I went to a Black Friday comic book sale today at Cards Comics & Collectibles in Reisterstown, MD. It was a bit of a drive. It took me an hour to get there and another hour to get back, but the traffic wasn't bad at all and the discounts made it worth my while, even if I didn't spend as much as some of the other customers; the guy in line in front of me spent about $240. Me? I spent just $28.60.
The Good - I found some manga volumes that I've been wanting to read but that they don't carry at Barbarian. The discount on manga, trades, and hardcovers (for this weekend) is 50%.
The Bad - The selection of back issues wasn't bad but the prices seemed high. Even with a 70% discount it wasn't like you could get many comics for $10 or $20. There were no quarter, fifty-cent, or dollar bins. I wasn't too wild about the layout of the store. It is very boxy, spartan, utilitarian and didn't seem to have much character.
What I bought...
Ooku v1 - link - been wanting to try this for a while. I asked the guys at Barbarian to order it for me but they seem to have trouble getting manga after it is initially released. They told me to try elsewhere so I was very happy to find it today.
What's it about? From what I understand the series in set in Japan 400 years in the past, but an alternate past. A plague has wiped out 75% of the men in Japan. Women have taken over the leadership roles. That's about all I know at this point. I think the main character is a man who is part of the ooku, or the shogun's harem.
Ikigami v2 - link - I liked the first volume enough (it wasn't perfect) but there was enough there for me to give the second one a try.
What's it about? In order to instill fear in the population the Japanese government institute a policy of randomly killing off a very small number of people. The chosen ones are killed by a time-released poison which the victims were injected with when they were much younger. All citizens receive the injections but only a select few contain the poison. Sometime between the ages of 18 and 25 the people who have received the poisons will die. The process is regulated to the degree that the government knows exactly when people will succumb to the poison (which stops the heart instantaneously) and provide them with 24 hours notice. Each volume in this series contains two stories, each one about a victim both before and after they learn they are about to die. I'm not sure how exactly to classify the series but it certainly has elements of sciece fiction and psychological horror.
Oishinbo: Ramen & Gyoza - link - first food manga I've bought in a long while. I don't think that they are planning on translating the entirety of this series. It began in 1983 and is still running today. It also looks like they aren't going to try to number the volumes that they are translating. I couldn't tell which was the first one so I just grabbed this one since I am interested in learning more about ramen.
What's it about? According to the blurb on the jacket it is about the quest for the ultimate meal. Cooks going all out to perfect their craft, I guess.
Pax Romana - link - This mini-series has a cool sounding premise. I'm eager to see how it pans out. This book doesn't look or feel like most comic books but the idea behind it (which involves time travel) is something that one often finds in comic books.
What's it about? The Pope and/or the Vatican send(s) troops back in time (312 CE) to change the present.