Yotsuba&! Vol. 4

By Kiyohiko Azuma
200 pages, black and white
Published by ADV Manga

There are few books that, to coin a phrase, are worth the wait. It’s with that in mind that I have to mention the return of Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&!. After three volumes were released in English back in mid-2005, it’s been a long, cold 20 months since we’ve seen anything new. Except now, the drought is over. The fourth volume hit stores this week, and a fifth is scheduled for later in the year. And if you’ve never read Yotsuba&! before, trust me when I say that you are absolutely missing out on a series that could best be described as the celebration of pure joy.

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First in Space

By James Vining
96 pages, black and white
Published by Oni Press

I have vague memories of seeing Ham at the National Zoo. Having moved to the DC area in 1974, trips there were very common, and the chimpanzees were no exception. I can sort of recall seeing him on display along with the mention that he was the first chimpanzee in space, and being fascinated by the idea that we’d sent animals into orbit. (I was distinctly less excited upon hearing about the fate of the Russian-sent dog Laika.) James Vining’s First in Space is a book that made me instantly wish it existed 30 years ago. It’s exactly what I would have wanted to read then, but fortunately it was also worth the wait.

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