AXed transcript, part one

Here’s the first part of a transcript of a Twitter discussion on Top Shelf’s AX anthology of alternative manga held Friday, Sept. 24 and tracked by the hashtag #AXed.

Participants are:

  • MangaCur: Me
  • Debaoki: Deb (About.Com) Aoki
  • Toukochan: Sean (A Case Suitable for Treatment) Gaffney
  • Factualopinion: Tucker (The Factual Opinion) Stone
  • Hermanos: David (4thLetter) Brothers
  • Snubpollard: Jog (Jog – the Blog) Mack
  • And some pop-ins along the way.

    I’m going to put this after the jump, because it’s really long and there are many spoilers along the way. So be warned! Also, be warned that I didn’t clean this transcript up, because it’s a Twitter conversation and I’m too lazy. I think it reads just fine as is. I did add some images, as I think it gives you a sense of the book’s scale and range.

    MangaCur Counting down to #AXed, rapid-fire conversation about “AX,” the alternative manga anthology from @topshelfcomix.

    Anyone want to start off with some overall thoughts? I thought the book was assembled really well in terms of range. #AXed

    debaoki AX really does run the gamut of art styles and tone – from refined and elegant to outrageously crude and rude. Although I can’t really say there’s “something for everyone” here — you have to have a fairly open mind about comix/manga to “get” AX

    Toukochan I felt AX started off slowly for me – the first two stories really did nothing for me – but it’s gradually started to win me over. I’m pleased that there’s the occasional sweet story in amongst the weirdness.

    MangaCur Let’s start with the stories, in order: “The Watcher,” by Osamu Kanno.

    That piece felt very much like a “Chef may use peanuts in some recipes” kind of warning, if that makes sense. Not that every story is going to have kind of ugly art, dogs peeing into skull wounds, and creepy nudity, but some do, so… Or if not precisely set the tone, at least made sure nobody would be surprised that the collection would go weird places.

    debaoki Yes, that’s true – like the first song in an soundtrack or concept album, “The Watcher” set a certain tone as the first story in AX. I didn’t really get what Osamu Kanno was going for with The Watcher, other than to make fun of selfish suburbanites

    Toukochan Bleah. It seems Japan also has what I dislike about indie comics in its own manga. The art in The Watcher reminded me of Leo and Diane Dillon’s work for Dangerous Visions, for some reason.

    factualopinion “The Watcher”: probably one of the best last panels of all the stories available. Little too long, i’d say.

    MangaCur Okay, moving on to “Love’s Bride,” by Yoshihiro Tatsumi? #AXed Vintage Tatsumi, I think.

    debaoki The Tatsumi story i read in the preview that @TopShelfComix gave out at APE ’08 didn’t impress me much. I stand behind my contention that Love’s Bride is a fairly weak story for Tatsumi. A working class stiff get cuckolded by his not-quite-serious girlfriend & finds comfort in the company of a monkey? dark & strange. so there’s some familiar Tatsumi themes here – women are unfaithful, money-grubbing, manipulative, lying ball-busters. so yeah, not my favorite Tatsumi story. it kind of creeped me out. But maybe that was the point.

    Toukochan “Love’s Bride,” by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Not sure if I should identify with the guy or be amused by him. The story didn’t work for me, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps I knew how it would end too far ahead?

    MangaCur I think identification and pity/contempt are always kind of side by side in Tatsumi.

    factualopinion I felt like I’d already read this Tatsumi story before, and it was better when it involved a dog with no teeth

    MangaCur @factualopinion Thank you. I was wondering why I felt deja vu while reading it

    factualopinion Still loved the art though. (excluding some of the girlfriend’s facial expressions, those seemed more sterile than usual.)

    MangaCur @factualopinion There are some great little reaction shots among sort of pop-in characters, like the salesgirls at the end.

    factualopinion let’s be honest: nobody spanks it to framed pictures of their sort of girlfriend in a v-neck sweater

    MangaCur Okay, time for “Conch of the Sky,” by Imiri Sakabashira.

    Toukochan “Conch of the Sky,” by Imiri Sakabashira. Very much conveyed the image of a fever dream. The imagery was quite vivid. That said, I wish that some of the random ideas thrown in and then abandoned could have been developed. But that’s not their medium.

    Also, the squid needed more broccoli, clearly.

    MangaCur I thought the nightmare imagery and pacing and logic were really conveyed well.

