Staff Picks (November): Kitaro The Vampire Slayer

I’ve got a gigglingly gruesome recipe for you! Take 2 parts Casper the Friendly Ghost, 1 part Walt Kelly’s Pogo, mix in the comedic stylings of the old Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon, and then drench the whole thing Japanese ghost stories and folklore. You’ve just whipped up a volume of Kitaro! If you’re not the sort to make things from scratch, no worries, Drawn & Quarterly has you covered with their latest installment: Kitaro The Vampire Slayer.

A neighborly monster boy, Kitaro is always ready to lend a helping hand. It’s a fact that humans don’t know the first thing about yokai: spirits, spooks, and ghouls—and conversely, all those yokai demons and haunts wouldn’t know polite society if it bit them. Good thing we have Kitaro! He and his dad (a single over-sized eyeball) are (un)natural diplomats between both the typical and atypical citizens of Japan. Is someone making you pee your bed? Is somebody stealing babies? Is somebody attempting to murder civil servants? Are villages being converted to vampire nests? That goofy nogoodnik the Rat Man (another yokai!) probably got tangled up in another one of his selfish capers gone awry? Don’t worry, Kitaro will sort it out!

This whole series is an utter delight for manga aficionados and the supernaturally-curious. Written in the decades following WW2 by renowned mangaka Shigeru Mizuki, the Kitaro series is an accessible and delightful introduction to all the ghouls, ghosts, monsters, and superstitions that Mizuki himself learned from his grandmother when he was a child. Come sit down with Mizuki and Kitaro, bring your own kiddos if you like. It’s safe; that rascally Rat Man will bumble up some crazy new trouble, but the good guys always win.

Sarah Martinez

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Item Code: NOV171614
Release Date: 1/17/18
SRP: $12.95

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Staff Picks (October): The Night (La Nuit) HC

Recommended by Leigh Tyberg
La Nuit is a beautifully rendered reminder that everything ends, and time comes for us all. If you’ve ever grieved a loved one’s passing, this book will resonate with you.