August 22, 2006

Comics blogging used to seem so simple – read comics, write about them, and, with any luck, interesting discussion will ensue. But recent experience has taught me that there are whole layers of impregnable doctrine that render me utterly unqualified to comment on comics not specifically targeted towards my demographic. Well, at least I shouldn’t talk about them through any kind of personal lens that reflects my life or tastes or experience, because then I’m being a cultural imperialist.

So maybe I’ll just confine myself to talking about those comics that are targeted at the late-thirty-something gay man.

Does anyone else hear crickets chirping?

Anyway, with this more enlightened guiding principle in mind, let’s take a look at what this week’s comics hold for me.

I think I could probably get away with Action Philosophers: The People’s Choice (Evil Twin). It’s not specifically targeted to my demographic, but there’s nothing to indicate that I’m excluded either, so we’re off to a promising start.

After reading Lyle’s thoughts on the preview, I’d been kind of interested in Beauty Pop (Viz – Shojo Beat), but I’m neither girl nor tween. In spite of Brigid’s reassurance that her daughters don’t rise up in a rage every time I write anything about Ultra Maniac, I just don’t think I should take the risk.

I’ve really been enjoying Death Note (Viz – Shonen Jump Advanced), but the barrier is right there in the brand. While the “advanced” creates a bit of leeway, It’s been decades since I could be categorized as “shonen” without the accompaniment of derisive laughter.

I think I can get away with Phoenix (Viz – Editor’s Choice), but I’m still catching up on that one, so the current volume will have to wait.

If only First Second, Fanfare/Ponent Mon or Oni had some books coming out this week. Sure, :01 and Oni publish some books for young readers, and I’d have to steer clear of those, but F/PM would be safe as houses for me. (And with all the money I’m saving, I wouldn’t even be bothered by their higher price point!)

Drawn & Quarterly thoughtfully provided that Mr. Jean book, and there’s a companion piece out there. I’ll need to be careful not to try and appropriate the lead character’s heterosexuality for my own purposes, though. And I should probably steer clear of Moomin, which just breaks my heart. I could always improve my French and track down some of the autobiographical comics by Fabrice Neaud.

Alternately, I could read whatever I please, but do so in secret, like a male Japanese teen sneaking looks at his sister’s copy of Bessatsu Margaret when nobody else is around.

Or I could just follow Brigid’s advice to “Read what you like, write what you want, no need to apologize. Life is too short.”