Wednesday, April 19, 2006


DJ Wetmouse posted this in the comments to a previous post and I wanted to highlight it a bit (since he pulled a hit and run, gone till Saturdays):

What exactly are you looking for in manga?
Classic form, action forward, or drama in reverse?
For action forward I could lend you bleach volume 1-11. Marcos has much classic form, as for drama in reverse your on your own.
pleases note the terminology in this comment has no bearing in reality.

Thank goodness for that last statement, because none of the rest of it made any sense.

BobT had offered this a few weeks ago:

That's kind of a strange statement: "Supposedly 'Monster' and 'Death Note' are excellent. I won't be terribly surprised to learn that they actually aren't..." Regardless though, they are both pretty good from what I've seen of each. Death Note is cool because of its focus on strategy, and Monster is good suspense. Though I suppose if you don't like manga at all it wouldn't make a difference...

I didn't really call him on thinking my statement was strange. I'm not sure why I should be terribly surprised when someone's reccomendation fails to live up to expectations. Happens all the time.

He sort of says the same things about Monster and Death Note everybody says, and leaves out the thing everybody else leaves out: how is the cartooning? How are they drawn? Are they interesting visually? At all? Even remotely? I'm going to guess that they aren't, since I've never seen anyone say that they are, and that they're representative of the "more of the same" studio-driven art of most mainstream manga—I would love to be proven wrong. I'll bet I'm not.

I like Junko Mizuno. I'm intrigued by the above-listed books. I want to read Yoshihiro Tatsumi's Pushman and Other Stories. Also Jiro Taniguchi's Walking Man.

I've read the first vollume of Buddha, and the clash of Tezuka's style with the subject matter and the fact that almost nothing important happened in the entire thing really didn't work for me. I want to read Phoenix, just because I like his cartooning even if I don't think it always works with what he's doing.

I muddled my way through the AWFUL Tomie after being told how great it was. Terrible reproduction aside, the whole thing made no sense, had indistinguishable characters and was far more boring than horrifying.

I LOVE Hideshi Hino's art, but I found the stories a bit slight. His work is probably the closest I've seen to something really interesting to come out of translated manga.

I couldn't get into Lone Wolf & Cub, but I think I just don't like samurai or something.

Mostly, I haven't seen much manga that's impressed me, but I want to remain open to something that might. It's difficult when someone says: Just read up through volume six, and you'll see how good it is. Honestly, if you can't impress me within a few hundred fucking pages, I'm not going to stick around. Maybe I'll check some books out tomorrow.


Blogger Marcos Perez said...

i like the hino art. i found bug boy to be a great little fable. not so taken with red snake. also curious about "man" books.
i havent read all that much manga. if u dont like samurai than yeah, lone wolf and cub not for you. nausicaa is pretty and violent and a rarity. as it was done on miyazakis own, over the course of ten years and he doesnt consider himself a comic artist at all. but i like his style, there's a bit of a european bent to his work. also i prefer the biggens to the digest. especially with guys like miyazaki and tezuka as they tend to pack it in page wise. ive only read the first volume of akira but it makes alot more sense than the movie and its effectvilry action filled and paranoid in an 80's way, with some great pacing and storytelling.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Marcos Perez said...

aside from the biggens, there is also, as u pointed out, often hurried crap reproduciton, whhich makes it difficult to enjoy. even with oel- the digest is handy and all but the akira editions are great and the nausicaa collections, the last three i have, are much better than the old perfect collections viz put out. unfortunately they are backwards, (which actually doesn't take too long to get the hang of) and the effects where in japanese. But fuck it, the art lookied so much better then the grayed out small collections. im glad i went with it.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Marcos Perez said...

my point is not much manga gets full treatments.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

Yeah, I thought the backwards thing would really throw me, and aside from a few backslides, I got the hang of it. I should reread the Hinos, they were fun.

I keep meaning to read your Nausicas, I'll put that on the list.

The Tomie reproduction was SO bad, like they were shaking the originals over the copier. I still don't think it was actually good, but the reproduction made it impossible for me to make it all the ways.

I don't know what I have against Samurai... I'll blame Kurosawa.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

Oh, do you have any idea what Kenny means?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Marcos Perez said...

drama in reverse? nope

3:04 PM  

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