More NonSense: Weird Wonderful Japan

Dr. Tenma by Faith Erin Hicks
Dr. Tenma by Faith Erin Hicks
Some linkblogging about that country's increasingly ubiquituous pop culture, manga, and random other stuff. Let's get to it then.

Patrick W. Galbraith examines the sexual politics and socio-economic aspects of maid cafés in Japan.

Erica Friedman surveys the Japanese manga magazines that are harder to pigeonhole. It's nice to know that Garo and Ax aren't the only perodicals bucking convention.

Tony Yao compares the runaway success of One Piece in Japan with its more modest sales in the United States.

Dale North drools over Haagen-Dazs Dolce and Dean & Deluca Ice Cream from Japan.

Oh, and the cherry blossoms are already in bloom. Sakura....

And if that doesn't satisfy one's curiosity about the country, there's Christopher Butcher's ongoing travelogue, accompanied by many personal photos.


Faith Erin Hicks draws Monster fan art and talks about her formative manga influences.

Speaking of influences, while I've been less than satisfied with Jason Thompson's 365 Days of Manga project, his ongoing House of 1000 Manga is more along the lines of what I hoped for in his online reviews. Individual posts are lengthy and entertaining, detailing the content of each manga and its cultural impact within Japan and the U.S. His review of the seminal series Sailor Moon makes me even more annoyed about its absence from bookstores.

Tokyopop's dramatic fall from grace under Stuart Levy's stewardship truly rankles Brigid Alverson.

Michael Arthur and Melinda Beasi on the shortcomings of BL manga and the appeal of "intimacy porn".

R.C. Harvey uses the comic strip Zits to showcase what comics can only do.

Rich Johnston on the extensive recoloring of the recent reprint edition of Tales of Asgard. To answer the question posed at the end: I myself tend to look at these things on a case-by-case basis. While there's no doubt that modern printing methods can produce superior reproductions with better coloring, that's separate from the issue of whether a totally new coloring style adds or detracts from the art. Sure, some artists might benefit from it. But does the more rounded, shaded, "sculpted" color rendering suit the flatter, dynamic, graphic, geometric figures of a Jack Kirby? It's not as if the comic can't be reprinted with better colors, but in a more complementary style.