    I thought “Box Man” was better drawn, but I felt like I got further into “Conch in the Sky.”

    debaoki i didn’t notice this when i reviewed the PDF version fr @topshelfcomix, but the artwork in Conch of the Sky has a poor clean-up job. It’s just filled with tiny black dots that make me think that the prep work for this book was hastily done. Which is really too bad, because Imiri Sakabashira has some great images here.

    factualopinion @debaoki yeah, there’s some problems with the finish work on the book in lots of places. distracting

    MangaCur @debaoki That reminds me that it would have been nice to have a timeline of the various stories, what was published when.

    factualopinion page 51, top panel: an unforgettable panel right there, really opens up the claustrophobic blanket/train stuff, gives it scale

    MangaCur @factualopinion That’s a really great example. That looks like what a fever feels like

    debaoki While it’s a shorter, slightly less cohesive story than Box Man, Conch of the Sky is full of Freudian goodness. squids, trains coming out of tunnels, larger than life germs, people getting run over by large black sedans… its like Sakabashira closed his eyes, pointed his finger in a dream dictionary and drew whatever came up. oddly mesmerizing.

    factualopinion oh MAN do i love that guy getting yanked under the wheels. such a relaxed attitude about vehicular homicide

    MangaCur (Tell me if I’m going too fast.) “Rooftop Elegy,” by Takao Kawasaki, which I just loved looking at.

    Toukochan “Rooftop Elegy,” by Takao Kawasaki. Golgo 13, the salaryman. Quite amusing, with a nice combination of weirdness and normality. It’s the first funny story in the collection (monkey love aside), and contrasts this nicely with a rather odd ending.

    MangaCur @Toukochan I kept thinking it was kind of like something that the editors of “Business Jump” loved but had to reject.

    Toukochan @MangaCur The author apparently specializes in ‘hard-boiled’ parodies, according to the bios at the end.

    factualopinion didn’t like “Rooftop Elegy” that much. felt like a unimaginative commentary on Golgo, predictable cliches. nah.

    top panel on pg. 66: how many movies/comics are going to use that? it’s a t-shirt at this point.

    debaoki Rooftop Elegy: you could get carsick from the switchbacks / rapid-fire twists – “no, *I’m* the hitman” “No *I* am! you’re gonna die!”

    Toukochan @debaoki Sadly, in the end both of them turned out to be Aizen. (SLAP!) Ow, OK, no more Bleach jokes…

    MangaCur @factualopinion And there’s a later story in the book that deals with some of the same topics much more successfully.

    debaoki There’s a lot of “salaryman in despair” in the pages of AX — is it because the readers are or don’t want to be salarymen?

    Toukochan @debaoki Could also simply be that the artists are a lot of ex-salarymen themselves.

    debaoki Rooftop Elegy is a whole lot of “talking heads” — so it’s hard to really get into what’s happening.

    MangaCur Okay, we need a change of pace: “Inside the Gourd,” by Ayuko Akiyama. Is that based on actual folklore?

    Toukochan @MangaCur Exactly. These stories are needed in an anthology like this to balance out the high weirdness.

    debaoki Inside the Gourd does seem like a Japanese fairy tale, doesn’t it? Tho I don’t think it’s from an actual folktale.

    Toukochan “Inside the Gourd,” by Ayuko Akiyama. Loved this. Adorable and sweet, and just the right length.

    factualopinion “Inside The Gourd”–first one that felt just straight up “sweet”. grandma crying “you’ll be late”, the little girl’s face. very awwww

    MangaCur @factualopinion I loved crying grandma a lot. It was just one of those effective little touches.

    debaoki Yes, I agree. Inside the Gourd offered a slightly wistful respite from all the artsy anger and urban angst of the prior stories. Inside the Gourd is really an otaku fairy tale — replace the girl in the gourd with any “moe” anime girl, and it’s not as cute

    factualopinion would’ve liked a Taniguchi level of drawing skill for that flower garden though. Akiyama shot for pretty, came up a bit short.

    factualopinion @MangaCur it’s set up for you at the beginning, but when it happens, it still hits home. good story.

    MangaCur @factualopinion It did seem like Akiyama was emulating Taniguchi a little bit, which is a nice thing to shoot for.

    debaoki this guy is an insect otaku who doesn’t know how to have a relationship with “normal” woman, but finds his “dream girl” in an odd way. But the art is simple and charming… and the ending offers just the right slightly open-ended touch.

    factualopinion @debaoki the line “he would find something to say” could pretty much redeem anything, but I see your point.

    hermanos Inside the Gourd’s tone was very sweet in a way I wasn’t expecting. I kept waiting for the turn toward meanness, but got a nice end.

