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Comics Haul Week Of 4.26.22

Ever since the Amazon/Comixology merger went all the way through, it SEEMS as though Wednesday is no longer the only New Comic Book Day, the sabbath of my people; with every Tuesday comes mostly new manga, and y’know what, not mad about it. Here’s what ya boi had preordered for today (descriptions pulled from items’ Amazon listings):

A Galaxy Next Door, Vol. 1, Written And Illustrated By Gido Amagakure

Princess Meets… Manga Artist?!
Ever since their father died, Ichiro Kuga has struggled to support his two younger siblings on nothing but a small inheritance and his passion for drawing manga. But it’s becoming harder to keep up with his growing responsibilities and deadlines, especially after his last two assistants quit to follow their dreams. Just as he’s nearing his breaking point, the beautiful and scarily competent Shiori Goshiki applies to become his new assistant. But there’s something almost otherworldly about Goshiki, and soon Kuga finds his reality turned upside down when she suddenly declares them engaged to marry!

Look, I am but a humble dumbass and I’m not here to tell anybody anything they haven’t heard about comics before, but I will say this: it seems to me that one of the differences between Western comics and manga is that Western comics hate comics, or at BEST thinks they used to be better than they are now (they were not), whereas manga loves itself and the people who make it and read it. As a result there aren’t zero Western series about comic book artists, but there are countless manga series about mangaka, they’re always portrayed as frazzled, tryhard losers who love what they’re doing, and they’re all adorable and great. Also, most of them seem interested in teaching the reader at least a little bit about the actual process of making manga, and hearing (or reading) skilled people talk about things they’re passionate about is always interesting and always a good use of your time, even if it’s not a subject for which you necessarily share their passion. Also yes, in this particular case it’s clear that Secret Princess Shenanigans will ensue, there’ll probably be blushing and stilted conversations and half-hearted protestations about professionalism AND MAYBE, SHOULD FORTUNE SMILE UPON US, A SMOOCH, and what, like I’m not supposed to enjoy that; I am but a man, with a man’s weaknesses

High School Family (Kokosei Kazoku), Vol. 1, Story & Art By Ryo Nakama

“Kotaro’s classmates balk when his entire family shows up on the first day of high school. Just when he’s sure this embarrassment will lead to his social exile, Kotaro’s family wins hearts through charm, surprising sports skills, and…desserts?! There’s never a dull moment as the Ietani family tries to fit in at school!”

Well this just sounds excruciating, but also wholesome, and therefore I hit ‘preorder’. END OF THOUGHTS.

Mapmakers And The Lost Magic, By Cameron Chittock And Amanda Castillo

A young girl finds herself faced with an impossible choice—run away from her beloved valley, or unleash a hidden magic and become a Mapmaker to save her home from its new overlords
For centuries, the Mapmakers kept peace in the Valley, but they’ve long since disappeared. Now the Night Coats hold power with an iron grip—there are only rules, punishments, and consequences. Until one night, on the run from the Night Coats (again), after breaking another rule (again), Alidade stumbles upon a secret door leading to a magical hideaway that belongs to the Mapmakers. There, she finds a map of her home and accidentally brings to life Blue, a magical creature called a memri who is meant to protect the Valley. Blue needs Alidade’s help to find the Mapmakers and save the Valley from the Night Coats!
But the Mapmakers are long gone.
Alidade has a choice: leave the Valley like she’s always wanted…or become a Mapmaker and save the only home she’s ever known.
This is the first book in a thrilling series of adventures where Alidade discovers the world around her as she goes on a fantastical journey.” 

I’ve been trying to get back into and get a better grip on YA, younger-aimed and all-ages comics (great examples being Jonna And The Unpossible Monsters, Squire, the Raven, Beast Boy and Beast Boy Loves Raven graphic novels, and Ruinworld), because telling stories with that kind of machinery presents a different set of challenges and requires a different set of skills, and as a result the finished product is very often finer, more polished and of a higher quality simply because the artists had to work harder to tell their stories within the constraints of the genre than they were if they were just tearing Thor in half, instead of tearing our hearts in half with like, I dunno, a mouse losing her hat in a rainstorm that was a gift from her friend the frog who moved away, and she tries to tell herself she’s not crying about it, it’s just raining on her face, but it’s only raining on her face because she doesn’t have her hat, and then she just hides in a tree’s root-hollow and sobs. Anyway this seems like an intriguing read, I’m here for magic and monstros, from what I’ve seen I believe the protagonist is a young girl of color (could be wrong about both of those), and I also believe at least one of the creators is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and if I can support these kinds of stories AND marginalized creators A N D get to read about a magic map and what look like maybe some kinda Magic Critter Scouting organization, that is WELL worth the price of admission.

I’ll be back with more thoughts on these if and when I have them! In the meanwhile, what did you all snag today, and what are your thoughts on these?

-The Bageler

they loved me like I was a brother

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