To 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….
women in comics
Time for a little link-blogging!
First of all, it’s probably obvious that I enjoyed the Girls and fandom roundtable with the Good Comics for Kids folks over at the Robot 6 blog, considering that I’ve been commenting up a storm. I wanted to be sure to pass on the link, though, because it’s important and exciting discussion. Sparked by the recent spate of fanboy hostility towards teen girl fans of Twilight, the discussion continues and expands in comments to adult perception of the novels and more. Many thanks to everyone at Good Comics for Kids for speaking out on behalf of young female fans.
Speaking of girls and women in comics fandom, thanks to Deb Aoki’s efforts, the Women Make Comics t-shirt is available now (in many shapes and sizes!) at Cafe Press. Profits go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Cartoon Art Museum, and Friends of Lulu. Buy them for all your friends!
Deb has also posted her 20 Manga Must-Sees / Must-Do’s at San Diego Comic-Con 2009 at about.com, which I am linking to mainly out of envy. What a great lineup of events! Special mention must be made of item #3, the Women in Manga panel with JuYoun Lee (Yen Press), Lillian Diaz-Pryzbyl (TokyoPop), Leyla Acker (VIZ), Becky Cloonan, Robin Brenner, and Deb herself. Oh how I wish I could attend!
While I’m making impossible wishes, I’ll also add (in the category of Jobs I Wish I Was Qualified For) Viz Media’s advertisement for a Brand Manager. Check it out for yourselves, especially if you live in the San Francisco area.
As a little post-script here, I’d just like to mention how much I enjoy and appreciate the manga blogosphere as a whole. The bloggers are seriously fantastic and discussion is almost uniformly thoughtful and invigorating. I’m constantly impressed by this community and immensely grateful to be a part of it. I think I’ve expressed things along these lines before, but it bears repeating. Thanks, manga bloggers!
A cool side-effect of Saturday’s post, Why you should read NANA is that in checking out my site statistics, I noticed that it had been linked from this fantastic website, When Fangirls Attack (womenincomics.blogspot.com), which is a blog that simply posts links to “articles on gender in comics and comics fandom,” including specific manga editions. How I’ve missed out on this for so long, I have no idea, especially since, if my stats are anything to go by, everyone else is reading it. The upside, I suppose, is that I now have an endless archive of links to peruse at my leisure, most of which will probably be new to me. Hurray for women in comics!
Speaking of the NANA post, I’ve now added a blog category for persuasion posts (a term I started using when I realized I could no longer stomach the term “pimping”). I’ve posted three of these here so far, the one for NANA of course, along with Making the case for Banana Fish, and Why you should read xxxHolic. I have to say, I probably enjoyed writing these more than anything else I’ve ever posted here. If only people would pay me to push my favorite manga series on them, I could live a life of perfect bliss. Oh, cruel world!
Lunch is eaten. Now I must refill the wonderful water bottle our assistant production manager gave me last week for Boss’s Day (who even knew there was such a day?), and attempt to ignore my stuffy nose and aching head. Later!