This week's new manga releases are brought to you by the letter "S." Also: Grab your wig and sword, because there are two big anime cons, and a lot of smaller ones, going on this weekend.
Fighting evil by moonlight, washing windows by daylight: It's one of those weeks where there are only a few new manga releases, but what there is is so good you'll want to catch them all. The saga of Usagi is starting to wind down with Volume 11 of "Sailor Moon," as Mamoru heads to America to study abroad and Chibi-usa returns to the future. Kodansha's edition of "Sailor Moon" is 12 volumes long, so the series is nearing its end, but there are also a couple of volumes of Sailor Moon short stories in the works for this fall.
Viz has two more for you, one series beginning as another one ends. The new series is vol. 1 of "Sunny," by Taiyo Matsumoto (creator of "Tekkonkinkreet" and "GoGo Monster"). It's a story of scrappy orphans whose escape from life is hanging out in an abandoned taxi. Yes, it may well break your heart, but you can't beat Matsumoto's artistry. Meanwhile, vol. 7 of "Saturn Apartments" ends with Mitsu, the window-washer for a ring-shaped apartment complex in outer space, deciding whether to venture to the surface of the earth. "Saturn Apartments" is an amazing manga with an ingenious premise that is beautifully executed, and I'm sorry to see it come to an end.
Finally, Archie Comics has vol. 2 of "Sabrina: The Magic Within," its manga-format repackaging of Tania Del Rio's "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" comics.
Out on the Weekend: This weekend brings one of the biggest anime cons of the year, Anime Boston, which rolls out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay. As a longtime resident of the area (I used to live around the corner from the Hynes) I can tell you that it is a great show, very fan-oriented, in a great venue. Unlike other convention centers, the Hynes is tucked into an interesting neighborhood with plenty of restaurants and shops, and it's always fun to see the cosplayers interacting with the tourists and shoppers in the high-end mall next door.
On the other side of the country, this is Fanime weekend in San Jose, California. Digital Manga has plans to be there with two panels—and they are promising to break some news. The Shonen Jump folks will be there as well: "Sunday, we’ll be roaming the halls, interviewing fans, pestering cosplayers for photos and eventually holding a Fan Meet-Up!" Not near either city? Check the list at AnimeCons for an event near you—with the holiday weekend, there's a lot going on.
Heavy Reading: Want to stay in and read? Here are two articles to make you think a little harder about your manga: Joe McCulloch (who goes by Jog) talks about "Cross Game" manga-ka Mitsuru Adachi's use of assistants, and how it may have shaped the way he creates manga, and Christopher Mautner explains why "Swan" is so awesome.
One Piece Goes on Break: Eiichiro Oda has put "One Piece" on hiatus for two weeks while he recovers from complications from tonsillitis. That means it won't be in the next two issues of "Shonen Jump;" it is scheduled to return on June 10.
Thinking Ahead: If you're making summer vacation plans, consider this: "Spice and Wolf" creator Keito Koume will be a guest at Japan Expo in Paris on July 4-7. Paris is pretty nice in July... If you're staying Stateside, Anime Expo, which happens to be that same weekend in Los Angeles, will host the U.S. premiere of the Blue Exorcist film.