Serenity: Those Left Behind. Story by Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews. Art by Will Conrad. It had some beautiful artwork but the story was unimpressive.

Fables: Legends in Exile. Story by Bill Willingham. Art by Lan Medina. The trouble I had with this one was that it was just a mystery. They didn’t have to be ageless or fairy tale characters. That bothered me a lot. Once I got past that, it was an entertaining story and I enjoyed reading a comic with ‘super-hero’ art rather than manga. This the first mainstream American comic I’ve read in a while.

Fables: Storybook Love. Story by Bill Willingham. Art by Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Bryan Talbot, Linda Medley. I liked this one better than the first one. For one thing, the magic came back in, and for another, I know the characters a little better. Goldilocks was freaky. Wolf’s appearance changes pretty drastically and that disturbed me. I liked Snow a little better this time around. Sleeping’s affliction was funny. I think I will try to read the others now.

Love Roma. Minou Toyoda. I really liked the simple, lively artwork on this one. Hoshino decides to ask Negishi out on a date. His matter-of-fact and public declaration embarrasses her but she agrees. This is low-key but funny little dating comic. Nothing outrageous happens. They do ordinary things and sometimes they fight or misunderstand each other. But they value the other person’s honesty, a quality that they believe will keep their union strong. I’m making it sound treacly but it’s not.

My favorite story is when he goes to meet her family. They decide they would feel better if they had her father’s approval. Hoshino announces that they are dating. (For some reason, the father’s spit take looks like bars of crystal.) Then when the father hedges a question about their sexual activity, Hoshino reports they have kissed but not had sex. The father is relieved but Negishi smacks Hoshino and the mother just laughs. It’s refreshing to read a Japanese comic about love without tear-filled eyes.

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