type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
The Thing With Franco-Belgian Comics is that I buy them 110% for the nostalgia value, though which nostalgia here is debatable - the only one of them belonging to my childhood is Asterix. I never much cared for Tintin (it's the art); Spirou and Fantasio I only really discovered as an adult, and I love it but it's also kinda... hard to defend, on quality measures? It's essentially a fifties boys' adventure series that never really grew out of the fifties, and god only knows what it sells itself on these days. It's not parody the way Asterix was parody, it's not really comedy, very shallowly political, and the format is too short to allow for drama or engaging plots. I guess it's essentially aimed at the same market as the Donald Duck pocket books, except that they clearly have some kind of artistic ambition; The Moran and Munuera run might've had some storytelling issues, but I forgive them all of it, all of it, for how bloody gorgeous those pages are.

So also with The One With Borneo. No, no panning citiscapes or actions scenes in breathtaking angles, but a lot of really gorgeous animals, really pretty Franco-Belgian backgrounds, and that one thing that I love so much about modern Spirou: they've taken the European caricatured style out of its original stiff format and made it work with dynamic panels, in closeups and in serious scenes. This one is particularly good at it. There are also some dream sequences that honestly work a lot better for me than non-verbal dream sequences in comics normally do. Can't say much about the story: It's Spirou and Fantasio, it's a fifties boys' adventure story with a fixed ending and an appropriately politically correct moral. I'm not reading this for the plot and neither are you.

I'm also 95% certain that Spirou and Fantasio are a couple in this one, and believe me, having Spirou flirt with the Cute Art Teacher on the literal final page of the story just cements it further.
type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
I called Heart of Thomas the grandfather of mothern BL, and the father is, in our context, Maki Murakami's Gravitation.

a comparison of their glaringly obviuos common points )
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
School update:

1) No, there's no extra reading for writing the 5big paper, that was the uni webpage lying (they're also lying about the due date, but that was a matter of three days - I mean, just to note how they're being Very Professional)

2) Thus far, the part about the dialects has been repetition of what I did this autumn, just in my native language and in far more detail. So it's somewhere between "convenient repetition" and "wow I knew all of this already", and let's hope it continues like that.


INSTEAD, let's talk about how my incentive for finally learning Japanese arrived in the post



cut for pics )

I should probably write something about that, I guess, but the long and short of it is that ever since I discovered this half-scanlated masterpiece three years ago, I've been kinda serious about learning Japanese, because - I guess - I finally have an excuse.

So yeah, those things I said about fic in the last post? My prejudices and internalised resentment of the fangirl was not limited to that. I'll claim to be into comics and cartoons (no, I'll never call it "sequential art" and "animated film"), but the truth of it is that at least half of what I've consumed of those artforms since I was sixteen or so has been from Japan, and if that had been in any other language, then I'd sat down to learn it years ago, for sure. My ambitions about learning French might've started with some studies I read for my MA that didn't bother translating the French excerpts it used to illustrate the evolution of a certain novel format, but these days? Sure, I still want to learn French, but that's mostly because of the infuriatingly slow translation of Spirou et Fantasio around here.

But French has, well, it has history, it has class, it has a number of things to say about half of Europe's languages but English most pressingly, but Japanese is weabo and certainly when you're doing it because of the comics. The hilarious part is that I have absolutely no prejudices against other people learning it just for the comics, but desperately want to distance myself from it even if people IRL can clearly witness my FMA thermos mug.

And now I've paid enough money for Takemiya Keiko - oh, you don't want to know the story of me and the DVDs for Towards The Terra - for this to be justified.

Hiragana level: Practiced the s-row today
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
tl;dr watch them if you're a fan, but don't go to them if you want a taste of what the series are really about. This is Tsubasa on valium and xxxHolic on ACID.

Not really a review, because you don't need it )
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
SooOO Tokyo Babylon, boys and girls!
I just can't judge it at all )

Crossover count: The Clamp Campus series
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
I read Blue Is The Warmest Colour and got into thinking about the whole thing with first person POV in comics, because it seems to be such a... kinda contradictory thing? The purpose of first person narration IS the extreme intimacy and subjectivity of hearing a story from a character's mouth, yet the comic as a medium necessarily robs us of that subjectivity by also giving us a view of the action that is only limited by the panel's focus.

