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I Wish I Wrote That!

Is it really Friday already? Assuming my calendar’s not lying, that means it’s time for new installment of I Wish I Wrote That!, a monthly feature in which I provide links to a articles about comics that I’ve especially envied as a writer.

First off, I’d like to point you to Khursten Santos’ Spotlight on Fumi Yoshinaga at her website, Otaku Champloo. In it, Khursten chronicles Yoshinaga’s career and the evolution of her work, writing from the perspective of both a journalist and a fan.

A quote from Khursten’s introduction to the article:

My journey in writing this spotlight was nothing but enlightening. My rule of thumb is to try to read the artist’s work in sequence and try to see their development as a mangaka, both in art, their themes, their interests, and their stories. Strangely though, I have read Yoshinaga-sensei in various points in my life that when I started to look back, I couldn’t exactly pin-point where she started. When I started asking if she had grown as a writer, in the back of my head, I was thinking… she had always felt mature as a writer.

Khursten’s insights are valuable not only for their personal touch, but for the rich knowledge they reveal. I admire Khursten particularly for her background in manga and her understanding of visual storytelling, both of which are demonstrated in this piece. I wish I had even half her expertise!

There are a couple of pieces I’ve appreciated this month involving Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s shounen series Bakuman, namely this thoughtful review by Chris Mautner at the newly-revamped Comics Journal, and this charming look at the third volume by Manga Curmudgeon David Welsh.

Also from The Comics Journal, Ken Parille offers up a detailed discussion of Moto Hagio’s short manga “Bianca,” as published in A Drunken Dream and Other Stories last year by Fantagraphics. Whether or not I agree with all of Parille’s points, I simply love reading his analysis of the piece. It’s one of the most thought-provoking essays on the subject I’ve seen, and it’s made me anxious to re-read the story as well. I wish I wrote that!

Lastly, Manga Critic Kate Dacey held me in her thrall this month with her write-up of Aki Shimizu’s Quan. Filled with scans of the series’ artwork and Kate’s brilliant prose, this article not only made me envy her skill, but also her manga library!

That’s all from me this month! Readers, what do you wish you wrote?

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  1. Katherine Dacey says:

    Thanks for the plug, Melinda! It breaks my heart that Tokyopop’s recent financial troubles all but guarantee that Qwan will never be finished in English.

    I’m also glad you gave Chris Mautner’s review of Bakuman a shout-out. I couldn’t disagree with him more about the series, but I thought it was such an elegant, thoughtful, and persuasive review that I was sorely tempted to go back an re-read the first two volumes.

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