Archive for the “manga” Category

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  • Increasingly I find that, if I’m reading and enjoying a comic published by Marvel, it is in spite of its connections to Marvel continuity. The trend probably began with the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline, but in recent years it seems that Marvel is incapable of launching a new title unless it’s tied into a cross-over event or spun out of one.
    I tried the Fraction/Brubaker Iron Fist in trade form, and while it had all the traits of a good book, I couldn’t bring myself to care about the post-Civil War status of the character and his supporting cast. It didn’t help either that the character is himself, at best, a D-lister, but the presumed reader was familiar with his history. I’m intensely curious about Incredible Hercules, as people whose taste I usually trust assure me it’s good, but it launches out of yet another cross-over event. Hence, trepidation.
  • The only Marvel book that seems to be immune to the disinterest stirred in me by cross-over-itis is Guardians of the Galaxy. I don’t care that it launches out of the Annihilation story-line. I don’t care that the current arc is bogged down in Civil War and War of Kings detritus.
    It’s the book that gives me not only Rocket Raccoon each month, but batshit-crazy 70’s Starlin-esque cosmic antics as well. And that’s all I ask out of my sci-fi comics.
  • On that note, I think the current space comics by Starlin at DC are a hoot. Yes, I’m the one.
    I honestly don’t even care if he’s just retelling Dreadstar stories. You could do worse than just retell Dreadstar stories.
  • While we’re talking space comics, my only complaint with the current arcs in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps is that there aren’t enough different colors for space cops.
  • It should be noted that the above statement is a huge vote of confidence in what Geoff Johns is doing on Green Lantern, because for years I hated the character and concept. Particularly when it involved Hal Jordan. Especially when it involved Hal Jordan. And it’s become one of my favorite titles of late.
  • I still think Green Lantern: Rebirth is one of the fucking dumbest retcons in the entire history of comics, and Skateman level bad, though.
  • One of the problems with being in a two-comic-reader household is that whether or not to drop or continue to buy shared titles has to be negotiated from time to time. For example, Pete really likes Fables.
    I’m desperate to drop it.
    Chiefly, it’s because the main-storyline is as over and done with as it’s possible to be, and no matter how much Willingham wants to drag out the conclusion, it’s done. But then, on top of the book being continued past it’s glaringly obvious and natural conclusion, a third title is being launched. In the midst of a cross-over.
    It’s like Joe Quesada took over Vertigo.
    But, apart from all that, it’s getting increasingly hard to overlook Willingham’s politics. Especially now that he’s writing for one of those websites that specialize in propagating the myth that conservatives are an oppressed minority with no access to the mass media.
  • Usually the cue for me to drop a manga title is when it stops being quirky and unique and turns into a fight comic. With the most recent volumes, that’s what has happened to Reborn, the book about an infant assassin training a clumsy Japanese school-boy how to be a Mafia don.
    The change-over is working, because honestly, turning into a fight comic represents a move to more placid and laid-back storytelling for a book like this.

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This message brought to you by Yukiya Sakuragi and volume eleven of Inubaka.

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So, you know how some people keep insisting that manga is the great hope of the comics industry, because the lack of sexism and misogyny won’t drive new readers away the way super-hero comics allegedly do?
(And how those of us who have been reading manga for longer than the current shojo boom hear this sort of thing, and just shake our heads?)
Well, I bought Ral Grad, the new manga from Death Note artist Takeshi Obata. And while it’s twisted in the ways I usually like I’m not sure I’ll be picking up any future volumes.

That sort of thing? All over the damn book. Hell, Ral’s primary motivation to become a hero is so that he’ll have ample opportunity to grope women.
This was published by Viz, as part of their Shonen Jump line. So it’s a kid’s comics.

And I’m not calling for a ban on the comic, or hoping to prompt an outcry, or anything like that. I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind people that, you know, Japanese comics are just as bad, if not worse, than American comics when it comes to the whole sexism thing.

And on a lighter note:

So, the message for this ad seems to be: if I use their product, I’ll miss out on seeing hot guys make out. Yeah, I think I’ll go without Bluetooth accessories for my phone a bit longer, in that case.

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When I was at my Friendly Neighborhood Conglomo-Chain Bookstore today, looking for a particular series-ending DVD (though I also found this fantastic little book), I spotted this:

Manga-themed romance novels. I’d be surprised if I’m the first person to catch this, but it caught me by surprise, anyway.

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