Friday finds

Shaenon Garrity’s newest entry in the Overlooked Manga Festival is up, and this week’s target is Gerard et Jacques, a manga that that I would have said isn’t overlooked enough. But in Shaenon’s capable hands, it’s all good.

Manga adapter Kelly Sue DeConnick answers a reader’s questions on fashion and cross-dressing in manga. (Via Comics Worth Reading.)

IGN chimes in with its top ten manga of 2006. It’s an interesting list and a bit more nuanced than I would have expected, as it includes one of the great overlooked global manga of 2006, Afterlife, the yaoi title Shout Out Loud, the controversial vol. 7 of Death Note, and Adam Arnold’s Aoi House. Confusingly, they chose Train Man as the number one title but didn’t specify which publisher—they went with “all of the above,” which sort of misses the point as the three treatments are quite different.

ComiPress reports that Japanese publisher Content Works will soon debut a new online comics service that will allow readers to mix-n-match their favorite Osamu Tezuka chapters. David Welsh likes this idea for a lot of reasons. Also at ComiPress: Did Shonen Jump censor a picture?

This LJ post by bitterfig is for adults only, and not all adults at that. It starts with some observations on Gravitation doujinshi and goes on to a discussion of sexual politics, both here and in Japan, with a lot of reflection on dominance and submission. The translator of the doujinshi chimes in with some interesting insights in the comments section. (Via When Fangirls Attack!) Other WFA finds: Aspiring manga-ka Jaime, who lives in Tokyo, talks about the manga she has been reading; Tangerine Dream chimes in on the To Terra shoujo/shounen discussion; another blogger in Japan discusses manga and TV dramas.

At the MangaCast, Ed has a Maki side dish on the Japanese shoujo magazine Comic Sylph, a look at the Diamond Previews for manga shipping in April and May, and his take on the upcoming Romeo and Juliet manga.

This post at The Beat about a manga parody of The Simpsons is only mildly interesting, as the drawing in question doesn’t even look like manga, but then I read the comments and wondered, why does manga always bring out the trolls? I find superhero comics utterly unreadable, but I don’t drop in on Newsarama and tell them so; I just figure other people have different tastes. But manga seems to stir up some sort of deep-seated hostility in mainstream comics forums. Weird.

Tokyopop will be publishing the Japanese novel series The Twelve Kingdoms.

Reviews: Kethylia is thoroughly enjoying Fushigi Yugi: Genbu Kaiden and posts reviews of volumes 3, 4, and 5 that explain why. Yaoi Suki’s Jordan Marks is less enthusiastic about the four-volume Earthian. At Active Anime, Christopher Seaman relaxes with vol. 3 of School Rumble while Holly Ellingwood enjoys vol. 15 of Fruits Basket. Anime on DVD’s Matthew Alexander highly recomments vol. 1 of Unbalance Unbalance. Bill Sherman at Blogcritics reviews Ross Campbell’s The Abandoned. At the Mangamaniaccafe, Julie gives middling grades to vol. 2 of +Anima.

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Comments

  1. http://hinoai.livejournal.com/598408.html

    I’m highly amused by this post on “Cat Prostitution”. 6 bucks a cuddle!

  2. Are those cats getting a cut? Or are they just paid in kibble?

    “But manga seems to stir up some sort of deep-seated hostility in mainstream comics forums.”

    The weird thing is that it often gets the same kind of treatment in art-comics forums as well. Just look at some of the threads on the Comics Journal message board.

  3. Not to be cynical, but I think manga-bashing is just one more convenient way for people to whip out their xenophobia. Depending on what part of the country you live in, saying “Manga sucks, I don’t get it, it’s weird, it should go away, and people who read it are stupid” is more acceptable than, say, putting on a stars-and-stripes jumpsuit and jumping on a table with a bullhorn chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”

  4. Conversely, there’s also people who won’t check out a book [even if it's for free, at a library], no matter how good the reviews are, just because it’s drawn by a non-japanese artist.
    I dislike both attitudes.
    People come in many flavors of stupid.

  5. I can understand not liking something, whatever the reason, but posting grumpily about it just seems stupid. Do they think I’m going to go “Oh, this anonymous commenter hates manga—guess I’ll throw all mine away?”

    Although it seems like superhero fans are perpetually frustrated about something (sexism, late comics, whatever) so maybe they’re just already in the habit.

