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Manhwa Monday: January 11th, 2010

First things first! The winner of last week’s giveaway is commenter Eva D., who will receive volume one of Yen Press’ Goong: The Royal Palace! Eva, drop me an e-mail with your address and I’ll send it right out!

This week’s featured review is Noah Berlatsky’s thoughtful look at the first six volumes of Dokebi Bride (NETCOMICS) over at Comixology. Though he spends a surprising amount of time trying to reconcile the series within Japanese demographic categories which seems, at best, a pointless exercise, it is a beautiful review of a gorgeous series that remains, to this date, sadly unfinished. “The book, like many ghost stories, is about grief and dislocation and how the two circle around each other like black, exhausted smudges,” he says early on in the review–an observation indicative of the its eloquence as a whole. The review is honestly a great read and I’d recommend it whether you’ve read the series or not.

One quick update here at Manga Bookshelf: I’ve added a page of Manhwa Links & Resources. It’s fairly limited so far, so feel free to drop me a link or two!

From the blogosphere, Deb Aoki at lists 25 Manga Milestones, and the emergence of manhwa in North America comes in as number sixteen. She’s also conducting a reader’s poll to determine the Best New Korean Manhwa of 2009, so head on over and place your votes! At Precious Curmudgeon, David Welsh reveals his vote and I do the same here at Manga Bookshelf.

On to the reviews! Yulianka at Wordcandy Bookshelf posts a series of enthusiastic mini reviews of Yen Press titles, including several manhwa. At i ♥ manga, Lorena Nava Ruggero reads volume 1 of Moon Boy (Yen Press). Julie Opipari reviews volume 7 at Manga Maniac Cafe, as well as volumes 2 and 3 of Legend (Yen Press). She also checks out volume 4 of Comic (Yen Press) for

At Kuriousity, guest reviewer Marsha Reid takes a look at volume 1 of Time and Again (Yen Press). Anna at Tangognat talks about volumes 1-3 of Let Dai (NETCOMICS). Sheena McNeil reviews both volumes 4 and 5 of I.N.V.U. (Tokyopop) at Sequential Tart, and Danielle Leigh jumps on the Raiders (Yen Press) bandwagon over at Comics Should Be Good.

Finally, a couple of books we haven’t seen here yet, nightfox at Confessions of a Closet Otaku checks out the first five volumes of I Wish (Tokyopop) and Azizul Rahman reads Cyber Doll (Anjung Taipan Sdn Bhd) at the star online.

That’s it for this week’s news!

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

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  1. Wow, I am really uncomfortable that anything to do with manhwa is on a list of manga milestones. :-/

    • Well, in this country the emergence of manhwa is definitely related to manga, or at least to manga publishing, which is the focus of most of those milestones. It is being published by the same publishers and has become a big part of some of their catalogues (along with some Chinese manhua as well, though not much of it). It’s been a huge influence on other comics produced by those pubs too (for instance, most of those Yen Press YA adaptations are being written/drawn by manhwa artists). I get your point, but I think in the end I’d feel worse if it *wasn’t* acknowledged on that list. Manhwa has played a significant role in shaping the current landscape for some manga pubs and their readers. I know it was Yen Press’ manhwa line that first got my attention.

  2. I don’t see how Deb could put it in any other way. Unfortunately, manhwa is at this time “the red headed step child” of manga. With YenPress, I optimistically believe that is going to change, albeit slowly, but it will.

    • It’s a tricky issue, isn’t it? I’ve complained plenty in this blog about readers/pubs conflating manhwa with manga, so I can understand Travis’ point. On the other hand, right now, I just want to see people talking about manhwa and putting it forward in a positive light. Deb’s milestones post does that and I appreciate it. Personally, I don’t think this is the time to quibble over context.

  3. I should have included NetComics in my statement, along with some others, but not TP. I acutally believe they did more harm than good.

    • I feel heartened by the potential that we might see some of TP’s unfinished manhwa series as digital releases, if nothing else. So maybe that will help you feel better about them here. :)

  4. Word to the wise: skip I Wish. It was not one of Tokyopop’s better manhwa licenses. If you haven’t read Saver, which was published around the same time, I’d recommend that over I Wish. Saver is a solid fantasy-adventure series with a tough-as-nails heroine and some very pretty artwork.


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