This is just barely link-blogging, since I believe I have only two links. Still, it saves me from being disagreeable all over the internet, something I try to avoid.
First, EW has an exclusive look at the cover for Yen Press’ upcoming Twilight graphic novel, as well as a single sample page. The word floating around Twitter was “hideous” but I admit I think it’s kind of pretty. Not the cover so much (lifeless but inoffensive) as the interior artwork. I haven’t been looking forward to reading Twilight, despite my highly positive take on its announcement, but I gotta admit my inner teen is a tiny bit smitten with that sparkling vampire’s sensitive eyes. Oh, inner teen, must you humiliate me in this way? Must you??
Meanwhile, The Hooded Utilitarian continues their xxxHolic Roundtable with most participants not finding much besides the artwork to enjoy. Ng Suat Tong is probably the harshest on the series so far, though he links to some of my posts at the end of his entry (presumably to soften the blow) which I’ll admit gives me a case of the warm fuzzies. I’m not going to argue with anyone’s points except perhaps to say that I think it’s unfortunate that the roundtable only looks at volumes 1-3, which is well before the series really hits its stride.
It took me until the end of volume 6 (when the focus clearly shifts from its episodic origins into a complex, character-driven tale) to really become invested, and I wouldn’t say I was actually hooked until somewhere between volumes 7 and 8. Volume 10 takes the series to a whole new level, which happens again at volume 12 and then again (to some extent) at volume 14. The crossover with Tsubasa eventually becomes inextricable from the story, too, though xxxHolic has quite a bit of its own going on. It’s easier for me to appreciate the series’ early volumes now with the knowledge of what it’s grown into, so certainly I’m coming at it from a very different perspective. On the other hand, maybe I just like it more. :)
One thing I can say for sure. The reason I like the series, as discussed in my “Persuasion Post” (though it is an older, fairly immature piece of writing) as well as in my reviews (see vols. 12, 13, & 14), is that it resonates with me philosophically and, more importantly, emotionally. As Suat (very kindly) mentions when linking to my posts, I really do feel a strong connection with the story and its characters–one that is very meaningful to me. Whether others will connect as deeply with the series as I do is something I can’t know or control, but from my perspective the series as it currently stands represents much more than a piece of commercial entertainment. YMMV.
Continued thanks to everyone at the Hooded Utilitarian for providing compelling discussion and much food for thought!
Sarah saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm
I am a former TwiFan who really can’t say anything good about the series at this point; but I think the GN is pretty and darn it if it brings more girls into manga than I say that it’s good. Also I think the art is lovely-a little overdone, but pretty isn’t a bad thing.
I read a bit of the roundtable yesterday and I don’t think I’ll continue. It doesn’t do anything for me to read one of my very favorite series getting torn apart.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm
There are still a few roundtable posts to go, I think! I’ll keep you posted in case there are some you might enjoy more. :)
Sarah saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm
Thanks! I don’t need a gushing review every time, but it does annoy me to see people put all this work together just to dislike the series they’re talking about.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm
I think when they came up with the idea, most of them hadn’t ever read it, so they didn’t necessarily know this would happen!
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm
I’m not a fan of Twilight at all, unless you include openly mocking its crazy, but I do have to admit the actual art is pretty.
It’s the lettering job that’s making it look hideous. My inner typography nerd is cringing.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm
I am lucky (cursed?) in that my inner teen is much, much louder than my inner typography nerd is. If in fact I even have such a thing. Heh.
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm
Haha! I’ve always been a pretty quiet fan girl, but since I’ve been editing manga so much lately, the inner typography nerd is positively raging. The lettering just looks so bad to me, which is a shame when the art is so pretty.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm
I don’t have a strong opinion on the lettering, but the word balloons look pretty weird to me.
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm
Yeah those bother me too. Plus the fact that the second and third word balloons have white strokes around the letters. The grey background and the fancy script in the narration panels don’t work for me either.
And just in general, you can tell that the whole lettering process wasn’t thought about when the artist was drawing. It seems like the letterer also decided to focus on the art and try to letter around it as much as possible.
The result looks terrible. :< I can understand not wanting to detract from art, but there must have been better ways to letter this page. (I just hope it's not indicative of the whole work.)
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm
It looks weird enough, I wondered if it was really the final page. Though with a March release, that would be cutting it pretty close to the wire if it wasn’t, I guess.
Daniella Orihuela-Gruber saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm
Something tells me if they run on a schedule anything like where I work, then it’s a final copy.
Michelle Smith saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm
The Twilight GN might end up being more palatable than the book because it won’t need all that prose constantly reminding us how dreamy Edward is. Besides, in the book I don’t remember him having sensitive eyes. She mostly just stressed (over and over and over) their bronze color.
So, therefore I must conclude that GN Edward > Book Edward.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Interesting, interesting… you agree with me, right? He’s totally drawn with this sensitive look, right? It’s NOT JUST ME, RIGHT??
My inner teen is pathetic.
Michelle Smith saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm
Yes, he does look pretty sensitive. I think in the book he was looking angry about then because he was inwardly repressing the desire to chomp on her deliciousness.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 20, 2010 at 7:41 pm
Ha! Well, I appreciate the artist giving him a bit more range, I guess.
Grant saysJanuary 24, 2010 at 4:37 pm
This could be *the* title that opens up thousands of new fans to graphic novels. Think of it: a whole generation of young adult readers may learn to appreciate sequential art based on the popularity of a single author. Ain’t that something?
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm
That’s certainly my hope, Grant, regardless of my feelings about the source material. :)