  6. Re the whole TO TERRA controversy: IIRC (since I don’t have the book itself to hand), the whole thing could have been settled in a few minutes by referring to Frederick Schodt’s pioneering MANGA! MANGA! At the end of the chapter he devotes to shoujo manga, he mentions that quite a few shoujo mangaka are “now” – i.e. the early 1980s, when the book was first published – crossing over to publication in shonen magazines, and he specifically cites TO TERRA as an example. Go Fred!

  7. “I find superhero comics utterly unreadable, but I don’t drop in on Newsarama and tell them so; I just figure other people have different tastes. But manga seems to stir up some sort of deep-seated hostility in mainstream comics forums. Weird.”

    Maybe comic book fans wouldn’t hate anime in a book if the fandom wasn’t full of pompous wapanese folk ruining it with bullshit Japanese superiority. Most shounen manga is basically super heroes minus the capes. The reason people like me troll weeaboo is because it’s too easy, and very gratifying.

  8. “Maybe comic book fans wouldn’t hate anime in a book if the fandom wasn’t full of pompous wapanese folk ruining it with bullshit Japanese superiority.”

    This coming from a guy calling himself Ninja337.

    “The weird thing is that it often gets the same kind of treatment in art-comics forums as well. Just look at some of the threads on the Comics Journal message board.”

    I would say the art-comic crowd are even more hateful than the floppy folks. I see many former cape-only readers embracing shonen titles since the theme is so similar, but artsy folks has this superiority complex that’s fueled by the utter ignorance of the Japanese art-comic scene. Dirk maybe the only excpetion I’ve seen; he’s really been turning into your average shoujo anime fanby of late.

    Why is there a To Terra controversy? There are other shojou-esque sci-fi manga published in shonen magazines – I mean, most of you have heard of ARIA right? It’s done in more of a shojou style than shonen and everyone I know think I read shojou when I show them my ARIA collection. One shojou manga fan of mine (female and non-western) said that she believed that many shojou manga-ka wanted to break out of the melo-drama genres most shoujo manga resides in, but most shoujo manga mags won’t publish them. In order to get their stories told they HAVE to resort to shonen/seinen magazines, which are much more receptive to these stories.

  9. One shojou manga fan of mine (female and non-western) said that she believed that many shojou manga-ka wanted to break out of the melo-drama genres most shoujo manga resides in, but most shoujo manga mags won’t publish them. In order to get their stories told they HAVE to resort to shonen/seinen magazines, which are much more receptive to these stories.

    Well that is true in some ways. There is a specific style of shojo out there for each magazine and unless artists are well established they don’t often command the influence to get their stories in whatever magazine they would like.

    Then like Amano you could be stuck with publishers. ARIA/AQUA is a unique situation. Enix never really had a shojo magazine. However Enix titles have long had strong female audiences (which strangely has gotten even stronger as they have added more seinen/shounen imprints ^_^). So when ARIA started as AQUA in Stencil Magazine this series was technically written for shojo but like BusGamer, Kamui, Your and My Secret and Dragon Quest Tenkuu Story when the magazine was cancelled all of those titles ended up in seinen or shonen magazines (some for the newly formed SquarEnix, some for MagGarden and at least one for Ichijinsha).

    So there is a reason ARIA reads like a shojo title but yeah its currently in a shonen magazine. Or at least thats what MagGarden calls it now >_>

  10. I flip out and kill things.

  11. ed, thanks for the history behind ARIA; I’ve always thought ENIX was a shonen magazine so I never thought ARIA as anything but. My definition of shonen/shojou is always how the publisher marketed the series and not what the real audience was; I mean if that’s the case then some Jump titles can be considered shojou. I knew there was a huge female fanbase for ARIA (I mean even the anime wasn’t targeted to otakus), but based on the Otaku-related merchandizing (yeah I have most of them… with my wife’s blessings!) I’d say it’s one of those nice cross-over series with something for everyone. ARIA doesn’t really read like typical shojou anyhow… it’s more slice of life and the romance/emotion is minimal at best.

  12. My definition of shonen/shojou is always how the publisher marketed the series and not what the real audience was

    Yup which is why AQUA is shojo because Enix’s Stencil Magazine (which was folded into G Fantasy a shonen magazine). ARIA is whatever people want it to be to me. I call it shonen/seinen because BLADE has been both over the years (marketed as both at different times). But yes it has a very strong shojo readership.