While there was a distinct lack of dinner, there was a wealth of wisdom, insight, and literary inspiration, as authors discussed their latest works, their backgrounds, and their thoughts on key issues.
With all the chaos that has come with COVID-19, many comic shops have been sunk into the red.
I have been reading manga since I was a wee child, and I have always gravitated towards the serializations based in the fantasy genre. So naturally, I had to create a list of series for readers to go and check out. For those who might not be familiar, manga is a term used to refer to Japanese comics or visual novels. It has gradually gained in popularity in America, and now there are massive conventions where individuals can dress as their favorite characters and interact with fellow fans.
Here are five fantasy mangas that will most definitely pique your interest.
1. “The ancient magus’ bride”
image via amazon
Kore Yamazaki‘s series The Ancient Magus’ Bride follows the young protagonist Chise. From a young age, Chise has been able to see spirits and creatures that no one else has. After her father’s abandonment and her mother’s death, Chise is moved from relative to relative until she ultimately decides to put herself up for auction. She is purchased by Elias, a mage who is centuries years old and definitely not human. He takes her on as his apprentice, and in doing so, Chise begins to come into contact with other mythical beings straight out of folklore based in the British Isles. She meets a Leanan Sidhe, the faerie king and queen, and even the cat king–to name but a few. She grows as a mage and an individual, and while Elias acts as her magic teacher, she acts as the teacher who gives him an idea of why humans act the way they do. Please be aware that the reason that this series is called The Ancient Magus Bride is because mages and their apprentices, due to their lifespans, will often get married, and this implication is attached to Elias’s and Chise’s relationship. While I do enjoy this series for the plot and the magical lore, I won’t dismiss that the implications can make others uncomfortable.
2. “The Girl from the other side: Siúil A Rún”
image via amazon
The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil A Rún, by Nagabe, follows a young girl and her guardian in a world populated by monsters. The young girl is one of the only surviving beings who hasn’t been infected by a curse, whereas her guardian suffers from said curse. This curse is spread via touch, which makes it extremely hard for the child’s guardian to protect her from the beings who have gone insane due to the curse. All the same, the child’s guardian is intent on keeping her safe and trying to reunite her with her family who, hopefully, have not been cursed as well.
3. “yona of the dawn”
image via pinterest
Written by Mizuho Kasanagi, Yona of the Dawn, also known as Akatsuki no Yona, follows the young princess Yona. After her father, the emperor, was brutally murdered in a coup, Yona and her guardian Hak flee the royal palace. They discover that Yona is the reincarnation of a king who once had four dragon warriors in his service. These same dragon warriors have also reincarnated in order to protect the king in the king’s following life. Each warrior possesses a physical attribute that is meant to match that of their dragon predecessor. For example, one warrior has the eyes of a dragon, and another has the physical strength of one, so his hand looks like a dragon’s claw. Yona begins to gather these warriors together in order to reclaim her father’s throne, and as she does so, she learns how to fight and hold her own in battle as well. Yet this same series provides an interesting nuance: due to her father’s pacifism, his people have suffered throughout the years. Under the guidance of the new emperor (the one who murdered Yona’s father), the land begins to flourish. So this then begs the question: how will Yona handle this knowledge? Will she fight for the throne, or will she relinquish her claim to it?
4. “Black clover”
image via black clover wiki
Black Clover, by Yûki Tabata, is a current serialization that has gained some serious popularity. This series follows Asta, a young man who wants to become the next wizard king… the only problem is that he doesn’t actually have any magical ability. Unlike his brother figure Yuno, who is a verified magical prodigy, Asta cannot even perform the most basic magical spells. In a world where magic is the norm, Asta is an enigma, and he isn’t in a position where he can even expect to pursue his dream. However, Asta comes into possession of a grimoire that possesses powerful anti-magical abilities. So in a world where magic is the norm, Asta now has the power to basically counteract the abilities of his peers, giving him a leg up and also putting him on equal footing with Yuno, his rival and the possessor of the first wizard king’s grimoire.
image via goodreads
Mushishi, by Yuki Urushibara, follows Ginko, a man who pursues rumors about beings known as Mushi appearing. The mushi, as described within the series itself, are creatures that can take on various forms: such as plants, fungus, and even more. They simply wish to exist. This series is largely episodic, with Ginko traveling from place to place and interacting with people and mushi alike. Given that the mushi can take on essentially any form, each adventure and story is unique and ingenious in its own way.
Featured image via mocah.org
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It looks like Marvel might be doing what DC should have done: making a comic based on an un-produced movie.
For those unaware, DC comics infamously turned down a pitch by Joe Quinones and Kate Leth, who had the idea of a comic book version of Time Burton’s Batman 3, the nearly-made sequel where Robin Williams might have been the Riddler and Billy Dee Williams would certainly have been Two-Face.
Image Via Den of Geek
In case you don’t know, Billy Dee Williams only signed on to play Harvey Dent in an extended cameo in Tim Burton’s Batman because he was suppose to later play Two-Face. One of the many early drafts of Batman Returns had Harvey Dent helping out the Penguin before Selina Kyle’s Catman electrocuted him, giving him his scars, but Harvey Dent was written out and replaced by Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck, who instead died after Selina Kyle jammed a taser in his mouth while pulling on electrical wires.
Image Via Legends Revealed
The pitch was rejected and many fans (such as myself) were upset. However, Marvel recently tweeted THIS on Sunday morning with the hashtag “#MarvelComics.” No other information has been made available.
Could this mean we’re getting a comic book version of Sam Riami’s Spider-Man 4?
