Doing Time

Doing Time‘s author spent three years in jail due to violating Japan’s gun possession laws, and he’s captured the time in excruciating detail. It’s very different from what one sees of American prisons in the media, since the Japanese prisoners are very regimented and well-behaved. Unfortunately, Kazuichi Hanawa, the author, shares little of his interior perceptions or feelings. There’s no insight into what brought him there or what he learned or how the experience changed him as a person, and […]

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Christmas in Connecticut

Christmas in Connecticut is my favorite holiday movie. Every time I see it, I love it more. From 1945, Barbara Stanwyck plays that generation’s Martha Stewart, a famous magazine writer who’s always describing her farmhouse, her delicious gourmet meals, and her loving husband and baby. Problem is, she has none of those things. She’s a working woman who can’t cook but buys herself a mink because she’s always wanted one. When a war hero writes her publisher saying all he […]

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Manga Retailer Out

A small-town friend of mine had noticed that his Suncoast store had cleared out all of their manga. (I mention the “small town” because that was one of his few outlets for browsing.) Now, ICV2 is reporting that they are “exiting the category” and returning all of the books due to their parent company’s bankruptcy. I stopped into my local branch yesterday, and when I asked, the clerk, without prompting, told me something similar, only she also said that the […]

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Fantastic Four: The Movie

I know the Fantastic Four movie wasn’t all that popular with comic fans, but I liked it. It was exactly what I expected, an enjoyable summer action movie with comic book characters. Some random thoughts: Reed Richards really was portrayed as the “world’s dumbest smart guy”, as Doom said. He didn’t seem to do much of anything in this film; everything was someone else’s invention or choice or accident. He was pretty to look at, but that got boring quickly. […]

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Sexual Harassment Reactions

Laura Gjovaag has a powerful emotional response to recent stories of sexual harassment. She comes to the conclusion that Superheroes are constrained by their own success. And it’s a dubious success at that. As long as superheroes dominate the market, the stories will continue to pander to the fanboys… the lowest common denominator of the fanboys. They will continue to be the kind of stories that embarrass the casual reader and drive people away. And they will continue to be […]

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How to Deflect Criticism

In a Howling Curmudgeons post that tries to understand outrage over Frank Miller’s butt shot (as drawn by Jim Lee, it’s beginning to look like the shot heard round the blogosphere) by pretending that such things are common in fine art, Marc Singer posts a hilarious checklist that made me laugh out loud. Checklist for deflecting criticism of a comic: – Claim it’s actually a parody. – Claim that it’s all a big joke on the mundanes/fanboys/idiots who don’t get […]

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Sexual Harassment in Comics

I’ve only been dancing around the fringes of Ronée Garcia Bourgeois’ columns on sexual harassment in the comics industry. Her latest (link no longer available), though, puts it all on the table, as Colleen Doran and Lea Hernandez go on the record with some of the outrageous and atrocious sexism they’ve faced. These two women are incredibly talented, so no one can scream “sour grapes”. They’ve established long careers on their own terms, so no one can say “they’re just […]

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Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts Volume 1

Natsumi is a fifth-grader eager to grow up so she’ll have a sexy body like those she sees in magazines. Her neighbor and best friend, Asuma, laughs at her efforts to hide his feelings for her. When she eats magic nuts, given out on the street corner as samples, she wakes up to find her dream has temporarily come true: she’s physically a well-built teenager. Natsumi is remarkably oblivious to herself and her surroundings. One day, she’s turned away from […]

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