Vagabond Vol. 26-27

By Takehiko Inoue
208 pages, black and white
Published by Viz

2008 appears to be the year that Takehiko Inoue gets a huge push in North America. Viz is bringing his new series Real into English, as well as reviving Slam Dunk (which was part of Gutsoon Publishing’s now-defunct English-language publishing line). Two Inoue art books are scheduled for this year, as well as adding Vagabond to the VizBig collected editions line. It’s worth nothing, though, that for those who are already know when it comes to Inoue, Vagabond‘s been published for several years now in English. And, quite frankly, it’s the best series out of Japan currently being translated.

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Color of Rage

Written by Kazuo Koike
Art by Seisaku Kano
416 pages, black and white
Published by Dark Horse

Kazuo Koike is probably best known in North America for Lone Wolf and Cub, his 28-volume epic that was one of the early comics translated from Japanese to English, and which was finally reprinted and completed in translation in 2003. The problem is, while Koike and Goseki Kojima’s collaboration was great—as well as other works from the duo like Path of the Assassin and Samurai Executioner—there are an awful lot of other works written by Koike that just don’t measure up. And to that list, I’m afraid I have to add Color of Rage.

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