In case you don’t know, Riami wanted to have Sandman and Harry Osborne’s Green Goblin as the villains in Spider-Man 3, but Sony wanted him to add Venom. He did, the film came out and, well…
Raimi: [But] directors don’t like to talk about their bad films.
Hardwick: I don’t think that “bad” is the right word.
As a result, Raimi “wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all“.
While no plot synopsis or script was ever revealed, stuff has floated around the internet. Notably, in 2016, concept artist Jeffrey Henderson shared some pretty awesome storyboard art and in a followup interview revealed that the idea for Spider-Man 4’s opening was to show Tobey Maguire’s Spidey going up against not only a Bruce Campbell-portrayed Mysterio, but C and D-list villains like Shocker, The Prowler and Rhino. He elaborated:
We had kicked around the idea of beginning the film with a montage of C and D- list villains that we knew would never be used as main antagonists. Mysterio, The Shocker, The Prowler, the old school- onsie- wearing version of The Rhino, etc. We thought it would be a lot of fun.
So the opening was going to have Spider-Man catching C and D-list villains like Shocker, The Prowler and Rhino before capping it off with this?
Image Via Planet Henderson
Bruce Campbell as Mysterio! Not the announcer, bouncer, and snooty waiter from the previous films! As a side note, would they ever acknowledged that Mysterio gave Spider-Man his name?
Image Via Imgur
Without this, we would be watching the Human-Spider series!
The main villain would have been Vulture! Raimi was eyeing John Malkovich “Malkovich Malkovich” for the role, who looks scary as heck:
Image Via Planet Henderson
Felicia Hardy was also set to make an appearance and would have put on a costume, but she wouldn’t have adopted her infamous Black Cat persona from the comics. Instead, she would have become… The Vultress!
I don’t know what to think of that, but to be fair, I don’t even know how any of this would have panned out. It sounds like the passion was there though, so what happened?
Sony wanted to have Dylan Baker as Curt Connors, a minor character in the previous films, to finally become The Lizard!
To be brief, Raimi was getting Spider-Man “three villains proved too many” 3 and told Sony:
I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.’ And [then Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor.’ So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.
Sony did reboot the franchise, calling it The Amazing Spider-Man and having the The Lizard be the main villain in a plot where he wanted to turn everyone in New York into a lizard.
Recently, Micheal “I’m-Batman-not-John-Malkovich” Keaton appeared as the Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming, proving that a white guy in a bird suit could be scary.
Image Via BUSINESS Insider
But maybe we’re overthinking this. Maybe this Tweet is about a Spider-Man/Fantastic-Four crossover. But for now I have my hopes and dreams that one day we’ll see some of the early plot lines for this movie…
Featured Image Via 1428elm.com
The Star Wars: Episode 9 Poster has been leaked! Well, it might not be the official poster, heck it might just be a draft that was floating around, but it does give us a sneak peak at what’s in store.
Image Via Bro Bible
Rey holds a lightsaber, Chewey stands with a tilted head behind her, and behind him is a women in a fluttering cape. Below Ray is C-3PO wearing a shoulder belt and armed with a bowcaster, on the left is Finn with an fish-headed alien over his shoulder, and on the right is is Poe armed with a plaster, a purple bodysuit-wearing individual behind him and BB-8 behind her on the rightmost side.
Below them we Kylo Ren below Rey holding his lightsaber. His helmet is back. Off to the right below him are the iconic storm troopers, and to his left is a cluster of what looks to be the Knights of Ren.
Now at the bottom are a team of Storm Troopers, but they are blood red. Of course there are star fighters and other star wars ships in the background, but notable the title below is just the iconic Star Wars insignia.
Looking at this poster, questions arise.
Why is C-3PO wearing Chewey’s gear?
Who is that fish-headed alien? The next Porg? Are the Porgs gone?
Image Via Star Wars Wiki
Who is the woman in the cape?
Who is this person in a purple bodysuit?
The Knights of Ren? They’re here?
IMage Via Geek Tyrant
Now we got some answers, but not a whole lot. Games Radar claims that “[a]ccording to some character sheets that MakingStarWars picked up along with the poster, those last two characters are Jannah and Zorri respectively.”
Jannah has been on Star Wars: Episode 9 set photos before. She packs a bow. It must pack a powerful punch considering all the villains have blasters.
Zorri, the person is purple, is possibly played by Keri Russell. She previously played Ellis from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Lindsey Farris from the J J Abrams’ Mission Impossible III. There’s not much we know about her character, but she’s cool so she gets Star Wars points.
The Knights of Ren are back. We don’t have much on them besides what we know from Force Awakens, which is they are the other students Luke trained who, when given the option, went with bratty Ben Solo instead of Luke Skywalker. We don’t even have a comic on them.
Image Via Slash Film
But we do have a comic called Star War Poe Dameron written by Charles Soule with art by Angel Unzueta that takes place directly after Last Jedi, bringing Poe and Rey together at last. There’s not much action, but the character banter is great. Poe brags about being the best pilot in the galaxy and how he survived so many crashes, causing Rey to ask him if he’s the best pilot in the galaxy, then why does he crash so much?
While it doesn’t fill in any information on the Knights of Ren, it does bring to light how Poe survived the crash on Jakku and has more scenes with Princess Leia.
The comic has new scenes with Carrie Fisher. For those unaware, Digital Spy reported that director JJ Abrams said in a statement in July:
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Image Via Slash Film
Until Episode 9 comes out….
Featured Image Via The Wall Street Journal