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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: July 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Better Than a Dream
Story by: Raica Sakuragi
Illustrations by: Katsumi Asanami
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-734-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-734-0

Review by Kris

I am going to quote from the back of the book:

"Tsukada and Yuuki are the perfect couple, living a life of bliss in the shadow of towering Mount Asahidake. While Tsukada is a risk-taking adventurer, homebody Yuuki runs a cafe called Fuuka. But after Tsukada dies in a tragic avalanche, Yuuki sinks into a dark depression, unable to get his lover out of his mind. An old schoolmate helps him ease the pain, but their relationship is uneasy at best.

One year later, a mysterious stranger walks into Fuuka carrying a mountain-climber's backpack. Kamishiro is a brawny master chef who's looking for a job. Yuuki ends up hiring him, and even throws in room and board.

Soon they are roommates with separate bedrooms, until one fateful night, when everything changes between them." [more]

Posted by Kris @ 07:50 PM PST [Link]

Story and Art by Mashiro Minamino
Published by Deux Press
ISBN10: 1934496235
ISBN13: 9781934496237

Review by Linda Yau

This is a verbatim description from the back of the graphic novel: Tomcats

Pint-sized Human Cats, Shady “Men in Black,” A Cat God and More!

Mao is just your typical disillusioned young man working in a pizza joint. But he soon finds himself in the middle of a surreal adventure after he meets his old friend Sora, a pint-sized human cat. Shady “men in black” show up at his workplace, prompting Mao to flee the city for a forest in the middle of the desert. Mao’s back-to-nature escape wouldn’t be complete without his silent lover Tora, Koyuki the magic human kitten, who can make all sorts of things appear, and more pint-sized human cats. Out of a door in a tree emerges a confused cat god, but even stranger still is what’s inside the tree! Yaoi in Wonderland?! [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 01:15 AM PST [Link]

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Shall Never Return vol. 3
Story and Art: Kazuna Uchida
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10: 1934496227
ISBN-13: 978-1934496220

Review by Kris

We're half way through the series. What will happen with Ritsuro and Ken?

Ken decided to go to Singapore with his mom. It's just for a short time but Ken feels that he needs the time away to heal. I guess that he's not aware of the fact that when you run away from your problems, they will wait for you to return. Ken hasn't met his stepfather yet. His name is Junta Tsuzuki, he's a freelance photographer and is several years younger than Ken's mom. When they arrive at their home, Ken and his mother get into an arguement about the fact that he's involved with another guy. Ken storms out and drives away. Ritsuro on the other hand is dealing with school and his parents. It seems that they don't like Ken and they think that he's a bad influence on their son. Oh, how little they know! Since Ritsuro is feeling lonely, Kazuyoshi Iwasaki is trying to fill the void. Ritsuro must be emitting some strong pheremones, because all these dudes just want to get with him. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 09:23 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dorothy of Oz, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
by Son Hee-Joon
English Translation by Nahee Jung
English Adaptation by Kevin M. Kilgore
Udon Entertainment

Review by Tom Good

This Dorothy comes from Korea, not Kansas, and insists her name is Mara Shin, not Dorothy. But many familiar elements of the Oz story are here, cleverly transformed with some science fiction elements. The Tin Man is a cyborg, the Scarecrow is a clone, and the Lion is a "mutant chimera." Dorothy can transform into a powerful witch, and her witch form happens to look like a voluptuous, sexy superhero with a fashionable and revealing costume. Unfortunately she has a lot to learn about how to actually use magic.

Son Hee-Joon integrates these new elements well and lets them drive the story, so they come across as more than just gimmicks. This new direction for the story reminded me of the TV mini-series Tin Man, in which the Dorothy character was called "DG" and the land was called the "Outer Zone," or "the O.Z." While I enjoyed that version too, I found that I preferred the manga-styled Dorothy of Oz. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 08:21 PM PST [Link]

I Shall Never Return vol. 2
Story and Art: Kazuna Uchida
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10: 1934496103
ISBN-13: 978-1934496107

Review by Kris

It is so hard to review books in a series. You don't want to give away what happened in the last volume, but often you have to do some spoilers. I am going to apologize ahead of time if I ruin anything for you. Feel free to read my review for the first volume here.

Moeko Kobashi still has feelings for Ritsuro Yoshinari. But the only person for Ritsuro is his longtime friend Ken Amafuji. Moeko and Ritsuro are assigned as committee chairs for their senior trip to Okinawa. They are together quite a bit and everyone still thinks that they are together. Ken on the other hand is looking for the bright side in his life and decides to get a decent job and change his outlook on life. Kazuyoshi Iwasaki comes onto the scene. It turns out that Kazuyoshi's father and Ken's mother dated for a while and they were to get married. Kazuyoshi was excited that Ken was going to be brothers. Although Kazuyoshi seems to like Ken more than brothers. Ritsuro thinks that the bond that Ken and Kazuyoshi share is strong and thinks that they slept together. But the relationship between Ken and Kazuyoshi isn't at all what Ritsuro thinks. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 06:56 PM PST [Link]

God of Dogs
Story and art by Satoru Ishihara
Published by Juné, imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1569705879
ISBN-13: 9781569705872

Review by Jilly Gee

Shaolong just shot himself in the head, effectively ending his status as heir to the Tsais, an elite Chinese mafia. Archer Rogue is going to prison for murdering his own father. Kohki and Oliver find a partly chopped up body half submerged in acid. Sound like a lot of disjointed stories passing by? That's how God of Dogs starts. It gradually becomes more cohesive as it is revealed that the characters all seem to have something to do with each other in an almost six degrees kind of way.