    MangaCur The little breaks of sweetness and aimlessness really helped me enjoy the whole anthology. Palate-cleansers.

    factualopinion @MangaCur huh–“palate cleanser” feels kind of dismissive?

    MangaCur @factualopinion True… maybe “balance of flavor” would be more appropriate.

    MangaCur Before we get back to people throwing up semen in a love hotel, which brings us to “Me,” by Shigehiro Okada.

    snubpollard “Me” – Boy, I sure hope that was supposed to be funny. Page 78 was hilarious!

    MangaCur @snubpollard I did think “Me” was supposed to be funny. If I’d bought it as a mini-comic at SPX, I’d have been very happy.

    debaoki oh man. “Me” — i knew guys who’d spout this kind of self-centered nonsense in art school. so glad i never went out with any of ‘em.

    Toukochan “Me,” by Shigehiro Okada. Wow, what a pair of hideously unlikeable people. This was very funny.

    MangaCur @Toukochan You have to wonder if he really gave being a shut-in a fair shot.

    factualopinion As a comedy, “Me” works fine.

    debaoki I loved how the guy totally scores with the chick just by nodding & agreeing with her inane blathering until he’s dumb enough to talk.

    hermanos Following “Inside the Gourd” with “Me” is like whiplash. “Feeling good about the last one? Well here’s the Bizarro version of it!”

    debaoki So true. This did have a similar vibe to the over-sharing auto-bio comix by ppl like Joe Matt or Chester Brown.

    MangaCur @debaoki For me, the difference is the appealing certainty that the guy is a horrible loser and you don’t need to pity him.

    factualopinion @MangaCur don’t forget that he’s a terrorist!

    hermanos I thought it was hilarious, but the moral of “Me” is “Even if you find yourself, you probably still suck as a person.”

    debaoki ha! @hermanos — that’s a pretty good sum-up of the message of “Me.”

    factualopinion I kind of took this one as an much-needed insult to people who take one-night stands too seriously.

    Hermanos @factualopinion This and “Inside the Gourd” work well as opposites. One guy becomes open to love and the other is a creep/clingy

    factualopinion @hermanos because he’s a wimp. Gourd-guy is just reserved.

    hermanos The panel where you see exactly the exact make-up of the girl’s vomit is great, but could’ve used some retouching. It’s artifact-y.

    debaoki When you really think about it, both characters in “Me” are too self-absorbed to listen to the other at all, and never do. and man, throwing up a guy’s semen after you’ve given him a blow job? how’s that for a “f**k you?”

    factualopinion @debaoki neither of them have anything to say though, so not-listening is probably the best tactic.

    Toukochan Takes the shallowness if “This is all your fault” romances and shoves it back in the protagonist’s face.

    MangaCur When we’re all ready, “Push Pin Woman,” by Katsuo Kawai. I thought this had a great, unnerving metaphor working for it.

    Toukochan “Push Pin Woman,” by Katsuo Kawai. This worked really well for me. Great shot of the back full of pins, and a terrific ending.

    snubpollard “Push Pin Woman” – Putting the self-pity back into ritualized mutilation. Bet you feel bad now, lady!

    Toukochan The art was very simple, but that’s what this needed. Anyone get a Jules Feiffer feel?

    factualopinion @Toukochan i was thinking more Crockett Johnson than Feiffer.

    hermanos “Push Pin Woman” was one of my two favorites in this book. As a story about letting go, it works on every level. Strong metaphor. I like how “PPW” works from both sides. The dumped gets to work out her issues, and the guy finds solace with his new girl. The use of pain as a separator clicks with me . If she wants him back, she has to go through all that pain again. Not worth it.

    debaoki I know some people didn’t like Push Pin Woman, but I thought it was an effective metaphor for a break-up.

    factualopinion Man, I loved “Push-Pin Woman”. That last line has physical pain trumping emotional suffering. UNEXPECTED.

