Some bloggers and twitterati are must-follows quite specifically for their wealth of knowledge about manga, various genres of manga, and/or the the history and workings of the Japanese manga industry. There’s a lot of range to be found here, of course, and some are more useful than others. Sure, manga luminaries like Fred Schodt can be found on Twitter, but most of the time you can be certain that a guy who follows only 31 people is unlikely to have a conversation with you.
Since, for me, the internet is about conversation, whether it be the direct back-and-forth of Twitter, or the never-ending meta discussion that carries on, blog-to-blog, I find the most delicious brains are the ones who are not only willing to engage readers, but who are driven and energized by doing so. Fortunately, there are a lot of very knowledgeable people who fall into this category. I’ll name here just a few.
Erica Friedman of Okazu is not only the go-to blogger for yuri manga, but also quite knowledgeable about the industry as a whole, both in the US and Japan. She’s also an avid Twitterer, which means that readers have the opportunity to converse with her in a casual setting about nearly anything at all.
Sean Gaffney‘s fairly casual, under-the-radar blog can be a bit deceptive. He’s a guy who reads a lot of manga, both in English and in Japanese, and has a breadth of knowledge about the industry that I’ve certainly turned to for help from time to time. Sean, too, is very active on Twitter, where he’s always willing to share what he knows about manga.
Though professional duties take precedence nowadays, Ed Chavez the blogger is not dead. He may not have the same time to devote to keeping us up-to-date on the latest doujinshi and other news from Japan, he’s still a guy who knows more than most of the rest of us put together. Keep up with him on Twitter for whatever he’s got time to share.
For in-depth thought on the state of the American manga market, career bookseller Matt Blind is the guy you want to befriend. Though his blogging has taken a hit lately, thanks to a whoooole lot less available time, he still shows up on Twitter as often as he can.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course. The are a whole lot of brains out there to be tasted and enjoyed. Where do you find some of your favorite brains?