*To my handful of English readers: I don’t know where any of you live, but I hope that you and your friends and loved ones are well, wherever you are.

*I bought no new comics this week. All I was interested in as far as pamphlets go (the only items I could afford) were The Intimates #9 and the last issue of Ocean, and both of them were sold out by the time I got to the shop around 5:30 PM. I mean, I guess I should be happy that books like these two are selling out from my store on New Comics Day , since that indicates that demand is beginning to rise; that’s really nice for The Intimates, which could use some extra sales. Granted, it might just be one extra sale in my shop, if they were only ordering to the level that they know they can move, but it’s a start. Maybe I’ll find actual copies of these books later.

*So instead, as I do in all times of comics crisis, I used the Comics Journal Board as guidance. Dirk recently tried to start a thread about Pluto, the newest (and still in-progress) work by Naoki Urasawa, perhaps the most buzzed-about manga creator to have never been published in the US. He’s the fellow Abhay wrote that excellent overview on, and Viz is supposed to begin releasing his (also still in-progress) magnum opus, Twentieth Century Boys, sometime soon. Not content to work on only one massive series at a time, Urasawa is also currently up to the second collected volume of Pluto, a truly strange bird, a wildly divergent, thoroughly modernized adaptation of a single storyline from Osamu Tezuka’s seminal Astro Boy series, stretched out to fill a multi-volume work of its own. The adapted story is titled, in US-released English, “The Greatest Robot on Earth,” and can be found in Volume 3 of Dark Horse’s extensive Astro Boy digest catalog.

And guess what I found sitting on the cut-off manga rack for only five dollars?

So yeah, expect a little compare/contrast soon, though Urasawa’s version isn’t even done yet. I’ve noticed that the Journal thread has garnered a whopping one response thus far, even though Dirk is so nice that he even points you to where you might be able to peruse some English-language versions of Urasawa’s work. Maybe you’ll like it; take a look.

Also on that bargain rack, by the way, were three volumes of Tokyopop’s Erica Sakurazawa collection, which I’ve heard very good things about. I might need to check those out, seeing as how they're five bucks a pop.