    MangaCur Minimalist though the art was, I loved things like the look on the new girlfriend’s face on the top of page 99.

    snubpollard Nice, neat rows of pins, great obsessive texture to the image. Metaphor’s a little on-the-nose for me, though.

    factualopinion @snubpollard But she totally admits that walking on the push-pins would hurt MORE. that throws the metaphor under the bus for me.

    snubpollard @factualopinion Yeah, but the pins are just fetishes of emotional hurt, you know? So she can’t reconnect now without facing her shit.

    snubpollard @factualopinion Like, I want to see her run up on the side of the road and go “um, there’s a sidewalk!”

    factualopinion @snubpollard touche. that would’ve been an even better ending.

    debaoki i could relate to “Push Pin Woman,” the urge to hurt the person who hurt you — then realizing that it’d hurt you more in the end. while it seems like a predictable thing to say, i’ve never seen it expressed as simply and effectively as it was here. it was kind of like the anti-“The Missing Piece” by Shel Silverstein in its simplicity.

    MangaCur @debaoki I agree both with the metaphor being kind of on-the-nose and also that it was beautifully, cleanly expressed.

    hermanos The new girl licking the spoon is effective, too, and adds a sexual layer to the pain.

    MangaCur Moving on to “A Broken Soul,” by Nishioka Brosis.

    Toukochan “A Broken Soul,” by Nishioka Brosis. …what? No seriously, What? I know some like anstract manga, but… I just… didn’t get this at all. Interesting art style, which I could see it with something that was vaguely coherent.

    factualopinion Broken Soul: felt like a cry for help. go outside and eat a sandwich, Brosis.

    hermanos “A Broken Soul” is exactly the kind of weepy indie comix strawman that I talk about hating sometimes. The sideways text didn’t help.

    snubpollard “A Broken Soul” – Ha, fixing your soul just widens your perspective; it can’t change your life.

    debaoki A Broken Soul: now, is it just me, or does it seem like pages 106-107 are missing text/dialogue in the boxes? it’s like watching a very strange arthouse movie from Finland, the sound goes out halfway thru and no one notices.

    hermanos @debaoki It’s a technique to show how he’s now avoiding reality. Alternately: boring and trite as sin.

    Toukochan @debaoki It felt like the missing text was deliberate to me. I agree with @hermanos, very indie comix. If I’m gonna see art from Finland, it better look like Tom Of Finland rather than these sticks. ^_-

    MangaCur It’s not the kind of comic I can see myself creating with one of my sisters, I’ll grant you. And even I picked up some reproduction problems with this one, and I’m not especially sensitive to them.

    Toukochan @MangaCur Perhaps they’re brother and sister like Jack and Meg White once were?

    @jlgehron Maybe that’s the Alternative Manga equivalent of mopey autobiographies in US indie comix? :)

    factualopinion god, the panel where he walks against the flow of Those Mindless Automatons…so he can go home and sit in his room. blah!

    MangaCur Okay, moving on to “Into Darkness,” by Takato Yamamoto, which is prettier, at least. Maybe.

    Toukochan “Into Darkness,” by Takato Yamamoto. Also does not make a lick of sense, but is far easier on the eyes. Though to be honest, it also made me feel like I was reading tentacle porn.

    MangaCur @Toukochan It’s not even my least favorite “pretty art with lots of seemingly unrelated text” piece in the book.

    debaoki Oh, “Into the Darkness” – what a gorgeously drawn story that makes almost no sense! it’s too bad that Takato Yamamoto hasn’t done much manga — only illustrations — because the art/linework is exquisite. Into Darkness reminds me of Charles Vess’ work on Sandman — delicate, gothic-tinged sensuality. What i did like about Into Darkness it is that it offered one extreme end of the AX continuum – beautiful art w/o a story to tell.

    snubpollard “Into Darkness” – This reads exactly like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Like, the sex issue.

    factualopinion “Into Darkness”-i’m all ears. felt to me like overdrawn alt-manga Swamp Thing, with dolls and masturbating.

    factualopinion @snubpollard holy shit did we really just make the same Alan Moore Swamp Thing comparison?

    MangaCur @snubpollard @factualopinion FTW on “Into Darkness.” This is what I get for not reading “Swamp Thing.”

    hermanos I like the art in “Into the Darkness,” with the claustrophobia, body horror, sex, and demon things, but the story is 10th grade poetry. All it needed was the moon crying one single, blood red tear or a wolf howling in the distance to close the circle.

