Long suffering (anybody out there remember Good Girls?) comics artist Carol Lay does her part to expand the boundaries of comics with this first ever all-comics weight-loss guidebook. This is a full color, full-size, 196-page work that is filled with Ms. Lay's characteristic wit and good humor and that makes for an engaging, entertaining and educational read. Billed as a memoir, it combines personal narrative with humorous anecdotes, practical tips and how-to guides, and follows it all up with a fairly comprehensive illustrated reference section that covers calorie charts, menus, and a heaping pile of recipes. It closes with a handy checklist to help anyone setting out on this particular journey to keep on the path. It should go without saying (but you know us well enough to know we can't resist) that this will make the perfect gift for any comics fan looking to improve their physical well-being. Intrigued?
Well, for our money at least, this volume is hands down the best so far. It has a tripartite structure: A survey of Manga Masters featuring pieces on Osamu Tezuka, Hideshi Hino, Suehiro Maruo, Saseo Ono and Yoshihiro Tsuge; a focus on Vaughn Bodé that features a critical appreciation, a revealing biography and a personal reminiscence -- all amply accompanied by classic and rare Bodé comics, illustrations and rarely (if ever!) seen sketchbook pages; and then there's the giant comics feature: this time around the theme is "seduction" and the contributions by many of today's best comics practitioners are top notch. Among the contributors are Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Igort (whose 4-pager is among the highlights), Mary Fleener, Rick Geary, Bill Griffith, Megan Kelso, Paul Hornschemeier, Marc Bell, Gabrielle Bell (whose submission is her most accomplished work yet published), Carol Lay and many others. This is a great volume to have just lying around: no matter what page you open to you'll find something engaging.