The Monday after the Saturday

November 14, 2005

Surprising me not at all, I flubbed some of the details in Diamond’s top 100 graphic novels. A kindly correspondent wrote to point out that there 22 manga titles in the top 100 graphic novel chart. I missed Alone In My Kings Harem (more yaoi from Digital Manga at #68), Push Man and Other Stories (Drawn and Quarterly at #89), and Ultimate Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cinemanga (Tokyopop at #75). (Can you blame me for missing that last one?) Also Del Rey had two titles in September’s chart Negima! vol.07 at #20 and Wallflower vol.05 at #98.

In a slightly related development, the nightmare that was Love Manga’s absence from the blogosphere is now over.

In another slightly related development, Digital Manga had to delay its scheduled October and November yaoi titles until December.

And now it’s time for the “Hell is other people” portion of the program. I had high hopes for a weekend trip up to Pittsburgh, hoping to do some comics shopping in a chic urban setting (all things being relative to West Virginia). A visit to a comic shop I’d really enjoyed several months ago was a bust, in part because of That Guy, the apocryphal comics-shop weirdo who provides a running commentary on any damned thing that comes into his head at any (and every) given moment.

Of course I felt like a total crank for being bothered, because he was having a great time and the shop employees were clearly enjoying the patter, but it was kind of like being in a very small room with a running leaf blower. I’m not looking for a Japanese tea ceremony when I walk into a comics shop, but some measure of serenity would have been welcome.

Add to this the fact that the floor show was parked right in front of the rack of new graphic novels (my primary reason for the visit) and that the remainder of the graphic novel stock had apparently been organized by a conspiracy theorist trying to scratch out some desperate code by his or her seemingly random arrangement of titles, and you have me bolting for light and air and hope. Or at least a nice Thai lunch.

If you’re ever in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh and are craving this particular cuisine, look up My Thai. The food was really delicious, cheap, and the service was great. Everyone, from the owner to the bus person, apologized for the inconvenience of having a party of 35 in the adjacent room, but I never noticed any glitches in service.

Then there was the visit to Whole Foods. I love an extensive cheese department as much as the next person, but I’m also crazy about personal space. This didn’t seem to be a priority for the other customers. I did share their reluctance to dive into the wonderful world of spelt, though.

Desperate not to leave an urban area without making some comics purchases, I did some panic shopping at a Borders on the way home. While I don’t think this was designed specifically to irritate me, every title I was looking for was shelved in the wrong place. Death Note? Filed under S. Love Mode? Under M. Tenshi Ja Nai? I don’t even remember where I found that one. Maybe it was with the cookbooks.

Fortunately, my naturally sunny disposition returned in time to write this week’s Flipped, a gush-a-thon over the wonderful Sexy Voice and Robo.