About Melinda Beasi

Melinda Beasi (Editor) has written about manga, manhwa, and other East Asian-influenced comics at Manga Bookshelf, PopCultureShock's Manga Recon, and CBR's Comics Should Be Good, where you can find her periodic review column, Tokidoki Daylight as well as The NANA Project, a collaborative project with Danielle Leigh and Michelle Smith. She's also been spotted as a guest writer at MangaBlog, The Hooded Utilitarian, Comics Worth Reading, The Beat, and other websites, and as a guest on the podcasts Manga Out Loud and Fandomspotting. Offline, Melinda planned and edited the book Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices for the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, due out from Dark Horse Comics in December 2013. Melinda lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where she can most often be found rambling through town in the company of her dog, Lucy. Click here for an index of Melinda's offsite writing.

Criticism: You’re doing it wrong

Melinda Beasi here, filling in for Brigid this week, along with Manga Critic Kate Dacey.

Yesterday’s most overtly provocative voice comes from Noah Berlatsky at The Hooded Utilitarian, who wraps up his discussion of Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Criticizing the Critics. He describes the piece on The Comics Journal front page as “discussing critical reaction to the work, and what it reveals about the limits of the manga blogosphere.”

In the article, he calls out manga bloggers in general (and by name) to criticize their approach to Hagio’s work, characterizing it as “almost completely useless.” Though much of the comment thread so far comes from the usual HU crowd, it’s worth scrolling down for a reaction from Kate Dacey, who has effectively verbalized what many of us are feeling this morning.

On the topic of new releases, Danielle Leigh expresses excitement over the release of Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako, while David Welsh and Kate Dacey share their thoughts on what’s shipping this week.

Speaking of Tezuka, Scott McCloud waxes nostalgic in his blog about his early love for the father of manga (link via Journalista).

David Welsh reports in on day three of the One Piece Manga Moveable Feast, coupled with a timely announcement from ANN, reporting that the series has taken the top five spots in Japan’s 2010 comics rankings.

The Beat shares more details on Dark Horse Comics’ new digital program, announced earlier this fall at New York Comic Con.

At Manga Life, the Nibley sisters take a moment to give thanks in their latest Words of Truth and Wisdom.

News from Japan: ANN reports on Japan’s top selling manga for the year, both by series and by volume (1 | 2).

Reviews: At The Manga Report, Anna takes a quick look at three Viz Signature series, 20th Century Boys, Children of the Sea, and Detroit Metal City. Deb Aoki offers up ten mini reviews at About.com, including an early look at Fumi Yoshinaga’s Not Love But Delicious Foods.

Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Demon Sacred (ANN)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Grand Guignol Orchestra (Good Comics for Kids)
Erica Friedman on vol. 3 of Ichiroh (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Skyblue Shore (A Case Suitable for Treatment)

Weekend Binge

- from Melinda Beasi

There’s a lot to catch up on after a long weekend, so let’s be sure to consume slowly and carefully.

First, a little holiday cheer! At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson shares some food-related manga to set the Turkey-Day mood, while Daniella Orihuela-Gruber warns against it. At The Manga Curmudgeon, David Welsh gives thanks for some of his favorite manga this year so far, while at Manga Bookshelf, I thank those who introduced me to some of my favorite manga. Katherine at Yuri no Boke, Erica Friedman at Okazu, and the Reverse Thieves also give thanks.

Moving on to the real focus of the holidays, Lissa Pattillo starts the shopping season off right at Kuriousity. And Manga bloggers do their part to ease your shopping anxiety with some new additions to the Great Manga Gift Guide. This weekend saw offerings from Rob McMonigal, Erica Friedman, Manga Report’s Anna, and Daniella Orihuela-Gruber.

At About.com Deb Aoki weighs in with her list of the Best Continuing Series of 2010. She also reports that TOKYOPOP’s Alice in the Country of Hearts has topped the New York Times Graphic Books list.

Sean Gaffney gets a jump on December, with a roundup of this week’s new manga, while Lori Henderson rounds up the Week in Manga.

I get my rant on at Manga Bookshelf for the latest Failure Friday.

At Soliloquy in Blue, Michelle Smith and I discuss artwork from Children of the Sea and Suppli in our latest installment of Let’s Get Visual.

