How Do You Read Manga?

Via Mark Fossen, how do you read manga? I try to start at volume 1, keeping an eye on new series as they launch. If I like it, I’ll get caught up to whatever they’re at, reading several books in the series at a time. Then I’ll follow them as they release new volumes. When a new book of a favorite series comes out, I may reread the last one or two in preparation for it. If I don’t care […]

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Speakeasy the Next CrossGen?

I used to call Alias the next CrossGen, because their combined late books, overloaded slate, and tendency to flood retailers made them look like they weren’t long for the world. Now, they’ve got a competitor for the title: Speakeasy. The publisher seems to have decided that it doesn’t need to do anything in order to make a profit. It doesn’t need to promote titles (press mailings have declined greatly, based on my own experience). It doesn’t need to risk taking […]

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Avigon: Gods & Demons

Avigon is a clockwork creation created by Pulsifer, who looks like a mad scientist but compares herself to God. In supplying her creations to various nobles, she must navigate a complex web of status and competition. Avigon demonstrates the pinnacle of Pulsifer’s creative genius, but to maintain her position in the court, she commits Avigon to battles she doesn’t believe in. In Avigon: Gods & Demons, the clockworks are kept in a pleasure palace, protected from those who would harm […]

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Sterling on Cheap Comics

Comic retailer Mike Sterling disagrees with those who think Fell should have been priced at $3. I’m sorry to reproduce so much of his comments, but they’re so pithy: Speaking as a seller of funnybooks, I think having a $1.99 comic that’s actually good is just dandy, particularly one by a writer with a significant amount of material in the marketplace. I use it as an inexpensive sampler book for people who want to try some of Ellis’ work but […]

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Fruits Basket

Tokyopop promoted Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket as its “most eagerly-awaited manga series”, and sales figures and top rankings have borne that out. With its blend of comedy, romance, fantasy, and drama, all expressed in an attractively mainstream art style, there’s something here for everyone. An eternal optimist, Tohru Honda is proud of taking care of herself, even though she’s been living in a tent after her mother’s death. She’s on the property of the Sohma family, a rather unusual group […]

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Sensual Phrase

I’ve read manga aimed at more mature female audiences before, women (josei) instead of girls (shôjo), but none of it hit me quite this passionately. Sensual Phrase by Mayu Shinjo combines the things I like best about both shôjo (stories about love, searching for meaning in life’s choices, and figuring out what kind of person you’re going to grow into) and josei (real-world conflicts, like not being taken seriously at your work because of your appearance and balancing work demands […]

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Sgt. Frog

The setup for this comedy by Mine Yoshizaki is simple: Fuyuki and his sister Natsumi accidentally capture a frog-like alien. He was sent as part of an advance invasion force, but due to his incompetence, he quickly loses his weapon and is abandoned by his planet. The kids want to make friends with the alien, and he agrees to play along so that he can scheme uninterrupted. They treat Sgt. Frog as a pet, one that’s able to help with […]

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Good Writing Springs From “Negativity”

I stopped talking about the whole brouhaha over “negativity” among comic critics because at least in my case, I was tired of getting responses with all the intellectual fervor of “get back in the kitchen, woman”. (Thankfully, geek sexism is a lot less common in the blogverse than it ever was on Usenet, but obviously, it still exists.) It looks like several people used the opportunity for more thought-out pieces, though. Chris Tamarri (link no longer available) provides a lengthy […]

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