Old Boy Vol. 1-2

Written by Goaron Tsuchiya
Art by Nobuaki Minegishi
208 pages, black and white
Published by Dark Horse

When director Park Chan-wook’s film Oldboy won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, I was amused and impressed to hear that it was based off of Goaron Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi’s eight-volume Old Boy series. I figured the chances of me seeing the movie before ever getting to read the manga were higher—but it’s two years later and while I still haven’t seen Oldboy, I have read the first two English translations thanks to Dark Horse. The big question is if I can be patient enough to keep from running out and renting the movie just to find out how it all ends.

Read the rest of this entry »

Delphine #1

By Richard Sala
32 pages, two-color
Published by Fantagraphics Books

Richard Sala is the sort of creator whose works straddle all sorts of genres and classifications, but is always unmistakable. While his style has been refined and continues to evolve over the years, its off-beat, slightly-tilted-from-reality sensibility continues to remain as Sala’s hallmark. Delphine, Sala’s new series for the international Ignatz comic line, is no exception to that rule.

Read the rest of this entry »

xxxHOLiC Vol. 8

By CLAMP
192 pages, black and white
Published by Del Rey

In an ongoing serial comic, it’s easy for creators to take the easy route, keeping the status quo from one installment to the next and no real lasting effects shaking out. In some ways that’s part of what helps xxxHOLiC stand out so much for me; not only are the individual stories that make up the book interesting, but the book’s characters continue to grow and change in interesting ways.

Read the rest of this entry »

Killer #1

Written by Matz
Art by Luc Jacamon
32 pages, color
Published by Archaia Studios Press

Anti-heroes are a popular character in fiction these days. You know the type—not really a “good” person, but not the villain either. They often operate under their own set of rules and ethics, and in the end bring about the resolution in a way that isn’t necessarily socially acceptable. You cheer them on even as a voice in the back of your head should be saying, “Should I be this gleeful?” Matz and Luc Jacamon’s The Killer seems to take a slightly different tactic. Their main character isn’t an anti-hero at all, he’s a thoroughly bad person. The only thing is, his story is remarkably enthralling.

Read the rest of this entry »