November’s Manga Moveable Feast is now underway, this month featuring One Piece! Host David Welsh shares links to the Feast’s first offerings at The Manga Curmudgeon. David also puts in a license request for Rainbow, George Abe and Masasumi Kakizaki’s tale of juvenile delinquints in the 1950s.

Erica Friendman shares the latest Yuri news at Okazu.

News from Japan: As more manga publishers look to digital distribution, ANN reports that Kodansha’s popular seinen magazine Morning will soon be available in English on the web.

Reviews: Kate Dacey offers up a new set of Short Takes at The Manga Critic. At Manga Bookshelf, Michelle Smith and I discuss some manga from Del Rey, Viz, and Vertical in our latest Off the Shelf. And Ed Sizemore talks Chi’s Sweet Home with his nephew Christopher in his newest podcast at Manga Out Loud.

Connie on vol. 2 of Beast Master (Slightly Biased Manga)
Shannon Fay on vol. 1 of Cross Game (Kuriousity)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Eensy Weensy Monster, Vol. 1
Jason Thompson on From Eroica With Love (ANN)
Chris Zimmerman on vol. 4 of Hero Tales (The Comic Book Bin)
Snow Wildsmith on How to Draw Shojo Manga (Good Comics for Kids)
Rob McMonical on vol. 1 of Jormandgand (Panel Patter)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of K-ON! (A Case Suitable For Treatment)
Bruce on Lesbian II: Mitsu no Heya (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 7 of Maid-sama! (A Case Suitable For Treatment)
Connie on vol. 36 of Oh My Goddess (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 8 of Pokemon Adventures (ANN)
Lissa Pattillo on Short-Tempered Melancholic and Other Stories (Kuriousity)
Phoenix on vol. 2 of Spice & Wolf (Experiments in Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 3 of Urusei Yatsura (A Case Suitable For Treatment)
Connie on vol. 8 of Vagabond (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Wild Adapter (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 16 of xxxHolic (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 24 of Yakitate!! Japan (The Comic Book Bin)

Guest Review: Hissing, vols. 1-6

hissing1Hissing, vols. 1-6
By Kang EunYoung
Rated T, for Teens
Yen Press $10.99

Review by Melinda Beasi.

High school freshman Da-Eh is an aspiring manhwa artist who carefully ignores constant cries for attention from her doting younger brother. Fellow freshman Sun-Nam, the youngest of three boys, is bound and determined to become a “bad guy.” Finally, senior Ta-Jun, the school hottie, finds himself drawn to the one girl who can’t stand him, Da-Eh. If this is where the story stopped, there would be nothing at all remarkable about it, and over the course of the first volume or so, that’s seemingly where things stand. Fortunately, both the story and Kang’s method of telling it soon become more complex. [Read more…]

Guest Review: You’re So Cool, vols. 1-6

ysc1You’re So Cool, vols. 1-6
By YoungHee Lee
Rated T, for Teens
Yen Press $10.99

Review by Melinda Beasi

Tomboyish Nan-Woo is the class klutz. Impulsive, accident-prone, and chronically late, she provides a daily dose of schadenfreude for her eager classmates. Seung-Ha is the class prince. Gorgeous, mature, and kind to everyone, he is admired by students and faculty alike. After Nan-Woo pays accidental witness to Seung-Ha’s rejection of a pretty upperclassman, Seung-Ha explains to her that he’s looking for someone who will accept all of him, “even the dark and selfish parts,” at which point Nan-Woo naïvely proclaims, “If I had the chance, I wouldn’t care. I would love you completely and without regret.”

These prove to be fateful words indeed, for though Nan-Woo is granted her dream boyfriend faster than even most fairy godmothers could reasonably manage, she quickly discovers that the boy she so admires is nothing more than an elaborately constructed fantasy. Though his model-student act is impressively well-practiced, out of uniform Seung-Ha is a bona fide thug who belittles Nan-Woo, bullies her into buying his meals, and gleefully sends her off to be tortured by his ruthless fan club.

Now that she’s met the real Seung-Ha, can Nan-Woo possibly live up to her own rash promise? [Read more…]