Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Manga Summer: A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima

This is and amazing series by Kodansha Comics.  Bullying is so much more prevelant in today's world and this contemporary story shows a case of bulling from the prespective of the Bullied and the Bullier.

Shoya is a young boy who is on a mission to avoid boredome. That involves him being involved in various daredevil stunts with his two frends. 
When a young girl named Shoko joins Shoya's class he starts a campaign of teasing that spreads throughout the whole class.

Shoko is hearing impaired, and so she needs her classmates help. As Shoya escalates his abuse the entire classroom turns on Shoko and her mother pulls her from school.

After she has ledt the school Shoya's life becomes infinetly worse. His desk is defaced daily and his former friends have turned on him. 

This all leads to Shoya reflecting on his actions and deciding to make amends. But how does one make amends to someone whose life was destroyed by their actions?

This is the journey Shoya is on.  It will be interesting to see if this series morphs into a love story, but I really enjoyed the creators choice to unflinchingly show Shoya's bulling behavior. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dollar Bin Treasures: Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, Legion of Superheroes

This Free Comic Book Day I got these great trades for 6 dollars each! Thetas over 1,500 pages of comics.

The supergirl issue was very interesting. I was surprised how progressive the stories were considering how long ago they were from. My favorite element from the supergirl trade was the fact that she had a robot version of herself to stand in for situations that could reveal her identity.

Manhunter has a slight connection to Supergirl because of the characters appearance on the Supergirl television show. That's why I picked up this volume. It was fun to see how quickly John took on the roll of detective. He literally takes a human form, borrows a trenchcoat and hat and then walks into the police station and gets hired!

The stories in this volume have a bit of a noir feel to them . Johns stories have a bit more of danger to them because he is vulnerable to fire.

In the 8o's I was obsessed with the Legion of Superheroes and so I jumped at the chance to read their origin stories. This volume also has stories with Supergirl and Superman since they both crossed over in each others titles a lot in the beginning. 

There are some great concepts in the Legion books. They were inspired by Superman/Superboy, they believed that every planet should have representation and had a strict code of ethics.

I liked seeing that even the rejected heroes were so inspired by the  Legion that they form their own "B" team.

I had so much fun with these stories. They are reprinted in Black and White for the Showcase volumes to keep costs down but they still are a fun read.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

From The Dollar Bin Girlfriends Volume 1 by Milk Morina

One of the joys of visiting my local comic book shop is their seasonal sales. I found this omnibus in the dollar box. Not a bad deal for over 300 pages of manga! Girlfriends is a Yuri romance which means it focuses on same sex romances between women. 

This is also a school romance since the two protagonists are in high school when they meet. The themes in this story are handled very well. We see the beginnings of the girls attachment through the eyes of Kumakura Mariko. Mariko is very shy and keeps to herself at school until Ohashi Akiko comes into her life.

Soon Mariko has a group of friends, a cute makeover and some very complicated feelings for her new best friend. In this volume we see Mariko struggle with her feelings without having anyone to discuss them with. At this stage in the story Akiko is a bit clueless to Mariko's struggle  which leads to many understandings and heartbreak.

I think this is a very important book that manages to balance mature themes with the drama and cuteness fans of manga romance look forward too.  I'm going to have to hunt down the remaining volumes in this series.