You don't get to see a comic through a character's eyes because comics can't do the handheld camera bullshit and even film long since realised that an entire film emulating someone's POV would kill the audience

Anyway, I went over and did the count.


STATUS OF MY SHELVES, CA. NOW:

Maus (biography, ca. mid-seventies to mid eighties?): First person voice past (the father telling of his story) and present (Spiegelman's reflections upon his re-telling of it)

Hugo Tate (fiction, roughly nineteen eighties): First person voice used in journal entries and letters to friends and family that are so self-centred that they obviously are just journal entries in disguise (that is: present)

Odilou (fiction, mid-eighties to mid nineties?): First person voice present

Palestine (documentary, early to mid nineties): First person voice present

Understanding comics (documentary, mid nineties): First person voice present

Strangers in Paradise (fiction, mid-nineties to late noughties): First person voice of various characters, on different occasions, present except for in the epilogue

Persepolis, Embroideres (autobiography, early noughties): First person voice retrospective

Blankets (autobiography, mid-noughties): First person voice retrospective

Daisy Kutter - The Last Train (fiction, mid-noughties): First person, but sparingly used and mainly seems to substitute thought bubbles; retrospective in the epilogue

Elfquest: The Searcher and the Sword (fiction, late noughties): First person voice retrospective

Blue Is The Warmest Colour (fiction, late noughties): First person voice used in diary entries read within a frame story

Herr Merz (biography, coupla years ago): First person voice used by quoting letters and other writings on the subject

Are You My Mother? (biography/autobiography, coupla years ago): First person voice present



Very quick thoughts to this:
- Documentary is overrepresented, with well over half of the titles here being either non-fiction or lightly fictionalised real events (Maus, Persepolis, Blankets)

- Mainstream comics are also underrepresented, with only three titles whose open and stated goal is to be light and entertaining instead of some degree of "deep" (Daisy Kutter, SiP and that Elfquest one). The rest of them do clearly have various degrees of special audience that does not include the normal comic-reading lot. More telling about my comic tastes than anything, I guess: the non-artsy-fartsy titles are all independent.

- The topic-oriented documentaries on my list (Maus, Palestine, Herr Merz) dwell, to a surprising degree, on the artist's struggle with telling the story. Seriously: How often do you see documentary films, far less non-fictional book, that spend a good third of the story detailing how the documentarist is being torn about the topic they're uncovering? Understanding Comics is the one exception, but that one's more like a textbook anyway.

- Palestine and Understanding Comics are the only titles on this list that ultimately isn't focused on the life of one human being.



One interesting thing to note is that the only time I've found first person narration used in manga would be in four of the stories in Kaoru Mori's Anything and Something, all short and two of them instances of a one-sided conversation between a fictive, off-screen part through whose eyes the story is seen, and the on-screen, speaking part. This is probably where someone should comment on the creepy thing with this being scantily-clad women speaking indirectly to the reader of seinen manga, but that someone won't be me because Kaori Mori so very clearly loves women for something else than their butts even if she does have a thing for bunny suits.
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
Kind of OT about my experiences with and prejudices towards genre )


God only knows why it was I decided to read Kaze to Ki no Uta despite having seen it mentioned somewhere that it's full of abuse and ends as expected. I had things to do this weekend. They didn't happen.


It turns out they don't hand out those prestigious comic awards just for being controversial )


In conclusion: FFFFU- it appears I need to learn Japanese now.
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
I read "Suki, A Like Story" years ago, and wrote it off as boring and badly suffering from Clamp's icky ideas of how love works. I read it again, and I changed my mind. A bit.

Not as dumb as I used to think but still plenty uncomfortable )
type_wild: (So what - Waya)
I started re-reading Chobits but it got to the point where I just didn't feel like wasting more time on it and just skipped ahead to read all the "oh Clamp" parts. The conclusion would be that the series is very cute but particularly the early parts are pandering to an audience of which I am not a part. Unfortunately, the story fails to engage me like it should (thus the skipping) and the final conclusion is... yeah, more on that below.

I'll just say the two things I really liked: the art style and the way more or less every character was portrayed. Except for the part with the nineteen year old girl and the man who was twice her age and married to his computer, and not in the figurative way.

Quick thoughts )

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