Death Note on DVD

If you loved the Death Note manga, you won’t want to miss the fabulous anime adaptation now available on dvd at the library. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s the story of a bored high school student, Light Yagami, who takes justice into his own hands when he finds a notebook which gives him the power to kill simply by writing down someone’s name. But when criminals begin to die of unexplained causes, the authorities send the legendary and eccentric detective L to track down the killer. The cat-and-mouse chase between Light and L is one for the ages. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are in, and volume 4 is on order. Add your name to the hold list today! For older teens and adults.

Naoki Urasawa’s Monster

If you don’t read much manga, it would be easy to think that they’re all about ninjas, pirates, or samurai just because those are the ones you hear about the most. But that’s hardly the case. Take, for example, Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, an award-winning thriller from one of Japan’s leading manga creators. It’s the story of Dr. Tenma, a brilliant and compassionate surgeon who puts his promising career on the line to save a boy’s life. But when that boy grows up to be a killer, Tenma’s the only one who can catch him. If you like suspense and mystery, this is a perfect manga for you.

Two Nanas

When two women with the same name meet on the train to Tokyo, neither of them guesses that it’s the beginning of an incredible friendship. Sweet and naive Nana Komatsu is headed to Tokyo to be with her boyfriend, Shoji, while glamorous Nana Osaki is pursuing her dream of being a punk rock star. The two Nanas decide to become roommates solely to save on rent, but it’s not long before they’re caught up in the drama of each other’s lives. The manga series Nana is so popular in Japan that it was adapted into a 47-episode anime series as well as two live-action movies. The library owns the first 8 manga volumes in the this ongoing story; catch up on the latest surprising events today!

Back to the past

Think you know everything there is to know about Fullmetal Alchemist after watching the anime? Think again. The manga’s and anime’s plots diverge after a certain point, and the most recent events in the manga will be a big surprise to anime-only fans. Fans of the state military characters will especially like volume 15, which takes readers back to the Ishbal Conflict that Colonel Mustang, Lieutenant Hawkeye, and others fought in seven years earlier. Catch up with the story today!

The Arrival

In the universal language of images, Shaun Tan perfectly conveys the displacement and confusion of the immigrant experience. A lone man leaves his family behind, in a dark world filled with oppressive shadows, and enters a surreal new world full of fantastical beasts, bizarre vegetables, and friendly people. Tan pulls from every culture and multiple time periods while also making the new land completely foreign to everyone--thus setting the reader up to share in the protagonist's struggle to understand his new surroundings. The Arrival is masterfully told with beautiful realistic illustrations. A superlative example of the genre.

Graphic novel depicts one way to save the earth...


As the world burns: 50 Simple things you can do to stay in denial, a new book by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan is a satirical take on the well known book 50 Simple things you can do to save the earth. It goes further to point out that there is more to “saving the earth” than recycling, riding your bike to work and buying compact fluorescent light bulbs. In a quirky and fun way (I know, scandalous!) gold carrying robots, bunny plotists, two smart young girls, corporate bigwigs, and the president demonstrate that there is a bigger picture that many of us are in “denial” about. It’s typical Derrick Jensen, but in comic form! Perhaps you’ll laugh, perhaps you’ll cry.


The premise of Kaoru Mori’s manga series Emma might have come straight out of your favorite nineteenth century novel. Emma is a young maid working for a retired governess in Victorian London; Mr. Jones is her employer’s former charge. When they meet, he’s instantly drawn to her kindness and quiet intelligence. But Mr. Jones’ family has different plans for his future; will the difference in their social status keep them apart? Emma was honored by the Young Adult Library Services Association’s as one of 2007’s great graphic novels for teens. If you appreciate the quiet heroines of Jane Austen novels (though Emma is more like Fanny Price than Emma Woodhouse), you should definitely check it out!

Discovering More Heroes

Unfortunately, Heroes won’t start airing new episodes until next fall, but luckily, fans have materials to keep them busy. First, catch up on season one and the first five episodes of season two online. Then, read the “back story” of Charlie and Hiro’s relationship in Heroes: Saving Charlie. Finally, enjoy the extra details found in Heroes: Volume One. This is a collection of short comics originally published on NBC’s website. One can find out more on characters such as Wireless and Eden. While fans may enjoy them, those not familiar with the television series best catch up on that first and see what they are missing.

Madame Bovery

In Gemma Bovery, British cartoonist Posy Simmonds brilliantly tells a story that is only possible in graphic novel form. Gemma is a British Francophile who is always dreaming of a better life. The story is structured around Flaubert's Madame Bovary and is narrated by Gemma's neighbor. The narration appears as printed text on the same page as handwritten excerpts from Gemma's diary, juxtaposed with objective comics sequences of what actually took place on the day in question. All of these elements are occurring simultaneously, letting the reader in on different points of view. Genius! Gemma Bovery first ran as a 100-episode serial for The Guardian. Simmonds' latest book, Tamara Drewe, was released in the UK last November. If you've never read one of her children's books you're missing out. Fred is my absolute favorite. Interested in knowing every conceivable detail of Posy Simmonds life? Check out the voluminous interview in the November 2007 issue of The Comics Journal.

Meet Mat in Malaysia, in Lat's Graphic Novel, Kampung Boy

Kampung Boy by one of the most beloved cartoonists of Southeast Asia, Lat tell the story of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural 1950s Malaysia. The sequel, Town Boy follows Mat as he attends boarding school, moves to the city and experiences budding romance and a growing passion for art. Recently available in the US Lat's autobiographical stories will take you to a time and a place that barely exists in Malaysia anymore. The warm and expressive pen-and-ink drawings will draw you into Mat's world.

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