I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
One of my favorite manga series is the Drifting Classroom (DC). As a series published in Japan back in the 70's, it does have a bit of an older style, it's not really the big eyes, small mouth look that has come to dominate manga. Which, I personally enjoy. The story basically follows the group of children and teachers at an elementary school as they are transported to a strange world full of dangers.
That is the basic premise of the Woods as well. Only the Woods starts out at a prep school in Wisconsin. Just like DC a main group of kids forms to try to survive the bizarre situation they've been thrown into and also just like DC there are dangers from both outside the school, strange creatures lurking in the woods, as well as inside the school, with different factions forming and adults as per usual totally failing.
In the first volume a group of kids took off into the Woods, for various reasons. The second volume follows them, with only a few interludes for school based flashbacks. This time we're delving further into the mysterious world of The Woods and more hints are bandied about regarding just where the heck the kids are and what's going on.
My favorite character from the first volume really takes a dive here, so that was sad for me. But, oh well, moving on. There really are plenty of characters here to like, lots of back story, lots of development, something that is sorely lacking in a lot of comics, is really done well here. Even with the number of characters I'm getting more and more to understand and like them (except for my favorite character who it turns out is a bit messed up).
I'd recommend this series for anyone who likes suspenseful series with a bit of a weird tales twist to them. Anyone who likes Kazuo Umezu, Junji Ito (Gyo, Uzumaki), the new Dial H series, or just horror/weird tales might enjoy The Woods.