Comics Alternative, Manga: Reviews of Dead Dead Demon’s De De De De Destruction, Vol. 1, The Troublemakers, and Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 1

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On the last episode in The Comics Alternative‘s monthly manga series — a show that was supposed to be the May episode, but was actually a late April show — Shea and Derek promised that they would provide an additional manga episode at the very end of May, and that that show would be the real May show. As reality unfolded, the two guys had problems in coordinating their schedules and being available at the same time. And as a result, you get this episode. But it’s an extra-long episode, one that includes discussions of not two but three recent manga releases.

They begin with the first volume in a the latest series from one of their favorites, Inio Asano. Dead Dead Demon’s De De De De Destruction (VIZ Media) is an unusual work that, in many ways, reminds the guys of Goodnight Punpun they reviewed in March 2016, a title that they especially loved. And they appreciate this new work at least as much. This new book begins as a realistic narrative of Tokyo schoolgirls and their everyday interactions at school. Soon, though, the reader discover that this is not a normal environment, but one where the city is, literally, living under the shadow of a giant mysterious spaceship that visited them three years previously.

Next they turn to a notable new release from Retrofit/Big Planet Comics, Baron Yoshimoto’s The Troublemakers. Translated and edited by Ryan Holmberg, this is a collection of six short works of gekiga that vary in narrative approach, theme, and (to a lesser degree) style. All of these pieces were originally released between 1966 and 1974, and in a variety of publications. The volume ends with a magnificent essay, providing history and context, by the book’s editor. This book marks the first translation of Yoshimoto’s into English.

The guys conclude with a completely different kind of book, Fujita’s Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 1 (Kodansha Comics). The title is a series of episodes — think of a sitcom — of a small group of young workers, all of whom are otaku (those with obsessive interests in very specific, especially fan-based, media and culture) and interact in everyday scenarios, at work and otherwise. The guys aren’t near as enthusiastic about this work as they are with the others reviewed in this episode. However, Derek is more open to Wotakoi than Shea. In fact, Shea even wonders if the emphases in this series may not even be counterproductive, if not harmful, to consumer health.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: Retrofit Comics 2018

 

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Lately on The Comics Alternative‘s Kickstarter series, Derek has been focusing more on small presses that are currently crowdfunding their seasonal releases. (See previous shows devoted to Kilgore Books and Nix Comics.) And this weekend’s show is similar, highlighting the latest Kickstarter campaign from Retrofit Comics. On this episode, Derek talks with Jared Smith about efforts for funding their diverse array of 2018 titles.

This current Kickstarter campaign revolves around the 12 books they plan on releasing this year. Backers of this project can look forward to:

  • All the Sad Songs – Summer Pierre
  • Fashion Forecasts – Yumi Sakugawa
  • I Love You – Sara Lautman
  • John, Dear – Laura Lannes
  • Our Wretched Town Hall – Eric Kostiuk Williams
  • The Prince – Liam Cobb
  • Survive 300 Million 1 – Pat Aulisio
  • Survive 300 Million 2: Serpentine Captives – Pat Aulisio
  • The Troublemakers – Baron Yoshimoto
  • TRUMPTRUMP vol. 2: Modern Day Presidential – Warren Craghead III
  • Understanding – Becca Tobin
  • The Winner – Karl Stevens

In their conversation, Derek talks with Jared about some of the history of Retrofit Comics and its relationship with Big Planet Comics — in both its publishing and brick-and-mortar manifestations —  their more recent efforts in manga, and, of course, the impressive roster of this year’s creators. As listeners of The Comics Alternative know, Retrofit/Big Planet is one of the Two Guys’ absolute favorite publishers…small press or otherwise. If you don’t already know about this publisher, then shame on you! All the more reason to back this campaign and get the 2018 releases from Retrofit Comics!

Sample Covers

 

 

Comic News Insider Episode 775 – Heroes Conning with Kelly Sue DeConnick/Kata Kane/Melody Often/Yoshi Yoshitani!

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Comic News Insider: Episode 775 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Dark Days The Forge #1, The Defenders #1, Legion Of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special #1, Martian Manhunter/Marvin The Martian Special #1, Blood Drive 

Emily Edwards returns to the rotating co-host chair. Jimmy was at Heroes Con over the weekend and all he brought back for her was a lousy recap! But you get to hear it too. He moderated 3 panels and got about 14 interviews. Some of which you’ll hear here! He got to chat with Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kata Kane, Melody Often and Yoshi Yoshitani. News includes: The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan gets the hardcover treatment, seven evil Batmen are coming, Kingsman is returning to comics, Ben Templesmith is bringing back Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

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Come back later this week for more Heroes Con interviews and panel coverage!