Summer vacation is upon us, and both Viz and Yen Press have a stack of new volumes in their long-running series to keep us from getting bored on the beach or the hammock. There don't seem to be any new series debuting this week, but there are plenty of new volumes of ongoing stories: Black Butler, Cross Game, Case Closed, High School of the Dead, and a dozen other series all get updates this week, and Bandai has a new take on the Code Geass saga as well.
Volume 6 of Black Butler hits the stores this week and takes no prisoners. I have to admit, the first five volumes of this series left me cold, but it has a huge fandom and makes the New York Times manga best-seller list week after week; when I panned the first volume, lots of people came by to tell me how wrong I was. So don't take my word for it: If you like reading about a guy who can kick serious ass and pick just the right tea to go with your millefeuille pastries, check out this series.
If you're in the mood for something mellower, check out the fourth volume of Cross Game. Like the other volumes in this series, it's a double-sized omnibus of 376 pages for $14.99. Creator Mitsuru Adachi's blend of romance, relationships, and baseball makes for perfect summer reading, and if you are looking for something to fill up the lazy days, it's worth going back and starting the story from the beginning.
Amazon doesn't show Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate as due out until January 2012, but Diamond is shipping it to comics stores this week, so you can get the jump on it by joining the Wednesday crowd.
The rest of this week's take is new volumes of long-running series, but there's quite a bit of variety: Viz has new volumes of Case Closed, Hyde & Closer, Kurozakuro, and Rin-ne, as well as two Pokemon manga for the youngsters and a fresh issue of Shonen Jump. Yen Press has plenty of action and supernatural sagas, with new volumes of Black God, Cirque du Freak, High School of the Dead, Laon, Nabari no Ou, and Pandora Hearts, some goofy humor in Ichiroh!, and a double dose of sweetness with the fourth volume of CLAMP's Kobato.