For the third part of my little Halloween-o-rama series, I want to share some awesome comics.
If you missed parts one or two, you can find them here:
Moving on, I’ll start with the animation I mentioned in my previous post!
Straddling the category of ‘film’ and ‘comics is an anime/manga known as kuroshitsuji in its native Japan and Black Butler in the English translation.
Black Butler is a supernatural story by Yana Toboso, set in Victorian England. It is the tale of Ciel Phantomhive, the young Earl Phantomhive, and his demon butler Sebastian Michaelis. Ciel and Sebastian are occasionally sent on missions by Queen Victoria to solve certain mysteries, including that of Jack the Ripper.
But it’s not as sweet as it sounds. Sebastian works for Ciel under contract--he will help Ciel to gain vengeance on those responsible for disgracing the Phantomhive name...but only in exchange for Ciel’s soul.
It is difficult to write a decent summary for this story; the anime ran for two series whilst the manga is ongoing, therefore both have different outcomes!
However the characters are flamboyant and lovable (even the baddies!) and even have their own theme tunes!
Watch (or read) this and you’ll be whisked into a Victorian world of magic, demons, reapers, angels and more.
Anyone into comics may well have heard of Neil Gaiman’s creation, Sandman. I’m only up to volume 5 of the books (originally it was released as a monthly serial by DC Comics) but it’s awesome! This dark story follows Dream, who rules the world of dreams, and begins with him imprisoned. After his escape, he exacts revenge on those responsible for his capture and starts to rebuild his neglected kingdom.
Neil Gaiman’s own summary of the work reads, “The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision.”
Death: At Death’s Door by Jill Thompson is a Sandman spinoff, revolving around Dream’s sister, Death. As opposed to Neil Gaiman’s original creation, Jill Thompson’s interpretation is drawn manga-style.
Dream goes to Hell in order to recover a once-banished former lover from Lucifer. But when he arrives, Lucifer is closing Hell and hands him the key. With nowhere to go, the dead wander into Death’s realm, believing she will admit them to heaven. Swamped by the dead and with demons, also homeless, intent on causing chaos, Death prepares for battle as Dream negotiates in Hell.
Pet Shop of Horrors is set around a pet shop in Chinatown, L.A., run by the strange and mysterious man Count D (yes, I chuckled too). This series ran for 10 volumes but each can be appreciated as a standalone tale. All of his pets display strangely human qualities, and all of them are sold under contract...the breaking of which can prove dire or deadly for the would-be owner. Throughout the story, the detective Leon Orcot investigates D, believing him to be trafficking drugs. But will the strange truth of D’s pets be revealed?
After this series, a second series of books was released, licensed and published in English under the title, Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo.
Something at the Window is Scratching by Roman Dirge is more of a book than a comic, but I put it here because the large amount of illustrations aid the stories within.
The book is comprised of a combination of bizarre, witty poetry and equally quirky illustration.
The Cain Saga is the prequel to Kaori Yuki’s popular manga, Godchild, and like Black Butler is set in Victorian England. The story begins with twelve-year-old Cain Hargreaves, son of Alexis Hargreaves. Abused by his father, Cain befriends the servant Riff. As Cain’s mentally ill mother is dying, she warns him to escape from his father, who has been poisoning him. Cain returns home and poisons his father who falls into the sea, cursing him to live a miserable life.
The story then jumps forward to when Cain is seventeen, solving mysteries and collecting poisons with Riff. As the tale progresses, Cain is dragged into a world of darkness and danger.
This whole series (including the sequel Godchild) features beautiful artwork and gripping, dark and sometimes poignant storylines, typical of Kaori Yuki’s style.
Tomorrow I’ll make the final post in this series, which will focus on books.
For now, I have a couple of questions for all you lovely followers!
Do you read manga or graphic novels?
What is your favourite?