    MangaCur @hermanos Exactly. It’s kind of study-hall angst.

    hermanos But the art–good stuff. Panels 5 and 10 on p111, panel 5 on p115… enthralling. No idea what’s going on in the last one, though.

    snubpollard @factualopinion Sure, it reads just like it! Maybe a bit more Jamie Delano. Oh, sex = death, that too.

    debaoki If you plot the AX compass, there’s beautiful,delicate art —> incredibly crude, amateurish art, then pointless –>meaningful stories

    factualopinion @debaoki it would’ve been a much better follow-up to “push pin” than “broken soul” was.

    Toukochan “Enrique Kobayashi’s Eldorado,” by Toranosuke Shimda. I really enjoyed this. After all the abstract, it was a great change.

    MangaCur I think if you took genetic material from Joann Sfar and Rick Geary, that clone might make something like “Eldorado.”

    debaoki Oh, Enrique Kobayashi’s Eldorado is my favorite story in AX. great energy with unexpectedly fun story.

    Toukochan Not only did it have a story to tell, but it told it with humor, nostalgia, and social commentary. Plus, great bike. Also, best facial expressions in all of AX.

    factualopinion “Eldorado” i’ve never laughed that hard at a Nazi doing horrible things, and I read Hellboy. “Gold tooth gold tooth”: killer. Eldorado is the manga Rick Geary? I feel okay with saying that. Great stuff, really funny.

    debaoki i love how the character designs in “Enrique Kobayashi’s Eldorado” — did you notice the heno heno mo he ji face on p. 124? FYI — this is “henoheno moheji” — kind of like the Japanese version of “Kilroy was here” http://www.henohenomoheji.com/

    snubpollard “Enrique Kobayashi’s Eldorado” Feels a bit European, with the historical content intruding on the narrator facing the reader.

    hermanos “Eldorado” was fantastic. The guest appearance by Pele, the tone of the book, and the 4th wall breaking author characters all ruled. It feels a bit like the wacky fairy tales for kids where characters talk directly to us and nothing’s taken seriously but Nazi-killin’

    MangaCur “The Neighbor,” by Yuka Goto was the first story that felt very desultory and superfluous to me.

    snubpollard “The Neighbor” – It’s funny because it looks like shit. BUT: it’s still funny.

    MangaCur @snubpollard Granted. I’d forgotten about that hilariously stiff jump-kick on page 147.

    debaoki “The Neighbor” really didn’t do much for me. the story wasn’t as inventive as the Hanakuma story later in the book.

    Toukochan “The Neighbor,” by Yuka Goto. Had some interesting art, but not a lot to say. I’d have preferred a manga by Yuko Goto, myself.

    hermanos “The Neighbor” is kind of crap, but probably has the funniest panels in the book. The drop kick, the entire dog-choking page, wow. One thing about “The Neighbor”-real life should work like this. Fistfights to teach annoying neighbors a lesson. “The Neighbor” feels like something out of “Ren & Stimpy,” particularly the big fight. Absurd on all fronts, and really kinda ugly.

    Toukochan And yes, the jump kick is the best part. If only as it’s a classic ‘Look how bad my art is!’ panel.

    factualopinion @hermanos i’m guessing you’ve never tried to bring that kind of a drop-kick to the fistfight table.

    factualopinion didn’t really read “Neighbor” the first time through. going back later, it felt like warm-up comics, 1 step past thumbnails.

    debaoki i know that “heta-uma” (bad-good) manga is a big part of the AX aesthetic, but “The Neighbor” was more “heta-heta” (bad-bad) to me.

    aicnanime The Neighbored worked for me once I read what the point was. ledgehammering casual settings with violence

    MangaCur Okay, then… on to “300 Years,” by Mimiyo Tomozawa.

    debaoki i liked the little tubby girl character in 300 years — it just begs to be made into a figure by kid robot or something. tho the part where she gets impaled on a spindle and spun for 300 years? owwww.

    factualopinion @debaoki i think you might run into legal trouble with her accessories.

    MangaCur @debaoki Yes, the character design was my favorite element. Weirdly like Junko Mizuno to me, but not.

    snubpollard
    “300 Years” – God damn it, when did they release my medical records?! Of course, spinning on a peg straightens double visions into one image. Er, it’s about society? Relationships?

    MangaCur @snubpollard It was successful for me as a story because I didn’t feel like I needed to care that much about the point of it all.

    factualopinion thought the fill-in page of the spin panel (p. 150) was pretty arbitrary, badly chosen. funniest thing about 300: the doctor’s chest hair, peeking out of his shirt. that’s gold right there.

    hermanos “300 Years” was… what was this? It was like a Kupperman half-page gag spread out across several pages. “Sex Blimps: The Movie”
    I definitely laughed, and the eye ailment is great, but I’m not sure how much I actually like this one.

    factualopinion all told, this was one of the ones that i wasn’t done reading when it ended. where does she go? are her eyes fixed? i’m intrigued!

