Lots of links

Publishers Weekly Comics Week gets into the license request game with the launch of its “Found in Translation” column. Jonathan Bethune contributes the inaugural installment, which focuses on Berry Dynamite, by the creator of Love*Com, rounded out by a request for more Golgo 13.

Speaking of license requests, you know how I love to mine awards programs for likely candidates, so thanks to Gia Manry for sharing the 2010 nominees for the Manga Taishou Awards.

Over at comiXology (which really has one of the finest line-ups of columns of any comics site on the web), Kristy Valenti looks at the conclusion of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket:

Fruits Basket is what I personally define as a ‘fat’ text: something that can support discourse on its themes and engender different (but germane) responses in its readers. (As opposed to a “thin” text, in which the author lays it all out for you on the surface, with no real entry point for interpretation: for example, I find Neil Gaiman’s novels to be disappointingly ‘thin.’)”

The Hooded Utilitarian crew and friends are in the midst of another roundtable discussion, this time on the first three volumes of xxxHoLic by CLAMP. Thus far, most participants seem to find it visually striking but not as well-written as they’d like. I admit that this is my usual reaction to work by CLAMP, though I think xxxHoLic improves as it goes along and has become my favorite CLAMP work available in English. I’ll point you to the contribution by Ng Suat Tong, which links to all of the pieces thus far and includes this intriguing and provocative statement:

“For some reason, I’ve found that western readers seem to be far kinder to commercial dreck from the shores of Japan, lacing their reviews with only the mildest of reservations. Is this representative of a certain indifference to the qualities of commercial manga or is there some sort of cultural forbearance and variation in standards at work here?”

And to wrap up, a few links to reviews I enjoyed:

  • Danielle Leigh on Natsume Ono’s not simple, because glowing reviews of that excellent book cheer me
  • Kate Dacey on Kou Matsuzuki’s Happy Café, because Kate’s writing is always a pleasure to read and because she gives a shout-out to the underrated Cafe Kichijoji de
  • Nina Stone on a blind date with manga, which is almost certain to trigger some lively chatter in the comments.
  • 4 Responses to Lots of links

    1. Thanks for the link, David, and thanks for sussing out some great think-pieces. You’ve given me some great excuses to procrastinate!

    2. davidpwelsh says:

      No problem! Can’t wait for your contribution to the roundtable.

    3. Judi says:

      I was astounded to see that someone other than myself thinks that CLAMP is not the “end all” that most readers wish/think them to be.
      I, personally, while not disliking, have no particular affinity for CLAMP. xxxHolic is by far my favorite, followed by Legal Drug, after that I’m not impressed.
      I would much rather spend hard earned dollars on other mangakas, such as Fumi Yoshinaga,Takehiko Inoue, Osamu Tezuka, etc.

    4. davidpwelsh says:

      My general reaction to their work is that it’s more about mood than story or character, and I’m a story/character-focused reader, so… not always for me. Though their work is often undeniably beautiful.

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