Friday is Meta-day

Thursday was Kitchen Ceiling Demolition Day, so I didn’t get to post—sorry!—but as I trot ’round the blogosphere this morning, there seem to be more than the usual number of philosophical and aesthetic discussions. Put on your thinking caps, kids!

Bill Randall continues the manga discussion at The Hooded Utilitarian with a rather idiosyncratic take on the whole medium, and Noah Berlatsky points to some examples of sophisticated use of word and pictures in Let Dai. Meanwhile, over at Whereof One Can Speak, Katherine Farmar is irritated by the whole question and points out that manga and Western comics do different things in different ways, and not everyone has to like everything.

Melinda Beasi muses on various things, including the Hooded Utilitarian discussion, at her blog, and Ed Sizemore has some good advice on writing difficult reviews in the comments section.

Casey Brienza has a thought-provoking post about how the actions of others in the field affect her manga writing, both consciously and subconsciously. I’m still mulling this one over and may post some thoughts of my own.

The ANN anime roundtable takes up the question of Net etiquette.

The Manga Recon crew discuss movie adaptations of manga in their latest roundtable.

Here’s an interesting post on Manga Messiah, in which an expert from Notre Dame (my alma mater!) critiques some of the character designs as anti-Semitic, and Jason Thompson responds. The blogger points out, though, that there is a difference between what the Japanese author intended and what the American audience sees. This is, of course, not the first time that has happened.

There has been a lot of buzz about the changes made by Diamond, the sole distributor for comics stores, to its ordering policies. Basically, if a book can’t make a specified minimum, Diamond won’t put it in their Previews catalog, which is a big deal to people who buy their comics that way. Simon Jones explains it pretty well here. There are two predictable effects: Smaller publishers will lose out, because they can’t ship enough books to make the benchmark, and larger publishers may raise their prices to make sure they reach the dollar threshold. This has less of an impact on manga readers, who tend to go to bookstores and buy what’s on the shelves, but there is a significant subset of manga that is easier to find in comics stores. David Welsh talks to Stephen Robson of Fanfare/Ponent Mon, which is one such publisher, about what he expects to see in the coming months.

Matt Blind posts the top 500 manga in online sales for the past week at Rocket Bomber.

Lori Henderson has a bad experience with Mangatude, a manga trading community. For the record, I have had good luck with Paperback Swap, which I think has a better method of ensuring the swaps are fair.

Mark your calendars: Jason Thompson posts his schedule of appearances for the coming year. No NYCC? I have to figure out a way to get to Toronto.

Meanwhile, Deb Aoki goes over the manga highlights for Phoenix Comicon, which takes place this weekend, at

Jonathan posts the remainder of Tokyopop’s German Top 20 for the end of 2008 at Manly Manga and More.

News from Japan: ANN has the Japanese comic rankings for the past week and the news that Kodansha’s Magazine Special will run a GetBackers one-shot side story.

Reviews: At Manga Recon, Michelle Smith takes a look at a classic manga by Moto Hagio, A, A’. Danielle Leigh devotes her latest Manga Before Flowers column to the conclusions of two series, After School Nightmare and Her Majesty’s Dog. J. Rentilly reviews Ral Grad and Honey and Clover at Graphic Novel Reporter. Billy Aguiar sees more indy than manga in Rica ‘tte Kanji!? at Prospero’s Manga. Casey Brienza turns two thumbs down on Disgaea at her kethylia LJ. Tangognat has quick takes on recent titles from Tokyopop and Viz. Cynthia checks out His Arrogance and Hanky Panky at Boys Next Door. Sesho podcasts his thoughts on vol. 1 of Akihabara@Deep. Connie reads vol. 4 of I Shall Never Return, vol. 1 of Pluto, and vol. 6 of Le Chevalier d’Eon at Slightly Biased Manga. Deanna Gauthier discusses Canon, Life, and Seimaden in a guest post at there it is, plain as daylight. Snow Wildsmith reviews Candy at Fujoshi Librarian. Mieko Sasaki writes about Swan for The Daily Yomiuri. Alex Hoffman has a brief look at vol. 1 of Pretty Face and Charles Tan goes into more depth on vol. 8 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service at Comics Village. Ed Sizemore reads vols. 3 and 4 of Sundome, against his better judgement, at Comics Worth Reading. Julie checks out vol. 2 of Mixed Vegetables and vol. 15 of Tail of the Moon at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Michelle Smith reviews vol. 2 of Her Majesty’s Dog at soliloquy in blue. Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane reads vols. 13 and 14 of Nana at Manga Life.

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  1. Great crop of manga goodness today! And yes, do come to Toronto to see Jason Thompson (also Bryan Lee O’Malley!)! Jason also said that he would be mentioning more dates, so check out his LJ often.