Short lil' bits.

*Lots of driving today, lots of shuffling things around. I did manage to purchase Robot 2, the new installment of editor Range Murata's attempt to single-handedly send the collective moe quotient of the manga world shooting up to previously impossible, dizzying heights (DMP presents the English version). If you liked the first volume of this lavish, full-color art showcase, heavily stocked with folks from anime and game design, you'll probably enjoy this one, though there's even less effort made at telling satisfying stories then last time (Yasuto Miura does give it his best shot though, with another haunting, washed-out slice of surrealism, and I'm quite a sucker for Yoshitoshi ABe, even when he's providing a simplistic, gore-soaked dungeon crawl of a serial). But hey - a fancy fold-out and lots of tasty colors! Also: enough glossy, glassy-eyes waifs and pouty, busty ladies in assorted stages of undress to warrant that EXPLICIT CONTENT sticker, though it might as well have been a Boys Only Clubhouse! sign.

Granted, the cover art does depict a shy, pretty young thing reclining on a sofa and smiling passively as a fellow snaps a picture of her, and the advertisement in the back for Vol. 3 is nothing but a full-page close-up of a smiling, topless woman, as if to say 'more of the same, coming up!' so you can't accuse Murata of obscuring his intent for the project. That's about all I have to say.

*Yesterday’s Horrors Dept: The ever-alert Dan Coyle pointed me to this Friday the 13th forum via his comments to yesterday’s post, in regards to what’s been holding up Avatar’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre comics - little did I expect to discover some fresh comics news! According to posts made by Avatar stalwart Mike Wolfer, in reference to a horror convention this past weekend (Cherry Hill, NJ’s Monster-Mania), the increasingly horror-happy publisher has obtained the official comics license for Night of the Living Dead, and will be producing a ‘prequel’ miniseries from a story by original NOTLD co-writer John Russo (whose unproduced screenplay for Escape of the Living Dead also fueled another recent Avatar zombie book) and a sequential adaptation by the prolific Wolfer, with the full cooperation of George Romero. Apparently, Sebastian Fiumara is already set to provide art; he and Wolfer will also be teaming for the upcoming Friday the 13th Fearbook one-shot.

It’s worth clicking backward through that whole thread by the way, as Wolfer provides a lot of interesting tidbits as to the sometimes frustrating process of creating licensed comic books, even with properties that allow certain brands of excessive content to fly - that won’t protect you from the whims of the license holder, it seems.