    MangaCur On another gratuitous front, there’s “Black Sushi Party Piece,” by Takashi Nemoto, which tried my patience.

    snubpollard “Black Sushi Party Piece” – A ‘party’ because it’s improvised? I liked the abrupt end to the A plot on pg. 166.

    debaoki Oh, “Black Sushi Party Piece” — you know how in DMC where Krauser II gets props because he can say “raperaperaperape” really fast? It’s similar to how Takeshi Nemoto is probably going for drawing most hairy penises that can be crammed into a single manga story. oh crap. now i did it. the “p-word” is going to get a ton of p*rn spam followers. damn you Takeshi Nemoto.

    factualopinion “black sushi” he’s still got it! by which i mean some of these panels are pretty repellent.

    snubpollard Hmm, kind of a sketchbook exercise, but then, heta-uma’s about the state of drawing, and this foregrounds it. (Funny too)

    hermanos “Black Sushi Party Piece” is the comic version of getting drunk at a party and drawing dicks on everything in sight. Less funny, tho. The panel of the sushi chef’s body is striking, but trying so hard to offend that you kinda laugh.

    factualopinion @hermanos “advocated a fusion of p*rn and medicine”–that didn’t get you? such a good line. have you read the collection of his that p-box dropped? i don’t think he’s trying. this is what he cares about, feels pure.

    debaoki IMHO, there’s no one else out there who draws such incredibly over-the-top, gleefully offensive material like Nemoto

    debaoki okay! on to “Puppy Love” by Yusaku Hanakuma, the creator of “Tokyo Zombie”

    snubpollard “Puppy Love” – The IQ Zero designation suggests a parody of ultra-blunt societal allegories. Like The Neighbor but making fun of shit.

    debaoki I actually liked “Puppy Love” a lot better than Tokyo Zombie — it works on a lot of levels. the ending is perfect!

    snubpollard A bit like the iguana girl story in A Drunken Dream, but comically undercutting it by looking crappy. Wonderfully awful end joke.

    hermanos If it were a cartoon, “Puppy Love” would end with an iris out when the dad goes “Not again!” I love this one.

    factualopinion dug this one, i’m a fan of this guy’s stuff. the part where he’s held back from preventing his last “son’s” death is spot on.

    debaoki alrighty — are we ready for “The Brilliant Ones” by Namie Fujieda?

    snubpollard “The Brilliant Ones” – Huh, following Hanakuma with a mostly straightforward variation on the same. This reads like a one-off in a seinen magazine, and not one skewing too old either. Mild sarcasm doesn’t sharpen it up.

    debaoki This one really caught me off guard — it was the one story that looked like “regular” manga — until the guy exploded into maggots?
    i enjoyed how it made fun of the dumb platitudes that teachers spout at students to try to get them to “be all they can be.”

    factualopinion “Brilliant Ones” was a classic middling exercise. doesn’t go far enough in either direction to land.

    snubpollard Generally, the upfront metaphor stuff in here hasn’t done it for me.

    factualopinion design for the butterfly creature at the end was boring as hell. maggots turn into balloon animals: snooze

    debaoki it’s true — the material in AX is not uniformly wonderful. there are definite highs and lows.

    factualopinion @debaoki that’s probably a good thing though, right? when dealing with avant-garde, extreme results are the norm.

    debaoki after all the absurdity & non-sequiturs, it was almost strange to read a straightforward tale like “The Hare & The Tortoise”

    snubpollard “The Hare & the Tortoise” – EEEWW, classic compositional fuck up on pg 196!

    debaoki @snubpollard oh? what’s the fuck up on p. 196?

    factualopinion @debaoki dialog reversal. “eh, yes” should be in the second panel, not the third.

    snubpollard @debaoki The panel flow does a U-turn from top right to left, then back to right, then onward. Kills pace dead.

    debaoki @factualopinion i see! yeah, there are several production glitches in this book, which seems odd, since they delayed it a few times. it’s funny, in a straightforward story like the hare and the tortoise, glitches are more apparent. like on page 198, panel 3 — the rabbit’s head is awfully tiny compared to his body.

