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Manhwa Monday: A New Year!

goong1Happy New Year, Manhwa Monday readers!

Last week at Manga Bookshelf, I invited some friends to help me build a list of our Favorite Manhwa of 2009. Now, to start the year off right, I’m giving away one copy of the first volume of the most popular manhwa on that list, Goong: The Royal Palace. If you’ve not yet been bitten by the manhwa bug, or if you just haven’t gotten around to this addictive girls’ manhwa from Yen Press, here’s your chance!

Just leave a comment to this entry and you’ll automatically be entered in the drawing! You may also enter by sending an e-mail to with the subject line: “Goong.” The winner will be announced in next week’s column. Note: You must be age 13 or older to enter.

raidersMy featured review this week is actually a featured series. Volume one of JinJun Park’s Raiders (Yen Press) hit the shelves last month, and the reviews are pouring in. At ICv2, Eva Volin says, “Everything about Raiders is over the top … but if the reader is willing to let go and roll with the story, there is also much here to enjoy.” Michelle Smith at Soliloquy in Blue calls it “fast-paced and intriguing” with “dark and gritty” artwork, better than she expected from a “zombie action title.” At, Deb Aoki praises the volume’s “stunning” (if overdone) artwork, summing up thus: “With its satisfying balance of plot and action, Raiders does what it does pretty well.” Only Susan S. at seems wholly unsatisfied, describing Raiders as “series of stylish but shallow vignettes.”

pigbrideSpeaking of Yen Press, one of the holidays’ most interesting exchanges took place between manga critic Kate Dacey and the company’s co-founder Kurt Hassler, over Kate’s inclusion of Yen Press manhwa Pig Bride in her 2009 Manga Hall of Shame. In an unusual move, Kurt responded with an impassioned post at the Yen Press blog, defending the series against accusations of misogyny and “hyper-stylized” artwork, among others–even citing the opinions of other reviewers to back up his points. Remarkably civil conversation ensued between Kate and Kurt in comments, with neither backing down from her/his stance, though it’s worth mentioning that fellow critic Ed Sizemore did speak up in comments to object to Kurt’s use of an Anton Ego quote (dismissive of critics) at the beginning of his post.

In less dramatic news, Kristin at Comic Attack interviewed Dark Horse Comics’ Director of Asian Licensing Michael Gombos about DH’s manga and manhwa titles, which includes quite a bit of discussion regarding manhwa specifically. Meanwhile, Animerated features “Manhwa – the Korean manga. A short look” which is interestingly very heavy on Dark Horse titles. Back at The Manga Critic, Kate Dacey looks at last week’s comics haul, naming Yen Press’ One Thousand and One Nights as the week’s big winner.

On to the reviews! Julie at Manga Maniac Cafe checks out volume six of Shaman Warrior (Dark Horse). She also reviews volume four of Moon Boy (Yen Press) for Lori Henderson at Manga Xanadu reviews volumes seven & eight of Comic (Yen Press). Rob at Panel Platter reads volume five of Tarot Cafe (Tokyopop). Paul at I Just Read About That reviews his first manhwa, the Color of.. series from First Second. Over in her LiveJournal, Megan M. reviews three first volumes of Yen Press titles, Pig Bride, 13th Boy, and Sarasah. Lastly, Connie finishes out her Totally Captivated (NETCOMICS) binge with a review of volume six.

That’s all for this week! Don’t forget to enter to win volume one of Goong!

Is there something I’ve missed? Leave your manhwa-related links in comments!

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  1. Thanks for the contest!

  2. Thanks for checking out Kristin’s interview!

  3. I actually reviewed Moon Boy, vol. 1 on i ♥ manga. It was the first time I ran into a manhwa I didn’t like. Oh well, live and learn!

  4. I would love to win this book, please enter me.

  5. I was mystified by the review of Pig Bride, as it didn’t come across to me as a title steeped in misogyny. I think it’s cute, sweet and interesting,but then, I’m not a critic. However, my wallet speaks for me, and it opens up for Pig Bride.

    • I enjoyed Pig Bride and was willing to extend it a few volumes’ leeway before making any firm judgements on its content, but I didn’t think Kate was wrong about anything she said.

  6. I don’t believe I implied that she was “right or wrong”, but that I did not get those feelings about misogyny that she did.No offense was intended toward her or her review or any other review out there.
    I will however, say that ultimately, “popularity” of a manga/manhwa is determined by consumer purchasing.That doesn’t determined if it is “right/wrong, good/bad”, just if it is returning investment of publisher.

    I am not a “critic”, but I like what I like, and I’m sure that it would raise the hairs on any reviewers neck. ^-^ I contend it is all very subjective, but I love to read reviews, because it informs me and entertains me.

    BTW, I do not wish to be entered in contest Did not respond for that purpose. Thanks

    • Judi, I apologize, I think I was not careful enough with my word choice there. I didn’t for a moment feel offended by your comment, nor did I intend to imply that it would be offensive to anyone. All I meant to say was that, unlike you, I did agree with Kate, to a point, but that I’d enjoyed the first volume of the series (which is as far as I’ve read—I am missing the second volume) anyway. :)

      That said, I don’t think there’s as much of a distance between you and critics as you might feel. After all, we’re consumers too. :) In a niche field like this one, we all are fans at the core, including most of the people on the publishing side. We all spend lots of money on comics and all have a similar investment in seeing the industry do well. What makes someone a critic in this field is just a desire (and hopefully ability) to analyze and write about our opinions for public consumption. We provide a tool for other fans to use to help them decide what to spend their money on (if they wish) but ultimately, we’re all fans.

      One thing I find interesting about the exchange between Kate and Kurt is that, really, they’re both coming from the same place. They’re both fans of the medium who feel passionately about what they like (and don’t like) in the series.

  7. Jan klump says:

    I assume that family isn’t allowed to enter the contest. :) Just bring me what I might like best.

  8. Oh I want to enter! ^^

  9. Interesting how Kurt responded. I thought Kate had done a more formal review of the title but I couldn’t find one. I’m shocked Kurt responded on the publishing site. Oh well, it’s more PR for Kate.

  10. I have a couple fav manwha:
    Boy Princess by Seyoung Kim
    Ark Angels and anything by Sang-Sun Park

  11. Actually, Pig Bride is one of the Yen Press titles I’m enjoying the most right now. (And hopefully Goong will become a new favorite too) :)

  12. Thanks for the contest! I love Goong, and I’d love to start collecting it…having to go all the way from NY to MA (Boston area) just to read it in the library there is getting a bit much ;p

    My manhwa dream is to see a “50 Rules for Teenagers” license rescue. Yeri Na rocks!

  13. Oh, why not. I’m not really a fan of royalty stories, but if it’s free, I’ll give it a try. Please enter me in the drawing. :)

  14. i’m always up for free stuff count me in

  15. Monkeyjenn says:

    I really need to read this! I’ve heard nothing but goodness about it.

    The manhwa I read this year that I liked best was Chocolat. And I really hate to think that it might not continue :(

  16. This looks like a good manga! Please count me in, and thank you for the giveaway. :-)

  17. Can I be entered into the contest, please? (waiting until the last minute, I know!)

  18. Where is the winner?
    Or is it still open for contest?


  1. […] Beasi collects the latest manhwa news and reviews at Manga Bookshelf, and she’s giving away a copy of one of the most popular titles in her […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melinda Beasi, Melinda Beasi. Melinda Beasi said: New blog post: Manhwa Monday: A New Year! […]

  3. […] Manga Bookshelf — Win the first book in the manhwa series Goong: The Royal Palace by random draw […]

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