Illustrated by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, colored by Jordie Bellaire
A group loose associates find themselves in a large, extravagant house on a beautiful lake, seemingly without other people or houses around them. They all discover they know Walter - some grew up with him, some crossed paths with him only a few months ago - but he was always heavily invested in them, someone who was right there at the right time and maybe faded away since. Then, Walter appears in the house and explains his intentions. He reveals he is part of an alien race, and his people intend to destroy the Earth, but he was tasked with picking the best of humanity to be saved. They will all be safe from the coming apocalypse in this lake house, where they will also have all their needs provided for, but everyone else they know and love will be horrifically killed. And they’re supposed to be thankful. But not all of them can sit idly by and enjoy the bounty of their sanctuary. Some of them start exploring their idilic prison and discover what was probably meant to be hidden from them forever.
Hideo is dissatisfied with his life as a manga assistant. He used to have a running serial, called Uncut Penis, but it got cancelled after only a few issues. He has his share of eccentricities and probably several social anxieties. He thinks he can see evil spirits in his apartment and often talks to one of them. The only way to get rid of them is to form a prayer circle with wholesome manga and textbooks around him. Hideo's girlfriend will cook delicious food for him and be intimate with him. She gets bit by a little kid on the way home from work and no one thinks anything of it. When Hideo comes to her apartment the next day, he can’t believe she’s been turned into a creature. He’s pretty sure it’s because he had to pull an all nighter at the manga job, not that there are actually zombies trying to eat him. The whole building might be scary zombies, or they might be figments of his imagination.
Illustrated by Sean Phillips, colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Charlie is up on a ranch in Ojai where they are continuing to reshoot the movie with young starlet Maya standing in for Val. The official story from the studio is that Val killed herself, but Charlie knows she was murdered. He is still trying to find a producer with horn-rimmed glasses who might know something about what happened, but producers are dime a dozen and his description matches so many people in this town. Despite his better judgment, Charlie starts to fall for Maya, who is in a staged relationship with her co-star to drum up press for the film. But the young man runs his new car into an embankment and lands himself in the hospital. Gil also drums up plenty of trouble for a man who is supposed to be laying low.
Illustrated by Tōru Naomura
Students at the elite private school, Hyakkaou Academy, aren't interested in getting great grades or joining clubs. The Academy prioritizes the ability to manipulate people, and the most popular past time at the school is gambling. There's a very strict caste system that ranks students based on their winnings and how good they are at gambling. Suzui finds himself in the lowest of casts after a disappointing lost to Mary - he becomes a "house pet" and has to do everything Mary says. Then, transfer student, Jabami, surprises everyone by coming in and destroying Mary in a special game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Jabami then challenges several other students, including some powerful members of the Student Council, and Suzui goes along for the crazy ride.
A mysterious, powerful warrior named Guts hunts down different demons and Apostles, powerful demons who have large segments of human population under their thrall. Guts inadvertently saves Puck, a tiny fairy, and gains a companion he doesn’t want. Puck tags along with Guts, at first because of a life-debt, and after that because he thinks he’ll see some amazing stuff in Guts’ company. Guts goes up against a powerful reptilian demon who is threatening a whole town and feasting off of its villagers. We find out later that Guts is also looking for more members of Godhand, a group that can be identified by the same brand he has on his neck.
Adapted by Ryan North, illustrated by Albert Monteys
This story starts out in World War II with a scrawny soldier, Billy Pilgrim, and three others, sneaking through Germany and trying to evade detection. There are some odd things about Billy, besides the fact that he's in the Army and has no muscle - Billy doesn't live his life entirely chronologically. He's become unstuck in time, and he periodically visits future points in his life, like after he's opened a successful optometry practice, or that one time he cheats on his wife, or when aliens from the planet Tralfamadore scoop him up in their flying saucer and place him in a zoo where they can view him like an exhibit. Billy learns much from his time amongst the aliens, like the saying "so it goes" after someone dies, or how they view time as if they are seeing a slice of the Rocky Mountains - kind of all at once. In between all of these moments, Billy is captured and center to a labor camp in Dresden - just before it is taken off the face of the map by the Allied Forces.
Vol 1: Destiny, illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli, colored by Matt Wilson
Thirty years ago, the US sealed itself off from the rest of the world. No communications in or out, no people in or out. In the absence of this global superpower, the world fell into war and used terrible means to establish two warring factions: The Pan-Asian Prosperity Zone, and the Alliance Euro-Afrique. Now, America has broken its silence and sent a message to both: we have the cure for your current deadly virus, set to wipe out almost all human life within the next few years, and you have to come here to get it. The two sides assemble a team of seeming misfits - America experts, epidemiologists, soldiers, a journalist - and send them into a place no one has set foot for three decades. Just as their helicopter crests the ocean walls of California, all hell breaks loose, and it quickly becomes a much different mission, full of Americana, action, and mystery.
Vol 1: The End of the World, illustrated by Martin Simmonds
Cole is an FBI agent who investigates conspiracy theories, and his undercover work has brought him to an exclusive party with tons of Flat Earth Society members. He’s whisked away on a private jet to the End of the Earth, which actually is an ice wall like the conspiracy theories state. Before Cole can investigate further, an elite team rushes in and “saves” him, bringing him back to the Department of Truth, where Cole learns that the power of belief can actually shape the world and its history. It's the Department's job to stomp out these dangerous theories and try their best to keep the Truth as truth.
Vol 1: Shadows, illustrated by Scott Hampton, P. Craig Russell, Walter Simonson, Coleen Doran, and Glenn Fabry
When we first meet Shadow, he is at the end of a three year prison sentence for armed robbery. He's just about to get out when his wife is killed in a car accident, along with his best friend, who was going to give Shadow a job when he got out. Lifeless, penniless, and jobless, Shadow is reluctantly recruited by Mr. Wednesday, a peculiar man with one eye and a penchant for some supernatural business. Mr. Wednesday and Shadow encounter several larger-than-life beings who claim to be from various pantheons from around the world, brought to America by immigrants for centuries. Shadow is abducted a few times by some other powerful beings working against Mr. Wednesday, but he always manages to escape or be set free with only a few bruises. After one of these occasions, Shadow comes to work at a mortuary in Cairo, Illinois, for Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel. This volume concludes just as Shadow and Mr. Wednesday reconnect, and the real work is about to begin.
Illustrated by Kotaro Takata
Akira spent three years of his life post college working for a company that, on the surface, professed to caring about their employees, but the long hours, multiple-day marathon work sessions, and the attitudes of the bosses say otherwise. The only thing making it slightly bearable is the crush he has on a lady in accounting. One day, Akira wakes up and finds tons of people have been turned into zombies! Rather than be stressed about a zombie apocalypse, Akira is just relieved he doesn't have to go back to his horrible job. What's more is his crush was also turned into a zombie, so there's really no reason to go back! Akira decides to make a list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his limitless spare time before becoming a zombie. On a beer run to a neighborhood market, he runs into another non-zombie - a pretty beautiful girl with great survival instincts. She waves off Akira's offer to team up, and we see a glimpse of her life, where she has made a list of 100 ways to avoid becoming a zombie.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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