    hermanos @snubpollard @factualopinion Yeah, it’s a panel flow thing. If you go R-L, and then down, inexplicably, it’s fine.

    snubpollard There’s AT LEAST three too many panels detailing the turtles’ cunning scheme in here

    factualopinion @snubpollard i’m not sure that’s the cartoonist. the sweat on the rabbit indicates a lack of confidence. shouldn’t “eh, yes” be there?

    factualopinion @snubpollard i’m not sure that’s the cartoonist. the sweat on the rabbit indicates a lack of confidence. shouldn’t “eh, yes” be there?

    snubpollard @factualopinion I dunno, it’s… it’s like he’s cool at first, but then his nerves come hilariously out, you know?

    factualopinion @snubpollard i’ll bow to you on this. either way, it’s too long, feels like an unnecessary sequel, like Extreme Aesop 2.

    hermanos @factualopinion “Extreme Aesop 1″ was the not-hit-but-pretty-good CGI movie “Hoodwinked.” Look it up!

    hermanos “the Tortoise & The Hare” was my favorite story in the book, in part because it’s so normal. It was my favorite as a kid, too. I can’t even pretend that it’s an outstanding work– it’s just a pretty good and well drawn retelling of a story I already enjoy.

    debaoki @hermanos true — it’s a rare all-ages appropriate story in a collection that has content that is “strictly for adults”

    debaoki alrighty — on to “The God” & “The Twin Adults” by Kotobuki Shiriagari

    factualopinion what do you call this style? it looks like a rough approximation of zen brush drawing.

    debaoki @factualopinion yeah, it reminds me of a zen koan / riddle manga…

    hermanos “The God” and “The Twin Adults” blew right past me. It’s one of the few stirps I just straight up “didn’t get.”

    debaoki @factualopinion it’s kind of like “Waiting for Godot” — if Satre were Japanese and had a sense of humor. ;-)

    factualopinion @debaoki you mean Beckett, right?

    debaoki @factualopinion you are correct!! doh! >_<

    8 Responses to AXed transcript, part one

    1. Hi all,
      Its Sean the Ax editor. Thanks for these detailed look at the book. The scan problems on several pages were annoying for me too, and an example of how problems can still come out DESPITE very careful prep work. It was caused by these pages being scanned from the original books. The problems were not noticed at pdf stage, or printer proofs – or rather, they were not noticeably THERE at such stages. And we are talking about very experienced comic book people checking. It was only once the book had been printed that they came out. That happens sometimes -Shoganai. But I am determined that it wont happen again…

      I am in Minneapolis right now, and will give my AX/Gekiga talk today at the college of art and design, which has a good little academic style conference on manga and anime.

      Best, Sean

    2. [...] AXed, round two Our Twitter discussion of Top Shelf’s AX anthology continues tonight (Sunday, Sept. 26) at 8 p.m. I’m not sure who’ll be participating this evening, but I’m sure it will be lively. We’ll be looking at the second half of the book, which has some of my favorite stories. Here’s a transcript of the first round of conversation. [...]

    3. [...] Welsh curated and collected a discussion of the alt-manga anthology AX on Twitter on Friday and Sunday [...]

    4. [...] anticipated by many in the mangasphere. David Welsh of the Manga Curmudgeon organized a massive Twitter discussion of the huge volume. Starting at the beginning of the book, the participants give their [...]

    5. [...] being great conversation, it was a wonderfully creative use of the medium. Here are links to parts one and two, and a bit of an [...]

    6. [...] Editor Sean Michael Wilson was interviewed about his goals for this project, and a group of critics on Twitter discussed every story in September. (The publisher provided a review copy.) Similar Posts: Genju no [...]

    7. [...] David Brothers, Joe McCulloch, Ryan Sands, & Scott Green – “AXed” Intro | Part 1 | Part 2: Suat has already expressed his dismay at the inclusion of AXed in this year’s list [...]

    8. [...] The Twitter review round-up of the Ax anthology. On retrospect, I probably should have switched my vote here for Andrei Molotiu’s excellent piece on Steve Ditko, which I had completely forgotten about for reasons I can’t possibly fathom. At the time though, I was quite enamoured with this unique manner of roundtable discussion and that, despite the 140 character limit, managed to provide a good overview of the anthology and its strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, 2010 seemed to me to be a year where the critical discourse was as much reflected by online discussions and conversations as much as it was by the one-person, one-perspective essay, and I wanted to reflect that in my final vote somehow. [...]

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