Halloween Week 3.0!

It’s that time again! The third annual Soliloquy in Blue Halloween Week begins today, October 25, and continues through October 31. As before, I’ll be posting daily reviews of novels and comics with a supernatural bent. Some may be cute and fluffy, some may be genuinely creepy, but all will fit the general theme.

Each year I solicit ideas for future Halloween reading, so if you’ve got a favorite book or comic that you’d recommend, please leave a comment below! Last year I was able to tackle two reader-suggested works—The Mystery of Udolpho and Gyo—and this year I shall have two more in The Witch Family and Uzumaki.

Here’s this week’s menu. I’ll update with links as they become available.

Uzumaki, Vols. 1-3 by Junji Ito
Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Haunted House by Mitsukazu Mihara
The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes
Yurara, Vols. 1-5 by Chika Shiomi
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (OMG, I really tried but Bradbury takes the lyrical language to such an extreme that I veered between feeling very sleepy and feeling very annoyed. It’s exceedingly rare that I do not finish a book, but I was practically physically incapable of doing so in this case.)

The Let’s Get Visual column planned for this week was unfortunately delayed due to weather-induced power outage and will appear at a later date.

My contributions to this week’s Off the Shelf will fit the theme, as well, and the whole Manga Bookshelf gang will get in the spirit for a horror-centric installment of The Favorites Alphabet and a special Halloween edition of Bookshelf Briefs.

I hope y’all will enjoy all this as much as I do!

JManga Slashes Prices! (Well, Temporarily at Least)

Even though I grumbled a little at JManga’s prices, I was mostly okay with paying the equivalent of $8.99 for a manga that would likely never get licensed for a North American print release. Still, because I wanted them to do well enough to stick around for a long time, I hoped they would reduce their prices, perhaps emulating VIZ’s $4.99-per-volume pricing strategy.

Well, happy news! JManga is having a “sale” where they’re doing exactly that. Not only that, they’re making the surprising goodwill gesture of refunding users 50% of the credits they spent under the old pricing structure. “Holy crap!” I said aloud, when I read that part.

The one drawback to this is that they haven’t been adding many new series lately. I’ve pretty much bought all the ones I wanted and am waiting for either new stuff or some second volumes to become available. I now have a hefty points balance without much to spend it on.

Anyway, if you’ve been holding back on JManga before, now’s a great time to check it out. And hopefully increased interest will show JManga that $4.99 is the way to go and this will become a permanent thing.

Some Sailor Moon Links!

First, a plug…

Shortly after my reviews of Codename: Sailor V and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon were published, I was invited by Scott Spaziani of Otaku in Review to participate in a podcast about the series. And here is the result! It was my first time ever on a podcast, and nerves made me babble a bit, but all in all it turned out pretty well. (My bit starts around 32:30.)

Next, some art!

Sailor MMM is a site where members can submit fanart inspired by the series. Some of the submissions are quite stunning, like this one of Sailors Saturn and Pluto. The shoes and weapons, in particular, capture Takeuchi’s style very well.

Lastly, some silliness!

Ask a Pretty Soldier is a Tumblr where readers can submit questions for Sailor Moon characters and possibly receive an answer in illustrated form. The results are usually pretty amusing.


Me, Me, Me!

Just a quick post this morning with a couple of links about me, me, me!

First, Justin Stroman interviewed me for his site, Organization Anti-Social Geniuses.

Second, the list of my votes for Hooded Utilitarian’s Best Comics Poll has now been published. I am left with a quandary, though, because I have since discovered that Fumi Yoshinaga’s Flower of Life is completely worthy to be among my top ten, but what should come off? Maybe I can emulate Spinal Tap and have a list that goes to eleven…

Wanted: YA or Children’s Fiction from Australia and New Zealand

At some point in the unspecified future, we three bloggers who comprise the Triple Take project would like to do a series on YA and Children’s Fiction by authors from Australia and New Zealand. The problem is, we don’t know too much about it yet. I mean, I’ve heard of Maurice Gee (NZ) and I positively adore John Marsden (AU), but there’s got to be more out there.

So! If you know of any good or even just potentially interesting books that would qualify, please let me know! It’s a bonus if they’ve been published in the US, but not a requirement.