Manga

The Ogre's Staff Picks (08/15/2018)

Ready for a new Ogre Staff Pick? Here it is!

Lauren's Pick

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle GN Vol 1

Lauren's Pick

Writer/Artist: Kagiji Kumanomata

Demons and humans once lived side by side in peace and harmony, but things quickly fell apart when the Demon King emerged from the abyss and kidnapped the princess of the human nation! He promised to return her, but only if the humans relinquished control of the kingdom to him. Princess Syalis isn’t too upset about being a hostage, but her uncomfortable cell in the Demon Castle is costing her a good night’s sleep! While the princess embarks on an epic quest for relaxation, a hero’s journey to rescue her takes place almost in the background. This is my personal favorite aspect of the story as I watch the hero’s plans get unintentionally foiled at every turn by the unwitting princess and her mission to nap!

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The Ogre's Staff Picks (05/30/2018)

It has been too long and some Picks have been stacking up. So... Let's catch up. Here are this week's Ogre Staff Picks.

Gib's Pick

Roughneck GN

Gib's Pick

Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire

Derek and Beth had a very rough childhood, and they are still dealing with the ramifications.  Derek is drinking and fighting through his days with no much going on when Beth returns after a long absence.  In order to escape her abusive and violent ex-boyfriend they hide out in a secluded cabin and start to heal as they reconnect with each other.  When Jeff Lemire (Descender/Green Arrow) draws his own stories, you know they will be powerful and compelling.  Roughneck is that and more, a lot like his Underwater Welder book.

Lauren's Pick

Shade, the Changing Girl

Lauren's Pick

Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artists: Marley Zarcone, Ande Parks
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letterer: Saida Temofonte

Expanding on the classic Vertigo series Shade, the Changing Man, this comic is truly the best of DC’s Young Animal line. Loma is directionless on planet Meta, drifting through a life she feels doesn’t fit, until she finds a way out: she steals the madness coat once owned by missing poet Rac Shade. Using the coat Loma travels to Earth and possesses the body of a formerly comatose high school bully, where she finds herself struggling to understand her new planet and somehow barred from returning home. Meanwhile back on Meta, powerful forces are looking for the coat, and the one who stole it. Simple, right? Writer Cecil Castellucci and penciller Marley Zarcone (as well as the whole creative team—this book is crazy beautiful) work together to weave a psychedelic adventure that spans the galaxy but stays anchored in high school.

Sarah's Pick

Be Prepared GN

Sarah's Pick

Writer/Artist: Vera Brosgol
Colorist: Alec Longstreth

After continuous failed attempts to fit in with the other girls at school, Vera discovers news of a Russian summer camp where she thinks she’ll finally be around other people like herself. What she learns, however, is that mean girls and boys will always be mean girls and boys, and that the camp is nothing like she expected. From the terrible two Sashas she shares a tent with, to the door-less outhouses, Vera Brosgol recounts a summer trying to navigate the perils of adolescence and friendship in this semi-autobiographical coming of age story.

Trish's Pick

Vinland Saga GN Vol 1

Trish's Pick

Writer/Artist: Makoto Yukimura

Taking place during the Viking invasion of England in 1013 AD, Vinland Saga is a manga comprised of both fictional and historically accurate elements that blend together seamlessly. The story follows the quest of the historical Icelandic explorer, Thorfinn, as he seeks vengeance for the murder of his father and inadvertently gets wrapped up in the dawning of King Cnut the Great’s rise to power. Not only is the story consistently intriguing as you become further entangled in the bloody drama of this saga, but you’ll learn quite a bit about Viking culture and history as you read! Fans of Lone Wolf and Cub or Berserk should certainly check this out as it spins a tale of revenge and honor that are very reminiscent.

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The Ogre's Staff Pick (05/09/2018)

It is turning into Summer really quick, isn't it? But even as the hot sun is really starting to beat down, the books continue to come in and give us a wonderful feeling of cool and calm. Would you like a staff pick to help with those long summer days? Well... It here it comes!

Lauren's Pick

Princess Jellyfish GN Vol 1

Lauren's Pick

Writer/Artist: Akiko Higashimura

Step into a world of fandom and fashion in this adorable manga! Tsukimi has been fascinated by jellyfish since she was very young, leading her to an adulthood largely spent paralyzed in fear when faced with other people. Together with her similarly obsessive female friends, she avoids contact with stylish women and never speaks to men…until a coincidence brings a new character into her life. This beautiful mystery girl has some surprises in store for Tsukimi and friends! Princess Jellyfish is so much fun to read that I got through another volume of it in the time I was supposed to be writing this review!

