This week’s comics: Gamer Cats and Dirtbag Vampires – Slog
Full disclosure on this one: The New Comic Heretics of the Unfathomable Realms is written by a friend of mine, so I won’t review it, but I’m going to enjoy it very much. Colorful and eerie, it’s a story of witty wizards and troublemakers in a world of stunning architecture and pleasant jokes. The locally made book has already launched beyond its goals, with one month left for funding number 2.
Also tickling the imaginations of comic book fans this week is a charming book about a gamer who unexpectedly finds himself the owner of a stray cat. Fittingly, she decides to treat the cat like a video game challenge and level the creature; it’s an utterly delightful perspective on pet ownership as an eternally changing puzzle to solve. Great stuff for gamers, great stuff for cat lovers, great stuff in general. It’s not expected to be officially released until mid-May, but some retailers seem to have gotten it early.
Thanks as always to Phoenix for sorting out the new releases! Meow.
THE ADVENTURES OF DAI TOME 1: THE DISCIPLES OF AVAN I
One of the most popular manga series ever published has just released a beautiful English version, 33 years after its first Japanese publication. The Adventures of Dai is a charming adventure for all ages in which a young hero leaves his island home with a princess to battle a sinister evil force. Granted, it’s not the most original basis for a story, but readers will be won over by the hero’s adorably naïve enthusiasm, bizarre comic monsters, and gritted-toothed battle posture. If you’re a fan of anime where muscle men stare at each other through rocky terrain and sputter lines like “that’s…impossible…his power rating just got amplified to ten thousand percent!” then you are for the time of your life. And while the tropes might seem a little worn, that’s only because it’s the book that perfected them. An excellent translation with beautifully placed lettering, Viz really outdid themselves with this one.
Story: Riku Sanjo. Drawing: Koji Inada. Supervision: Yuji Horii. Translation: Gregory Werner. Artistic retouching and lettering: Steve Sutro. Publisher: Jennifer Sherman.
BLOOD STAINED TEETH PROBLEM #1
Tired of romantic love vampires? Maybe you’d prefer Dirty Vamps instead. This entertaining twist on the genre posits a world where those born as vampires are class snobs who despise people who are turned into vampires later in life. Our hero is some kind of grizzled mercenary, an originally born vampire who is only begrudgingly tolerated by his sharp-toothed family, and who quickly earns money by charging humans for the service of ramming his fangs in their neck and turn them. This line of work does not particularly appeal to him, and before long he is captured, tortured, and forced to become a vampire hunter instead of a vampire maker. A vampire having to kill his own vampires is a neat little twist! The only thing I can’t fathom is the decision to render this book in bright, neon pop-art colors with harsh black shadows. This intriguing look – as if the whole world were a garish painting of black velvet – is an odd choice for a vampire tale. But if this book’s purpose is to break the mold and retry vampire stories, it certainly found a distinctive look.
History, logo, design and creator: Christian Ward. Art & designer: Patric Reynolds. Colours: Heather Moore. Letters, logo and design: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Publishers: Heather Antos. Alternate Cover: Declan Shalvey, Jamie McKelvie.
Publisher: Image Comics.
ALSO: SUPERMAN’S DEAD AGAIN, KING ARTHUR MUTANTS and CAT GAMER
I am totally enchanted by Cat player, a manga about a gamer who treats the company of cats as a video game-style challenge. There’s also a new Justice League that opens by assassinating all the heroes – I’m told that’s a good place to jump into a new DC story. Other good starter texts this week include a new amazing spider manand also Knights of Xin which our old friends the X venture through Arthurian legend.