Midwest Book Review

April 2009

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers.

Image from Amazon
Popeye: Let's You and Him Fight!
by E.C. Segar

Fantagraphics Books
7563 Lake City Way, NE, Seattle, WA 98115
9781560979623, $29.95 www.fantagraphics.com

Including the never-before-reprinted 1933 'Popeye, Wimpy, and Olive at the Chicago World's Fair' storyline, the third Popeye volume 'Let's You and Him Fight!' presents a winning complete reprint of Seger's Popeye strips and represents the halfway point in the Popeye saga with this volume. Mostly black and white with a few color panels make for an excellent oversized presentation of strips perfect for in-depth graphic novel or comics collection in general, and for Popeye fans in particular.

Image from Amazon
Otomen Volume 1
by Aya Kanno

Viz Communications Inc.
295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
9781421521862 $8.99 www.viz.com 1-800-394-3042

Part of Viz's "Shojo Beat" line of manga (Japanese comics) aimed at girls and women, volume 1 of Otomen introduces readers to an unlikely teenage trio. Asuka Masamune is a decidedly heterosexual guy who loves girly things, from sewing and knitting to making stuffed animals and reading girls' manga; he has a severe crush on Ryo Miyakozuka, a girl who can't sew or bake at all, and who likes guy things such as martial arts. Their mutual friend is a playboy who secretly uses them both as inspiration to create his own best-selling shojo manga! Trapped in a culture that values men who act manly, how can Asuka learn to accept his own "otomen" (i.e. guy who likes girl stuff) nature, when almost no one else will accept it - not even his own mother or Ryo's father? Otomen is a lighthearted romantic comedy with a serious underlying message - that it's okay to be secure in one's gender and sexuality without conforming absolutely to rigid gender roles. Highly recommended to shojo manga fans.

American Mcgees Grimm #1
American McGee's Grimm #1
Dwight L. MacPherson et al.
IDW Publishing
5080 Santa Fe St., San Diego, CA 92109
No ISBN, $3.99, www.idwpublishing.com

"American McGree's Grimm" isn't the first full-color comic to be based on a popular video game -- but it is most certainly one of the best! "American McGee's Grimm" is a five-issue mini-series featuring a macabre dwarf seeking to wreak havok against 'happy endings'. After unleashing dark magic across five different fairytale worlds, in this debut issue, Grimm exits the latest fairy tale he's sinisterly transformed to be confronted with new worlds to conquer in the form of comic book universes. The first comic book genre to catch his attention are those of the Superhero genre. This comic book world is a place where the supervillains are ordinarily doomed to defeat -- but that was before Grimm decided to get involved in the struggle! Original, iconoclastic, altogether entertaining, and very highly recommended for comic and graphic novel enthusiasts, "American McGee's Grimm" is the collaborative project of writer Dwight L. MacPherson, artist Grant Bond, letterer Neil Uyetake, and editor Tom Waltz. But be warned! This first issue will leave the reader impatiently awaiting the next installment -- when Grimm sees what he can do in the Romance comic book genre!

EDITOR'S NOTE:

The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing. We accept no funds from authors or publishers. Full permission is given to post any of these reviews on thematically appropriate websites, newsgroups, listserves, internet discussion groups, organizational newsletters, or to interested individuals. Please give the Midwest Book Review a credit line when doing so.

The Midwest Book Review publishes the monthly book review magazines "California Bookwatch", "Internet Bookwatch", "Children's Bookwatch", "MBR Bookwatch", "Reviewer's Bookwatch", and "Small Press Bookwatch". All are available for free on the Midwest Book Review website at www (dot) midwestbookreview (dot) com

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James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129

To submit reviews of any fiction or non-fiction books, email them to Frugalmuse (at) aol (dot) com (Be sure to include the book title, author, publisher, publisher address, publisher website/phone number, 13-digit ISBN number, and list price).

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review