling anomaly but it is still startling to see one of the world’s best selling comics available in digital first.
A growing body of comics observers have jumped on the bandwagon for Naoki Urasawa as the best genre cartoonist currently working with his layered, dynamic storytelling. But not everyone has gotten the religion! His 21st CENTURY BOYS is currently coming out from Viz, but with 15 volumes in print it could be a bit daunting to jump into. For those who prefer a video introduction, MONSTER, based on the manga of the same name, just began streaming from Netflix. The 74-episode series deals with Dr. Kenzo Tenma and his efforts to stop an insane killer whose life he saved as a boy.