From Kate: This week, I’m going to ignore my triskaidekaphobia and recommend the thirteenth volume of 20th Century Boys. We’re now a little past the midway mark in the series, and I can honestly say I have no idea where it’s headed. With a less capable author than Naoki Urasawa, I might be worried; I was one of those viewers who grew tired of Lost’s bolt-from-the-blue plotting after just two seasons. Urasawa, however, does an excellent job of convincing the reader to stay the course, offering tantalizing clues to the Friend’s identity while gradually revealing what went down on the eve of the millennium. I’m convinced that no matter how the series ends, I will believe in that ending, even if I didn’t forsee it.
From Michelle: This is probably going to be an unpopular choice, but I’m going to go with volume three of Bokurano: Ours. The series features a group of middle-school-aged children taking life-leeching turns piloting a mecha to protect Earth from invaders, and has some serious flaws, most notably the inability to allow readers to really get to know or care about any of these kids before it’s their turn to die. Many would eschew a story like this, and maybe it’s my complete and utter lack of a maternal drive talking, but I find it kind of fascinating. There hasn’t been any reason offered for this invasion, and I suspect that someone, somewhere is merely enjoying a bit of sport at humanity’s expense. We shall see!
From Melinda: I’m going to go off the Midtown list this week and turn to the fine folks at Boston’s Comicopia, who say they’ll be seeing volume three of one of my favorite new series of last year, Nobuaki Tadano’s 7 Billion Needles, published in English by Vertical, Inc. This is my second time around with this series as a Pick, but it’s really that good. Check out my review of volume two here. A quote: “Though the story’s horror/sci-fi elements are what keeps its plot going, the real heart of this story is Hikaru’s journey toward becoming a real, living participant in her world, and this is a story Tadano tells very well.” I’m very much looking forward to digging into the newest volume.
From David: I was hoping someone would fudge their source before I had to do so. I’m going to again use the ComicList for my pick, which would be the first omnibus of Yu Aida’s Gunslinger Girl (Seven Seas). Ages ago, when I was still writing the Flipped column for Comic World News, I asked various manga bloggers to share what they felt were overlooked comics. Ed (MangaCast) Chavez, now with Vertical, mentioned Gunslinger Girl, describing it as a “[w]ell drawn primer to pop-culture perversion.” I’ve been curious ever since, and this seems like an economical and convenient way to slake that curiosity, though I may live to regret it.
Readers, what are your picks this week?