Tag Archive: manga


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“Attack on Titan, Vol. 1”
by Hajime Isayama
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Kodansha Comics
(first published March 7th 2010)

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Manga, I like most of the stories, but the books seem gimmicky to me. I love comic books, and I love a good story, but with Manga comics the books are printed backwards and it takes me about halfway through the book before I start to get the hang of reading right to left. I understand the original printings in Japan are written that way, but they could easily be printed in the same way books are printed on this side of the planet and nothing will be missed. When Western hemisphere books are printed in the other countries that read in the opposite direction they are printed to make it easier for the readers there. So to be geek chic when you find a good Manga they are printed to be read “backwards.” The only reason this happens is to be different, cool, or hip.

I had to overcome this bias because I had heard a lot of good reviews about both the “Attack on Titan” Manga books and TV series. When I started reading this book I hadn’t yet started watching the TV series and all I knew was that it was a survival series much along the lines of “The Walking Dead.” Yes it did take some time to get used to reading backwards, but once I started flowing with the story I was rewarded with a great story told in comic book form and using the tools of flashbacks, and weapon and tactics specifications all interwoven in the story. Again I say, I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t have to retrain my brain to read backwards.

As for the story, it is a survival story set 100 years after the Titans have forced humanity to live behind walls. Humankind is down to just a few thousand people who live in a city surrounded by three concentric walls. The walls protect them from their enemies, the Titans. The Titans are humanoid giants that eat the humans alive. Untouched by the Titans for a century, humanity has become complacent. But Eren Jaeger, a trainee in the Army has had enough. While his fellow citizens are content to hide, Jaeger has the passion to take action to not only protect the city, but to learn what the Titans actually are. But on his first mission he comes face to face with horrors beyond his imagination and secrets from his own past that could shift the tides of war.

I have since started watching the animated TV series and am hooked. The story is phenomenal. I am glad I read the Manga first only because it introduced me to the TV series which I could have easily not watched and would have missed out on a great show. If they do reprint these to be read from left to right I will definitely continue to read the series, but until then I’ll just have to settle with the fact that I’m too old to be taught new reading habits.

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“In Odd We Trust”
Written by Queenie Chan & Dean Koontz
Illustrations by Queenie Chan
Published 2009 by Del Rey

Have you ever read a comic book?  I love comic books.  Stephen King turned his “Dark Tower” series into a comic book series, Clive Barker has some comics based on some of his stories and so has Dean Koontz.  It looks like Dean Koontz “Frankenstein” series is out in comic book form.  What a great genre for authors such as these.  There is a specialized genre of comics originated by the Japanese called “Manga.” Manga comics not only tell great stories but feature some very unique illustrations.  At the same time Manga comics have some fun quirks, like large eyes, extremely large tear drops to show sadness or exasperation, but they are very fun to read.

That’s what this review is about.  Dean Koontz created the series of “Odd Thomas” books (4, so far) that tells the story of a young humble every man that has 2 special gifts.  The first and foremost is that he sees dead people.  Not only does he see them but he does something about it.  Let me explain further for the uninformed.  Odd Thomas (yep, that’s the name his parents gave him) sees the recently departed or rather, souls that have died but haven’t yet moved on.  Usually the reason they haven’t moved on is that they’ve been murdered and Odd must solve their murder before they can move on.  There is the exception of one soul, that of  “The King,” Elvis himself.  Odd doesn’t know why “The King” hasn’t moved on or why he has chosen Odd’s home town of Pico Mundo, California, to hang out, but he is pretty good company.  The recently departed cannot talk, Odd doesn’t know why and this makes things a bit harder when it comes to solving murders.  By the way, in the later books by Dean Koontz, Elvis moves on and Frank Sinatra hangs out with Odd.

This manga comic is a prequel to the books written by Koontz and is co-written by Manga author/illustrator Queenie Chan.  Queenie Chan has published several manga novels through TokyoPop.

This story is full of the twists and turns that Dean Koontz puts into every Odd Thomas novel.  A child in Pico Mundo has been murdered and since Odd can see the boy’s ghost, it is up to Odd to solve this crime.  It turns out the kid’s nanny is being stalked and when the stalker tried to deliver an eerie letter to the nanny the little boy was home from school early and the stalker killed him.  What happens next is that Odd must find out who the killer/stalker is and keep him from killing another easy target.

Remember this is a Dean Koontz novel as well as a Queenie Chan manga and just when you think you have it solved, another turn in the story comes up and throws it all out of whack.  The illustrations that push the story along are brilliant and the story follows great in the Odd Thomas collection.

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