You know that any mainstream-news story that leads with the Hello Kitty vibrator is going to be bad news, and this MSNBC column by Brian Alexander does not disappoint. Did I miss the moment when maid cafes became mainstream in the U.S.? Maybe Boston is just behind the times. I don’t have all day to take apart the fallacies in this article, but let me point out one obvious howler:
Within the adult realm of otaku culture, cuteness is fetishized (hence the Hello Kitty sex toys) and gender is often bent or dissolves altogether. Women are penetrated by octopi and young women in short school-girl skirts save the world. Men, on the other hand, are often passive worshipers of small figurines depicting sexy characters.
OK, unless he is seriously misinformed, the writer makes a major shift in that last sentence: The first part, about the women, refers to characters in anime and manga; the second part describes the men who read it. Apples and oranges. Also, I haven’t run across any passive figurine-worshipers in my travels, although maybe it’s just one of those things that everyone does and nobody admits to. (Moe headphones image taken from JBox, the more wholesome part of JList.)
Real manga-ka Takehiko Inoue interviews Shingo Fujii, captain of the Japanese wheelchair basketball team, for the Yomiuri Shimbun on the eve of the 2008 Paralympic Games.
David Doub interviews global manga creator Queenie Chan at Manga Punk.
Like many of us, Ed Sizemore is heading to NYAF, but he can’t be there on Friday or Sunday, so he has generously offered to share his VIP tickets to the MC Chris concert and autograph sessions with other fest-goers. If you would like tickets to an event, e-mail me at the address on the upper right and I’ll forward your request to Ed. It’s first-come, first-serve, so don’t delay.
Alex Woolfson has an interesting post on finding bara (gay comics) in English at Yaoi 911, with lots of links to other sites and resources. The post itself is SFW, but the links are not.
John Thomas wraps up his roundup of worthwhile summer releases at Mecha Mecha Media.
Yoshitoshi ABe will be speaking at the Schoolgirls and Mobile Suits conference at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on Sept. 26-28.
EigoManga has revamped its website. The new site runs on Flash, which looks slick but eliminates the possibility of permalinks to individual pages. Also, the menus are hard to find—look for the teeny-tiny green type on the left-hand side to get started. (Via ComiPress.)
News from Japan: Minetaro Mochizuki, creator of Dragon Head, will be launching a new manga in Kodansha’s Morning magazine soon.
Reviews: Ed Sizemore reviews vol. 1 of Faust and Johanna Draper Carlson recommends vol. 5 of High School Debut at Comics Worth Reading. Dick Hyacinth has some nice things to say about Cowa! Tiamat’s Disciple checks out vol. 1 of Slayers Premium. Julie enjoys vol. 3 of Sand Chronicles at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Even Erica Friedman’s father, who prefers crappy manga, can’t take vol. 1 of Shin Megami Tensei Kahn; read about it at Okazu. John Thomas reviews vol. 6 of MPD-Psycho at Comics Village. Melinda Beasi takes a look at vols. 1-3 of Nana at there it is, plain as daylight.