Some of us (like me) aren’t lucky enough to live near a comic book shop, so here are new offerings in my Amazon store for online ordering. I know most of you will want to support your local bookstore, so please always keep your retailer in mind when choosing the best place to buy. Available now, the long-awaited graphic novel Gone to Amerikay! Mangaman debuted to excellent reviews which continue to pile up, including this latest from the Bulletin Center for Children’s Books (University of Illinois and Johns Hopkins).
Although the graphic novel starts out as a lovingly playful send-up of the tropes often found in manga and in more western-style comic books, it soon takes on a metafictive quality as Ryoko and Marissa recognize their roles as characters in a story and start to challenge the boundaries of their worlds. This heady premise, fortunately, does not negate any of the book’s wonderfully quirky and subversive humor; that humor, along with a nicely developed romance, gives Ryoko’s story an appeal that reach audiences beyond the mangamaniacs — though comic-book fans will nonetheless appreciate several of Lyga’s inside jokes. Ryoko is a fluid, stylized figure amidst the strong-jawed, heavily lined residents of Marissa’s world, completing the effect of an east-meets-west sensibility in the illustrations.
Mangaman has received a number of very fine comments from the kind of sources that make an author’s heart sing, with starred reviews in The School Library Journal and the prestigious Kirkus.
Also, Chicks Dig Comics, a collection of essays, is now out, and I understand my contribution is the anchor piece to the book.
Gone to Amerikay is getting raves as well including this handsome piece at The Wall Street Journal, and a swell book launch party for the benefit of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
The Annotated Sandman has also just been released. It’s a beautiful package with many notes from author Neil Gaiman.
Also, just announced for release, Essential X-Factor Volume IV, which contains a short story I drew back in the 1980′s penned by Peter David, and Womanthology, primarily a promotional collection of aspiring pro women creators. I did no original art for this book, thinking it best to let the volume showcase the talents of new talent. However, I did write two articles on oft-forgotten women greats like Rose O’Neill and Ethyl Hays. I believe I have a short interview in the book, too.
BTW, Marvel Comic published graphic novels tend to go out of print very quickly. Unlike DC Comics, which has a much larger trade paperback market share (even Image has a larger trade paperback market share,) Marvel sees no value in keeping backlist available to readers. As a creator and a fan, I believe this to be a very unfortunate and shortsighted policy. Let’s hope Marvel execs get with the new paradigm.
Until they do, you might want to pick up some of the recent releases of GN’s in which my work appears. Otherwise, you’ll end up buying them on the secondary market.
Speaking of secondary market, A Distant Soil Volume IV has been out of print for some months, and the prices on both my back issues and sold out trades are increasing. I apologize for the delay in returning the volume to print. As soon as we can get it on the docket, I will let you know.
In the meantime, I’m putting serious effort into finishing off what I need to do on the digital editions of back issues of the comic. I will post news as soon as I can.
If you got an Amazon.com gift certificate, I hope you’ll enjoy it with some of my books! I spent all of my Amazon.com gift certificate, a kind gift from devoted reader and collector Allan Harvey, on comics-related movies, including Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut dvd. Really looking forward to it! Thanks, Allan!