From the comfort of my armchair

January 29, 2009

Over at Good Comics for Kids, Brigid Alverson has opened up discussion on the recently announced 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. Instead of clogging up the GC4K comments section, I’ll just jot down some of my impressions here:

It’s good to hear that the Young Adult Library Services Association will be expanding the creator credits. (Tom Spurgeon noted the shortcoming yesterday.) Now I’m thinking that I should always make a point of identifying the translators and adapters who work on manga when I write about it at length (as opposed to the kind of drive-by references that are to follow in this post), as they certainly play an essential creative role.

I agree with Dirk Deppey’s dismissal of Life Sucks (First Second). When I saw the list, I briefly toyed with the idea of re-reading the book to see if it was as slapdash and movie-pitch cynical as I remember, but I’d rather devote my time to reading books that might be good as opposed to re-evaluating ones that I already think are bad.

Normally, the inclusion of a Green Lantern comic written by Geoff Johns would make me scratch my head in bafflement, but I’ve seen so many unexpected people say nice things about the book that I might actually have to plop down with a copy at Barnes & Noble and see what all the fuss is about. I’m not so curious that I’d buy one, because Green Lantern always bored me to tears, and my memories of Johns will always be [Edited to note: incorrectly] defined by Identity Crisis and that issue of Avengers where Hank Pym went spelunking, but I’d browse the trades that made the list.

I think one of Brigid’s starter questions, “Why is there only one book from DC’s high-end teen imprint Minx on the list, when much-neglected CMX scored a number of hits?”, answers itself, though not in a particularly kindly manner for Minx, so I’ll just say that I’m happy for CMX, particularly Yuki Nakaji’s Venus in Love.

I love that Junji Ito’s Uzumaki (Viz) made the list. Older teens are still teens. And when you figure that teens are probably the primary audience for dreadful garbage like the Saw movie franchise, at least someone is trying to point them towards good violent horror.

Oh, how I love Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo (Vertical). I know it shouldn’t be, but it’s probably my favorite translated Tezuka manga.

I need to stop dragging my feet and get a copy of The War at Ellsmere (SLG) by Faith Erin Hicks.


House… of HORROR

January 29, 2009

Actually, I think it’s kind of cute. The Mainichi Daily News reports that legendary horror manga-ka Kazuo Umezu has won the right in court to paint his house however he likes. And when you consider the design choices he could have made…