Need more manga? Need more... Comic books?! Come in today and we can talk your ears full of great new options!

The Ogre's Staff Pick (04/11/2018)

We apologize for the extended hiatus, life has been busy! But we are back.. So let's talk some Ogre Staff Picks.

Mike's Pick

The Omega Men: The End is Here TP

Mike's Pick

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Barnaby Bagenda with Toby Cypress and Ig Guara

With Mister Miracle, Tom King became a must read writer for me.  So, to that end, I picked up the TPB of his miniseries, Omega Men: The End is Here, that he and Barnaby Bagenda (Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern) collaborated on in 2016.  King and Bagenda (along with some fill in art along the way) take the barebones of these existing characters and reinvent them in a sci fi political allegory about terrorism that’s morally ambiguous while still being entertaining.  The Omega Men are terrorists or freedom fighters, depending on whom you ask.  They are fighting against the Citadel, the entrenched rulers of the Vega system.  The story begins with White Lantern Kyle Rayner being captured by the Omega Men for propaganda use in their insurgency effort.  There are plots within plots here and King explores our modern sociopolitical landscape through the distancing effect of a space opera fantasy.  The scripting is tight with formal elements that hearken back to the work of Alan Moore.  Bagenda’s soft but kinetic artwork gives the proceedings a sleek and dreamy flavor.  This is a very dark and heavy story that asks questions that don’t necessarily have answers.  Though it uses existing characters and is firmly planted in the current DCU, it is entirely self-contained and requires little to no knowledge of said characters or universe.  Tom King is proving to be a writer of smart, philosophical, and complex tales that are both personal and uncompromising.  Omega Men: The End is Here is well worth your time for its efforts to do something different with the superhero genre.

 
Lauren's Pick

Skip Beat GN Vol 1

Lauren's Pick

Writer/Artist: Yoshiki Nakamura

16-year-old Kyoko Mogami is practically a saint! A high school dropout, she works two menial jobs in order to support her best friend Sho in his pursuit of stardom. Though Sho doesn’t seem to appreciate Kyoko’s hard work, she knows one day he’ll see her selfless actions and realize he’s loved her all along. When Sho betrays her, Kyoko knows there’s only one way to get revenge: become a bigger star than her friend-turned-nemesis. What follows is the hilarious and heartwarming story of her quest! Skip Beat features many staples of shojo manga, but Kyoko is no traditional heroine! Her vengeful spirit is the driving force of the storyline as she shuns the gentle selflessness she once embodied, but could this rejection of her softer side be what’s holding her back? If you’re looking for a cute and fun story with a little bit of an edge, look no further than Skip Beat!

 

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The Ogre's Staff Picks (03/07/2018)

Another week... Another round of new books... Another group of Staff Picks! So, let's chat.

Lauren's Pick

Red Colored Elegy GN

Lauren's Pick

Though the contents of its story feel at home among independent comics of today, when Red Colored Elegy was originally published in the early 1970s it broke new ground in the world of manga. Within its pages legendary artist Seiichi Hayashi tells the story of Ichiro and Sachiko, a couple living together in a world of their own. In a style heavily influenced by French new wave cinema, the minor dramas of the young artists’ lives are amplified visually, small events warped and drawn to seem insurmountable as the relationship between the two characters deteriorates. Panels of the lovers are juxtaposed with seemingly unrelated imagery to create within the reader a devastating sense of the emotions they are unable to express to each other. This new edition also features an essay by comics historian Ryan Holmberg which does an excellent job explaining the work’s many inspirations as well as its lasting impact on comics today.

 
Mike's Pick

Ragnarok Vol 1: Last God Standing

Mike's Pick

Writer/Artist: Walter Simonson
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: John Workman

Walt Simonson’s run on Marvel’s The Mighty Thor was the character’s creative highpoint.  That’s saying something when one considers that Jack Kirby co-created him (all due respect to whoever came up with those original Norse myths).  Now, imagine Simonson (see also Manhunter, and The Fantastic Four) being freed from the constraints of shared universe continuity and telling the darker and more melancholy story of Thor in a Norse post-apocalyptic setting.  Intrigued yet?  You should be, because Simonson is at the top of his game pulling double duty on IDW’s Ragnarok.  Thor has woken up after centuries of being dead to discover he is the only god left and he embarks on an epic quest for vengeance.  This is an absolutely gorgeous and enthralling book.  Seriously, the art is STUNNING.  Laura Martin’s colors and Simonson’s detailed, yet uncluttered, pencils are a match made in Asgard.  I took my time reading this because I couldn’t help pouring over every page.  The first volume is available in both HC and SC now.  Pick it up today!  You won’t be disappointed!

 

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