On Sunday morning at San Diego Comic-Con, the CMX Manga crew put the spotlight on their new releases for 2010, a special guest from Japan and a new addition to their ranks.
The special guest? Yoshinori Natsume, the mangaka behind Batman Death Mask , who did four stints over the weekend drawing sketches for fans at the DC Comics booth. The new addition to the CMX roster is their new assistant editor Chynna Clugston, a name that might be familar to comics fans as the Eisner Award-nominated creator of Blue Monday and Scooter Girl .
But the stars of the show were the five new manga titles that Asako Suzuki, Jim Chadwick, Larry Berry and Clugston announced for Summer 2010. With a mix of drama, comedies, suspense, fantasy and romance, there was something for almost everyone in this batch, and more than a few that got manga readers in the know buzzing.
51 Ways to Save Her by Usamaru Furuya - September 2010
What happens when a college student is reunited with an old classmate / now Gothic Lolita after a devastating earthquake? You get a compelling thriller depicting a once-civilized city that descends into chaos that's just that much more chilling because it's true to life.
"51 Ways to Save Her features a fairly realistic, somewhat disturbing depiction of what would happen after a huge earthquake," said Chadwick. "The two main characters must find a way to get off the island just off Tokyo, when there's no communication, and the people around them have descended into savagery."
"When I read this story in a magazine, I just couldn't wait to read each chapter," said Suzuki. "It's supervised by the earthquake organization in Japan, so there's many real things for readers to know about these kind of situations. It's a good thing for people to be reminded that this can happen to any one at any time."
Nyankoi! by Sato Fujiwara - July 2010
On the lighter side is a story that should especially appeal to cat lovers, and more than a few responded to my tweets describing this new Summer '10 release.
The hapless hero of Nyankoi! is Junpei Kosaka, a guy who not only hates cats, he's deathly allergic to them. So it's kind of bummer that he has a crush on a classmate who adores kitties. Things go from bad to worse when he accidentally angers a guardian deity of cats who bestows upon him a gift and a curse. He can now understand what cats say, but he must grant 100 wishes from cats or he'll be turned into a cat himself!
Look for this three-volume kitty comedy series from Flex Comix to hit the shelves in July 2010.
The Phantom Guesthouse by Nari Kusakawa - July 2010
From the creator of whimsical shojo manga series like Palette of 12 Secret Colors and Two Flowers for the Dragon comes a new one-shot fantasy tale about a boy who enters a magical manuscript and discovers "the inn of the imagination."
But all's not fantasy and fun here, because there's a price to be paid for venturing into this world. "There's a dark twist in this story," said Berry. "I like how Kusakawa-sensei blends fantasy with her dry sense of humor and subtle characterizations."
Shissho Holiday by Otsuichi and Hiro Kiyohara - July 2010
From the author who brought you GOTH and ZOO comes a new dark, modern thriller set in contemporary Japan. This one-shot centers around a teen whose mother remarried a rich man. After her mother passes away and her step-father remarries, she starts to feel like her place in the family has become tenuous. So in order to see whether her family truly cares about her, this girl decides to stage her own kidnapping.
As the story progresses, "the stakes keep getting higher and higher," said Suzuki. "It's a good story to read; it has a lot of twists in it."
Tableau Gate by Rika Suzuki - August 2010
The hero of Tableau Gate encounters a deck of mystical cards and accidentally lets loose a host of creatures upon the world. He soon enough finds out that each creature has unique powers, and that they can be controlled by whomever wields these magic cards.
Now, before you can say "That sounds vaguely like Pokemon/Bakugan" look again at the art, and you'll see that it's definitely not kids' stuff.
"It's very interesting and the art is beautiful," said Suzuki.
The other titles spotlighted at this panel were announced a few weeks earlier at Anime Expo 2009, and plot summaries were provided then -- but here's the list of titles and release dates:
- Battle of Genyru: Origins by Shouko Fukaki - August 2009
- A Tale of an Unknown Country by Natsuna Kawase - September 2009
- Oh! My Brother by Ken Saito - October 2009
- Deka Kyoshi by Tamio Baba - November 2009
- The Lizard Prince by Asuka Izumi - November 2009
- The World I Create by Ayami Kazama - January 2010
- Stolen Hearts by Miku Sakamoto - January 2010
- Rampage by Yunosuke Yoshinaga - February 2010
- My Darling Miss Bancho by Mayu Fujikata - March 2010
- Diamond Girl by Takanori Yamazaki - April 2010
- Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson by Ichiro Sasaki, ocelot and Tomo Hirokawa- May 2010
- Nadeshiko Club by Miku Sakamoto - June 2010
Which new CMX title are you most looking forward to reading? Add your thoughts and comments below!
Image credit: © Usamaru Furuya, © Sato Fujiwara / FLEX COMIX, © © Nari Kusukawa / HAKUSENSHA, INC., © Otsuichi and Hiro Kiyohara, © Rika Suzuki, WITH! © 2006 Ken Saito / HAKUSENSHA, INC.