manga bookshelf

Claymore 15 & a little link-blogging

claymore15To start things off, I have a review of volume fifteen of Claymore in this week’s Manga Minis column at Manga Recon. Before the eye-rolling begins over the high grades I’ve given recent volumes of Claymore, I’d like to say that I think it has really come into its own as a strong dark fantasy series and that those who dismissed it after the first few volumes are genuinely missing out. It’s true that I’m a patient reader and may enjoy a slow-burning series more than most. I love to watch multiple layers revealed over time, forcing me to continuously re-evaluate what the story is really about, and though it may seem a bit late in the game for the author to begin revealing those layers twelve or thirteen volumes in, in this case I think it’s well worth the wait. There aren’t many series from Viz’s Shonen Jump Advanced line that have endured for me as well as this one. It’s definitely worth a second look.

And, okay, “link-blogging” may be a misleading subject line, since I’m mainly here to share one link, but it seems to be the link of the day all over the manga-verse and who am I to buck the trend? Yesterday, Kate Dacey took a moment at the beginning of her weekly Shipping News post to responde to this article from the Des Moines Register on the topic, “Can Women Learn to Enjoy Comics?” I doubt I have anything more eloquent to say on the topic than Kate (or, as she points out, Shaenon Garrity before her) but I must certainly join in with a sentiment of great dismay and perhaps even rage as I ponder my own blog that is entirely devoted to comic books. Not that the article in question even acknowledges the existence of the comics I write about. “… why no comics by female creators? And sweet Mother of God, how can anyone write this kind of article in 2009 without acknowledging manga?!” asks Kate in her column. To this I nod vigorously, clutching my hair in frustration. Why and how indeed?

To check out some of the buzz generated by this topic on Twitter, try perusing my manga/anime discussion list.

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  1. Dear Melinda,

    I think that they are quite right. I have been strictly an anime viewer, but thanks to guys like you and Erica at Yuricon, I may be coming around.

    Your fan,


    Oh, wait a minute, can women LEARN to read comics. Not can women TEACH MEN to read comics. My mistake (Erica had a post recently about bad reading by manga fans, and here I haven’t even started being one and I am a bad reader). It turns out to be just one more piece of reporting-free “reporting” which is one more example of why the mess media newspaper industry is collapsing around their ears.

    • Hee, I think that you originally read this as being about whether women can teach men to read comics definitely helps make the point, doesn’t it? The idea that women don’t already read comics is kind of hilarious.

  2. danielle leigh says:

    yeah, I would say you don’t even have to defend your high praise of Claymore. It generally is one of the better Shonen Jump / Advance series and I actually thought it was good from the first few volumes on (I believe I was struck by the goodness when they did the Clare / Teresa (am I even getting the names right?) flashbacks early on).

  3. WTF? I mean, I’ve heard people talk about women not liking comics before, but a title like “Can Women Learn to Enjoy Comics?” really takes the cake. As if no woman has ever enjoyed comics.

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