Ironfist Chinmi

6 volumes, about 200 pages each, £3.99 each

This is something of a publishing first, it's published in the UK, and it's cheap! IRONFIST CHINMI is the tale of a young martial artist and his training in the martial arts. In each chapter he has a fight with an opponent much bigger than himself, or learns some new lesson. Lest you groan at the prospect of yet another martial arts comic, let me reassure you that this one is not over dedicated to violence, Chinmi is a likeable lad, and the series is attractively drawn and very, very funny. Bloomsbury have cleverly made the volume look exactly like a Japanese manga volume, complete with back-to front page order, (but with text in English) thus appealing to manga fans' sense of exclusivity. In publishing terms, this was a runaway success, as the 25,000 copies of the first two volumes sold out in two days. Further sales of the series top 100,000. In case you are unimpressed, let me point out that pigs might fly before this happens with a SF or fantasy novel that does not have TV tie-in. [Geoff Cowie]