Comics Alternative, Manga: Reviews of Red Colored Elegy and The Promised Neverland, Vol. 1

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Demonic Relationships

Shea and Derek are back with their February manga episode. This month they look at two titles that, in many ways, are diametrically opposite in terms of style and audience. They begin with Seiichi Hayashi’s Red Colored Elegy, the softcover edition of which has just been released from Drawn and Quarterly. This is the story of two young artists cohabiting and the struggles they endure with their families, they work, and their relationship with one another. But there’s much more going on in this narrative, as the guys abundantly point out. This is an experimental work that was originally serialized in Garo during the early 1970s, and Hayashi’s variations in visual style, along with his employment of nonconventional storytelling techniques, are what make this such an intriguing and significant work.

After that, Shea and Derek discuss the first volume of Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu’s The Promised Neverland (VIZ Media). It’s a fantastical, and even futuristic, series about a community of orphans who learn that their comfortable life is undergirded by demonic forces. Both of the guys appreciate Demizu’s art, and they’re intrigued by the series’ premise. At the same time, they wonder about some of the choices the creators made toward the end of this first volume, especially regarding narrative focalization. But they’re both interested in seeing how things develop and if, indeed, Shirai’s storytelling choices turn out to be effective as the plot unfolds. VIZ Media released the second volume of the series earlier this month, but the guys weren’t able to get copies of that text in time for this recording (despite reaching out several times to the publisher’s publicity department).

Episode 121: The February Previews Catalog

A Historic Month, or a Month of History?

Welcome to February, faithful listeners! And just as day follows night, every new month brings another opportunity for the Two Guys with PhDs (Talking about Comics) to discuss the latest solicits in the Previews catalog. As you might expect, Andy and Derek find a lot to discuss in the new Previews, highlighting upcoming titles from premiere publishers, smaller presses, and a few outlets you may not have even heard of. For example, they discuss future releases from Dark Horse Comics (Brian Wood and Andrea Mutti’s Rebels, Gilbert Hernandez’s Grip: The Strange World of Men, and the latest volume of Eiji Otsuka and Housui PreviewsFeb2015Yamasaki’s The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service), DC/Vertigo (their latest anthology, Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1), IDW Publishing (the second volume in their new Corto Maltese reprint series, as well as IDW’s new Disney comics initiative), Image Comics (new series such as Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod’s Kaptara, Alexi De Campi and Carla Speed McNeil’s No Mercy, and Kurtis J. Wieebe and Johnnie Christmas’s Pisces), AdHouse (Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven), Alternative Comics (Sam Alden’s Haunted, Steve Aylett’s Johnny Viable and his Friends, and a new edition of Rich Tommaso’s Clover Honey), Amulet Books (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Vol. 5: The Underground Abductor), Bergen Street Press (Michel Fiffe’s Copra: Round Two), BOOM! Studios/Archaia (James Tynion IV, Noahh J. Yuenkel, and Matt Fox’s Ufology #1 as well as the first collected volume of Lumberjanes), Drawn and Quarterly (the latest volume in Seth’s Palookaville, Tadao Tsuge’s Trash Market, and Jillian Tamaki’s Supermutant Magic Academy), Fantagraphics Books (Vaughn Bodē’s Cheech Wizard’s Big Book of Me, Robert Goodin’s The Kurdles, and Bill Schelly’s new biography, Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America), Goff Books (Johnny Lau’s World Water Wars), Microcosm Publishing (Lisa Wilde’s Snake Pit Gets Old: Daily Diary Comics 2010-2012), Oni Press (Zander Cannon’s Kaijumax #1), SelfMadeHero (Julie Birmant’s Pablo and Ilya’s Room for Love), Top Shelf Productions (Keith Knight’s Knight Takes Queen and a reprint of Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story), and Viz Media’s new deluxe edition of Junji Ito’s Gyo. As is the case with every Previews episode, there’s a lot packed into this week’s show — so get listening, get excited, and get reading!

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