Yee Fah, faithful subordinate to the Tsais, is ordered to retrieve the possible next heir, Ling. Unfortunately, Ling is on his way to prison, coincidentally in the same prison wagon as Archer. Or not so coincidentally; it's possible that all the guys on that wagon seemed to know each other because they were part of the same gang, although that's not something explained in this book. So what gives me the idea that they might have all been in a gang together? God of Dogs is actually the sequel to a four volume series titled Charisma, currently unlicensed. It is that series that deals with Archer Rogue's life as leader of a gang, then known as "El Gato." Unfortunately, that is the extent of my knowledge on it and God of Dogs does not rehash Charisma. [more]

Posted by Jilly Gee @ 04:11 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Shall Never Return vol. 1
Story and Art: Kazuna Uchida
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10: 1934496057
ISBN-13: 978-1934496053

Review by Kris

Ritsuro Yoshinari and Ken Amafuji have been longtime friends. The two are complete opposites. Ken is a high school drop-out, his parents are divorced, he lives on his own and to make ends meet he sells himself. Ritsuro on the other hand is a good student, he has a warm loving family life and works typical jobs high school students have. Ken is headed down a path of self destruction, but Ritsuro won't leave him. He's too good of a friend.

Ritsuro was approached by Moeko Kobashi, a girl in his class. She confessed her feelings and convinced him that even if he doesn't feel the same way now, those feelings will eventually develop. By a dumb twist of fate Moeko ran into Ken and felt sorry for him. To try and help Ken feel better she ended up sleeping with him. All that did however was tick Ritsuro off. It seems that Ritsuro hasn't been able to sleep with Moeko, but he's more than capable of doing that and more with Ken. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 06:44 PM PST [Link]

Spring Fever
Story and Art by Yugi Yamada
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10: 1934496030
ISBN-13: 978-1934496039

Review by Linda Yau

Yusuke Onishi is a man who has crushes easily, the only problem – he gets dumped as often though.

This irks off the people around him, who tell him to get over it, being that it is pathetic to see him being so fickle. This patterns repeats until Hirokazu Takami, an older man with a son moves next to Yusuke's home. Hirokazu is a widow with a secret that he confronts and Yusuke is there to be there for him. [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 01:18 PM PST [Link]

To Plead Our Own Case: Personal Stories by Today's Slaves
Edited by Kevin Bales and Zoe Trodd
Published by Cornell University Press
ISBN-10: 0801474388
ISBN-13: 978-0801474385

Review by Linda Yau

To Plead Our Own Case as a book is comprised of 95 narratives, made by former and current slaves. These people are from multiple races, gender, and ages and they share a similar experience of abuse. Each chapter is written with an overview of the theme and then the account is introduced with the name of each victim, age and country of origin. [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 10:11 AM PST [Link]

Monday, July 7, 2008

Draycott Eternal
Written by Christina Skye
Published by HQN Books, imprint of Harlequin Enterprises
ISBN-10: 0373772947
ISBN-13: 9780373772940

Review by Jilly Gee

Draycott Eternal is a Harlequin publishing of two stories from the Draycott Abbey series: "What Dreams May Come" and "Season of Wishes", the original publishings of which are now out of print. In fact, quite a few of the stories from this series are currently out of print, which is a shame since the series crosses many of the sub-genres of romance, ensuring that it appeals to many. Hopefully, Harlequin will reprint the rest of the unavailable books.

The Draycott Abbey series is named for the English abbey from which all of the stories stem. Adrian Draycott still thinks of the place as his, despite the fact that he's been dead for 800 years and now dwells there as a guardian spirit with Gideon, who seems just a tad too smart for a cat. "What Dreams May Come" begins with the pair contemplating the trouble that they sense is on the way. This trouble comes on the heels of Gray Mackenzie, whose purpose in coming all the way to England from America is twofold: to capture the beautiful location in her artwork and to hide from her crazed ex-husband. Upon meeting Adrian, she dreams of the Lady Anne of Draycott, who lived 800 years ago, while Adrian starts to feel desires that have remained dormant for hundreds of years. [more]

Posted by Jilly Gee @ 02:15 AM PST [Link]

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Anime Expo 2008 at the Los Angeles convention center: Day 4

Report by Ginger Mayerson


Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:12 PM PST [Link]

Brooklyn Bridge
Author: Karen Hesse
Published by Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of MacMillian)
ISBN-10: 0-312-37886-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-37886-8
To be released in September 2008

Review by Kathryn L. Ramage

This novel, set in 1903, is based on the true-life immigrant success story of Morris and Rose Michtom, Jewish refugees from Russia, who created the stuffed toy teddy bear in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, founded the Ideal Toy Company, and made a fortune. The early days of their story are told from the point of view of their eldest son, Joseph Michtom, who isn't at all happy with how the teddy bears have changed his life. His parents are so busy with their new business that the work (and the bears) crowd out the rest of their penny candy shop. The other kids in the neighborhood treat him differently. And, above all, Joseph wants to go to the newly opened Coney Island amusement park, but his parents don't have the time to take him. This desire becomes representative of everything Joseph resents about his family's new success. [more]

Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 04:10 PM PST [Link]

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