As Seen Online, Part 2

A couple of articles from The Japan Times have caught my eye recently. First was Tattoo as art on human canvases, which focuses on the work of Horiyoshi III but also briefly looks at the history of tattoos and tattoo culture in Japan. I have some ink myself, so I found this article to be particularly fascinating. The second article was Japanese whiskeys get foothold in U.S. I and those I live with are huge whiskey fans although they are much more knowledgeable than I will ever be. I’ve heard good things about some Japanese whiskeys, and in general they are starting to gain a bit more respect. I have yet to actually try any, but I certainly would like to.

Deb Aoki, with additional commentary by Robin Brenner (who I had the pleasure of seeing at the 2010 American Library Association Annual Conference), has posted a list of 50 Essential Manga for Libraries over on Manga. The list emerged as part of the discussion about why Libraries Are Not The Same as Manga Scanlation Sites. As a librarian I was particularly interested in seeing what would make the cut and why and as a manga reader I was curious to see which ones my library already owned. There’s a little bit of something for everyone—popular series, classics, as well newer works. I’ve at least heard of if not read most of the titles, but it’s an interesting and useful list.

And speaking of lists, The Japan Society has posted a Japan-related reading list on their blog—Summer Reads: Some Are Japan. It has a good mix of fiction and non-fiction materials and even includes Osamu Tezuka’s manga, Buddha. I own a few of the books on the list (I’m currently working my through Royall Tyler’s translation of Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji) but there are several others that I’ll be adding to my reading pile.

Over at Soliloquy in Blue, Michelle Smith and Melinda Beasi have started a new monthly feature called Let’s Get Visual in order to improve their critiquing of the visual aspects of manga. In their first installment they take a look at the third volume of Rei Hiroe’s Black Lagoon and the fifteenth volume of Takeshi Obata and Yumi Hotta’s Hikaru No Go. I’m excited for this series since I personally find artwork difficult to review and I hope that I might be able to learn a thing or two as they work it out themselves.

I have no idea how I missed the fact that a film had been made from Osamu Tezuka’s very dark but very excellent manga MW. Fortunately, Serdar Yegulalp posted his reactions over on Genji Press. Now I just need to figure out how to track down a copy that I can actually watch.

As Seen Online

As most people have probably heard by now, phenomenal director, writer, and animator Satoshi Kon passed away on August 24, 2010 from pancreatic cancer. I’ve only seen two of his films—Millennium Actress and his directorial debut Perfect Blue—both of which were frickin’ fantastic and I really need to see more of his work. He will be greatly missed. (Post from Anime News Network)

There are two posts from Deb Aoki over at Manga that I want to point out. First is the 2010 Comic-Con Best and Worst Manga Panel. It lists the manga mentioned during the panel and includes commentary and links. Fairly short, but definitely entertaining, you’ll find the best and worst manga from 2009-2010, the most anticipated releases, and manga that the panelists would like to see licensed in English. I recognized quite a few of the titles and learned about more. The second post is the transcript of her interview with Felipe Smith. Smith is the creator of Peepo Choo, perhaps one of the most contentious manga that I’ve seen released recently. People seem to either love it or hate it, but either way the interview is great.

Dave Walsh is running a cool series at The Manga Curmudgeon and is making his way through The Seinen Alphabet, commenting on magazines and individual seinen titles. He’s made it up to F so far.

Over at Manga Bookshelf, Melinda Beasi and Michelle Smithtake a quick look at some boys’ love/yaoi titles recently released by Blu and Digital Manga with BL Bookrack: August Mix, including the first volume of Mika Sadahiro’s Under Grand Hotel (which should be arriving in my mailbox soon).

I have been trying for quite some time now to get my hands on a copy of the first volume of AX: Alternative Manga, but it seems to be on backorder everywhere I look. In the meantime, TFWA has an interview with Sean Michael Wilson, the editor of the book: Sean Michael Wilson Introduces Us to AX Alternative Manga.