When a creative type is sufficiently prolific, he or she is bound to have highs and lows in his or her body of work. Heck, sometimes results can vary wildly when a creative type just has two major credits in his or her portfolio. Sometimes you may get Leave it to Chance and then Justice League: Cry for Justice, or Imadoki! may sit on the same resume as Absolute Boyfriend.
We ponder this uncomfortable juxtaposition of credits in this installment of “Free to a Good Home,” my intermittent manga give-away contest. Our specific subject is the prolific Natsume Ono, who currently has two works available in print and translation. And let’s just say that opinion has been divided on one of them.
“It is unfortunate that much of not simple reads like one of those somnambulant alt-comix dramas (like Alex Robinson’s Tricked).”
“As a result, not simple reads like a medieval martyr play, a grim catalog of one saintly individual’s bodily and emotional suffering. In a phrase: not recommended.”
“While it ultimately achieves a bunch of specific objectives–most of them manipulative family horror tricks–it mixes those with a terrible framing story, an unwillingness to portray its main character as anything more than a brainless victim, and a nice chunk of ineptitude when it comes to dealing with its gaping plot holes.”
“Ristorante Paradiso has a simple story that provides a basic framework for Ono to showcase her memorable characters and allow them to interact in a way that feels natural and unhurried.”
“Put simply, Ms. Ono, you won my heart back. I found Ristorante Paradiso an engaging story filled with complicated, true-to-life characters who I enjoyed getting to know.”
“This is nothing at all like what’s coming out in the Jump or Beat lines, and pretty much exactly what I want to see from Viz’s Signature line. Manga I had no idea I wanted, but now suddenly want to see more of.”
So here’s the drill: to enter, simply send me an e-mail mentioning two works by the same creative type, one that you liked a lot, one that disappointed you to some significant degree. You don’t need to limit yourself to the comics medium. Novels, movies, plays, TV series, songs, paintings, poems, whatever… if they hinge on the same artistic soul (say, Meryl Streep) and had decidedly mixed outcomes (say, Sophie’s Choice and She-Devil), they are fair game.
You must be 18 or older to enter. I’m perfectly willing to ship internationally, though it will be cheap and it will be slow, so I’m just warning you right now. Deadline for entries is 12 noon Eastern Standard Time Sunday, April 11, 2010, and entries should be sent to DavidPWelsh at Yahoo dot Com. The winner will be chosen at random and receive copies of not simple and Ristorante Paradiso.
Also, if you’re among the Ono early adopters and have a moment and an opinion, please cast your vote in the poll below!