SEAN: There’s a ton of stuff coming out next week—again—but one obvious Pick of the Week, which is Mari Yamazaki’s Thermae Romae. The artist is known for her comedies, and there’s lots to laugh about here. A Roman architect discovers the ability to time-travel via bath, and ends up in modern times. Though initially freaked out, he is able to use our own modern bathing ideas to transform his own spa back in his time. It may not sound like much, but the execution is what makes it a winner. The manga has won awards and spawned an anime and a live-action feature. Plus the artist lives in Chicago! If this sells well, maybe we can get Kodansha or Vertical to pick up her Sweet Home Chicago series, which runs in the josei magazine Kiss.
MJ: This really is a pretty incredible week, including the latest volume of Real, another installment of Viz’s X omnibus, and license rescue 07-Ghost. And though I absolutely agree with Sean that Thermae Romae trumps pretty much anything you could put on the list, since he’s already mentioned that, I’ll take the opportunity to give a shout-out to one of my surprise favorites of the year, Yen Press’ graphic novel adaptation of Gail Carriger’s Soulless. Its second volume comes out this week, and it’s a wild, tense ride. If you only buy one comic this week, go for Thermae Romae, but if you can manage two, Soulless is worth a look!
MICHELLE: … That really does just about sum it up, doesn’t it?
If, after buying Thermae Romae and Soulless you have room in your budget for more, then I absolutely recommend volume eleven of Takehiko Inoue’s Real. Saturn Apartments and Bokurano: Ours are good, too!
BRIGID: Yes, I want to jump in and put in the word for vol. 6 of Saturn Apartments. It’s a story with a great concept—the main character is a window-washer for a ring-shaped apartment complex that orbits around the earth, so he sees all strata of society—and an amazing visual sense. The cast of characters has been growing since volume 1, and there is an underlying plot anchoring it all, but it’s really a collection of self-contained stories so it isn’t hard to just jump in and start reading with this volume. So yes, Thermae Romae is my first pick too—it’s awesome—but this is my solid second choice.
ANNA: Thermae Romae is on my wish list for the holidays and any week that features a new volume of manga by Takehiko Inoue is a cause for celebration. I am going to go with 07-Ghost though, simply because it is next on my to-read list. I’m always a bit curious about license rescues, and I didn’t read the earlier version of the series which was published by the late lamented Go!Comi. I thought it was interesting that this manga came from the magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum, home of Loveless and Saiyuki Reload. As I was quickly flipping through the volume I saw attractive art, plenty of action scenes, and weird religious iconography. I am always excited to read any manga featuring those three things!
Readers, what looks good to you this week?