Once upon a time, Vertical was primarily a book publisher who focused on bringing Japanese novels and non-fiction books to English readers in North America. Then they added manga to their mix; specifically works by manga legends like Osamu Tezuka and Keiko Takemiya, and got a rep for putting out classy editions of classic manga.
However in the past year, Vertical has expanding their manga offerings into more diverse and contemporary fare, including Peepo Choo by Felipe Smith, Chi's Sweet Home by Konami Kanata and the latest addition to their line-up, 7 Billion Needles by Nobuaki Tadano.
Where Chi's Sweet Home is indeed a very sweet and charming all-ages title, and Peepo Choo is an over-the-top violent satire that's shrink-wrapped for "mature" readers, 7 Billion Needles is a straightforward sci-fi/action title for teens and grown-ups about a girl, the alien that takes up residence in her body and the blood-thirsty creature from space that wants to "destroy all life in the universe."
Check out my review of 7 Billion Needles, and find out whether it's worth picking up when it hits a comic shop or bookstore near you on September 28. Image credit: © 2010 Nobuaki Tadano