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Books and Trade Paperbacks

There Are Worse Ways To Go…

Let’s face it: Furry fans are going to notice a manga with a title like Reborn As A Polar Bear (aka The Legend of How I Became a Forest Guardian). Check out this description: “After devoted mountain climber Kumakichi Kumada falls into a ravine, he wakes up in the middle of a forest in another world… as a polar bear! Now this tough Ursus maritimus is looking after six werewolf sisters on the run from the humans tyrannizing their clan. Keeping his wits about him and using his knowledge from his past life, the next ‘mountain’ for him to climb will be making a comfortable life in the forest for everyone!” It’s written in by Chihiro Mishima, and illustrated in black & white (with some color pages) by Houki Kusano and Kururi. Take a look over at Yen Press.

image c. 2020 Yen Press

How Pulp Can You GET?

Here’s an “offered again” item that slipped right by us the first time around: Kyrra, Alien Jungle Girl. “Left for dead on an alien planet, Kyrra was taken in and raised by a primitive tribe of demon apes. She has no memory of her previous life and has assimilated to the ways of her adopted family, yet she still looks to the stars and wonders… Where did she come from? What’s out there for her? On her 16th birthday she gets a clue to her origins and sets out for an adventure that will take her beyond the Alien Jungle Girl she knows.” Dark Horse Press collected the original comic series (written by Rich Woodall and illustrated by Craig Rousseau) together in one trade paperback graphic novel, which is available now.

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press

One Little Girl Left

Is it really the time for a cute story about the end of the world?  Well, maybe it’s just the sort of light-hearted look at things we need about now. So here is Softies — or the complete title, Softies: Stuff That Happens After The World Blows Up. It’s a new full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Kyle Smeallie. “When planet Earth just kind of blows up without warning, 13-year-old Kay becomes the world’s youngest chunk of space debris. She’s inadvertently rescued from the vacuum by Arizona, an alien space-waste collector, and Euclid, his erudite cybernetic pet, and from there this unlikely trio blasts off for the most outlandish, hilarious, and occasionally bureaucratic adventure of their lives!” Softies is due this July from Iron Circus comics. While you’re at it, check out the creator on Behance to see the other project that he’s developing, The Actual Witch Society.

image c. 2020 Iron Circus Comics

Dragons. And They’re French.

First Second brings us a popular fantasy comic from France, collected now in one hardcover graphic novel. Kairos is written and illustrated by Ulysse Malassagne. “Nills and Anaelle are looking forward to their first night in their rustic cabin in the woods. But the couple’s idyllic vacation is suddenly thrown into turmoil when a strange flash of light bursts from the fireplace. A portal appears, and out of it spill dragon-like creatures that are armed to the teeth. They grab Anaelle and flee back through the portal, leaving a distraught Nills with a sudden decision: Stay behind, or leap through after her? He leaps. And that’s when things get really weird.” This new English translation is available now.

image c. 2020 First Second

Ladies of London

920 London is a new full-color funny animal graphic novel coming soon from Image Comics. “2005, north of London. A doomed romance between two emo kids. More than friends, less than lovers, they’re trying to grow ‘shrooms before the world ends. Send help. Solo graphic novel debut by Remy Boydell (The Pervert), fully painted in watercolor.” It’s due to be released this June.

image c. 2020 Image Comics

Keep Your Spirits Up!

Oh dear… Is this much cuteness legal? Well, here it is: The Fox & The Little Tanuki, a new black & white manga by Mi Tagawa. “After 300 years, the gods that imprisoned Senzou the Fox Spirit for his arrogance finally set him free. There is only one condition — he can’t have any of his supernatural abilities back until he successfully helps a tanuki cub named Manpachi become one of their magical assistants. Unfortunately for Senzou, there’s no cheating when it comes to completing his task! The magic beads around his neck make sure he can’t wander too far from his charge or shirk his duties, and so… Senzou the once-great Fox Spirit must now figure out how to be an actually-great babysitter to a mischievous little tanuki or risk being stuck without his powers forever!” It’s out there now in paperback from Tokyo Pop.

image c. 2020 Tokyo Pop

Study Them Closely. Very Closely.

And speaking of monsters… It’s time to switch gears and take a look at something that’s decidedly not for young readers. That would be Creature Girls, a new black & white manga series written and illustrated by Kakeru. “Whether they’re part cat, part horse, or part spider, Daisuke has always been fascinated with the uniquely exotic beauty of monster girls. When he finds himself whisked away to a fantastic world full of all manner of demihuman life, he swiftly gets to work meeting (and analyzing!) as many as he can. There’s really only one logical thing for this stranded scientist to do: He’s going to become the creature girl harem king!!” The full title is Creature Girls: A Hands-On Field Journal In Another World (whew!) and it’s available now from Ghost Ship.

image c. 2020 Ghost Ship Manga

Adventures Microscopic

Or at least on a very small scale! Another full-color graphic novel for young readers: Bug Boys, created by Laura Knetzger. “Join two bug friends as they learn about the science of the world around them and the meaning of friendship in this early graphic novel series perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly! Rhino-B is a brash, but sweet guy. Stag-B is a calm and scholarly adventurer. Together these two young beetles make up the Bug Boys, best friends who spend their time exploring the world of Bug Village and beyond, as well as their own – sometimes confusing and complicated – thoughts and feelings.” It’s available now in hardcover from Penguin Random House.

image c. 2020 Penguin Random House

Young Ladies and their Feline Companions

Papercutz has brought us not one but two new full-color graphic novels — both dealing with young teen girls and their new house-cats. First up is Cat & Cat Volume 1: Girl Meets Cat, written by Christophe Cazenove and Herve Richez and illustrated Yrgane Ramon. “Life was quiet for Cath and her dad, living alone. But when they adopt a cat named Sushi, things get a bit too exciting! Between turning everything into either a personal scratching post or litter box, and the constant cat and mouse game of ‘love me/leave me alone’, Cath and Dad have a lot to learn! It’s a hilarious and heartwarming adventure of daily life of this little girl…with a dad and a cat along for the ride!” In the same vein, look for Chloe and Cartoon Volume 1, written by Greg Tessier with art by Amandine. It’s a prequel spin-off of the popular Chloe graphic novel series — this time featuring her new pet, a cat named Cartoon. Both of these are due in stores this month, though of course schedules may change.

image c. 2020 Papercutz