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Manga

A Fat Cat You Can Get Behind

Younger fur fans might not remember What’s Michael? the manga or the successful anime series that followed it — but over the years we’ve talked a LOT about Makoto Kobayashi’s creation: A somewhat lazy pet cat with a very active imagination. Well now the original manga return in a new black & white collection from Dark Horse Press. “True-to-life daily cat scenarios and off-the-wall crazy feline fantasies combine in this epic manga collection! Makoto Kobayashi’s hilarious series returns in a set of oversized collections, starting with our first Fatcat Collection!” Volume 1 is available now — and at more than 500 pages, even the book is fat!

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Press

Chibi and Tasty

Interesting things we found at this year’s Anime L.A. convention. The artist Ryan Zanfei has gathered together a small crew to sell her creations through a collective known as Tasty Peach Studios. And what are her creations? Cute! “Tasty Peach Studios… is a sweet, unique boutique that sells cute merchandise inspired by Japan! We started out selling small hand made clay charms and commissioned artwork through our little Etsy shop in 2007. Since then we have grown exponentially! We now attend upwards of 70+ anime conventions a year & ship high quality acrylic items, professionally made products and more world wide every day!” Those high quality items now include t-shirts, plushies, enamel pins, and even wigs — and more. Visit the Tasty Peach web site to see what we mean.

image c. 2020 Tasty Peach Studios

Kawai Ponies!

We didn’t even know they did this — My Little Pony: The Manga. “The world of My Little Pony comes alive in this distinctive manga series that spotlights each of the Mane 6 and a host of other characters from the land of Equestria! When Pinkie Pie lends a hoof to help Twilight Sparkle and Spike clean up the castle Library, she discovers a mysterious mirror with the power to gaze into alternate realities. Upon entering the portal-like mirror, Pinkie Pie sets off a chain of events that could spell doom for Equestria! Follow this adventure–and many more–in this hilarious new manga series for fans of all ages.” Written by David Lumsdon, illustrated by Shiel, and published by Seven Seas, it’s available now in paperback.

image c. 2019 Seven Seas

Manga from the UK

Thanks to Previews we learned about Mayamada Ltd, a UK-based publishing house that specializes in manga-style graphic novels — with decidedly anthropomorphic characters. Their lead title is Samurai Chef by Nigel Twumasi (writer) and Anna Liisa Jones (art). “Samurai Chef is an action comedy cooking show where the Chef judges dishes with his sword!” Other titles include Serious, Hot Lunch, and The 11th Hour. Visit their web site to find out more.

image c. 2019 Mayamada Ltd.

Proudly… a dog!

Happy Pride Month! Gab Shiba is a humorous slice-of-life on-line comic (decidedly Adults Only at times, but not always) that we came across at BLFC this year. It’s written by Cross and illustrated in a manga-style by Zurdo. On their web site, they say this: “It’s a furry openly gay webcomic that tells the story of 3 dogs and their friends, being GAB (The Protagonist), a cute shiba inu, lover of hot guys and sweet moments; and his roomies, WANG, a geek Chow Chow who is a programmer; and BAU, a Husky very musky. They live in the big city, where we show their misadventures and weird experiences, where we all can relate.” Interestingly, the comic is mostly dialogue-free, so it’s readable most anywhere in the world. They have tie-in merchandise they’ve been selling at conventions, and their on-line store is set to open soon.

image c. 2019 gabshiba.com

Kitsune in kimonos

For a perhaps more traditional furry tale from Japan, look no further than Konohana Kitan. A manga series originally created by Sakuya Amano, it was adapted as a 12-episode anime series in 2017. It follows the adventures of Yuzu, a young “fox-youkai” spirit. Now TokyoPop have collected the original manga together in a new English translation. “Yuzu is a brand new employee at Konohanatei, the hot-springs inn that sits on the crossroads between worlds. A simple, clumsy but charmingly earnest girl, Yuzu must now figure out her new life working alongside all the other fox-spirits who run the inn under one cardinal rule — at Konohanatai, every guest is a god! Konohana Kitan follows Yuzu’s day to day life working at the inn, meeting the other employees and ever-eclectic guests, and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world around her.” Yip!

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Because She’s A Lady, That’s Why

Okay, something different… How about a Disney kitten as a magical kitty? That’s what we get in Miriya & Marie, a new black & white manga from Maya and TokyoPop. “Even though the wealthy young girl Miriya has almost everything she could ever need, what she really wants is to find her missing parents. But this year, she gets an extra special birthday gift when Marie, a magical white kitten, appears and whisks her away to Paris! Learning the art of magic is one thing, but getting to eat the tastiest French pastries and wear the most beautiful fashion takes Miriya and Marie’s journey to a whole new level!” On the shelves now.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Ghost Dog. No not the samurai.

New from Tokyo Pop we have the first full-color comic follow-up to Nightmare Before Christmas — and just in time for Halloween, too. In Zero’s Journey, “When Jack Skellington’s faithful pet Zero gets lost, the ghost pup must get the help of the residents of Christmas Town to find his way back. With Halloween plans on hold while Jack mounts a search, will they be reunited in time to save both holidays?” Written by D.J. Milky, this new series features art by Kei Ishiyama, Kiyoshi Arai, David Hutchison, and Dan Conner. Check it out.

image c. 2018 TokyoPop

Beauty and the Beast King

Now from Yen Press we find a new black & white manga series with the descriptive title of Sacrificial Princess & The King of Beasts, written and illustrated by Yu Tomofuji. “A young girl has resigned herself to being he next sacrificial meal for the Beast King…but the king is no mere monster! Love is more than skin-deep in this gorgeous fantasy manga.” Which is available at Amazon.

image c. 2018 Yen Press