Critiquing Comics #116: “The Love Suicides at Sonezaki” and “I am an A.L.T.”

Love Suicides/ALT

This time, two Japan-related comics from our friends at Big Ugly Robot Press in Nagoya: Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a story adapted from Bunraku puppet theatre by Chieko Kobayashi; and I Am an A.L.T. by Ian M., a memoir of the twists and turns of the author’s English teaching career in Japan — a topic on which Tim and (especially) Mulele have plenty to say! If you’re considering teaching English in Japan, listen to this episode — and read Ian’s book!

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Deconstructing Comics #541: Kyoto Manga Museum

Kyoto Manga Museum

Most people don’t equate the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan, with comics, but that happens to be the location of a museum and reading library of comics from Japan and around the world. Tim visited The Kyoto International Manga Museum recently, and this week he discusses it with Kobe-based comics creator Graeme McNee.

Also, a stopoff in Nagoya to chat with Adam Pasion, head of Big Ugly Robot Press, and co-organizer of the Comic Art Tokyo event.

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Deconstructing Comics #540: Jim Zub

Wayward

Jim Zub loves Japan. He visited twice last year, including in October for the Kaigai Manga Festa. He set his Image series Wayward in Japan; it’s drawn by Yokohama resident Steven Cummings. In this week’s show, Jim talks about the effort to make Wayward‘s Japan feel as close to the real one as possible; playing in the sandbox of Marvel’s Thunderbolts, the harsh realities of the North American comics market, making yourself known in the industry, and more.

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Deconstructing Comics #532: Deconstructing “Deconstructing Comics”

takingstockDCPWhat is this podcast? How could it be better? Tim gives his thoughts. What are yours?

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Deconstructing Comics #531: “Little in Japan” & “Cucumber Quest”

littleinjapan-cucumberquest

When webcomics creators aren’t creating webcomics, what are they reading? This week we check in with a couple of creators whose work we’ve looked at previously — Victor Edison and Maya Kern — and get their recommendations: Chris Carlier’s “Little in Japan” and G.G. Digi’s “Cucumber Quest“!

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Deconstructing Comics #529: “The Summit of the Gods”

The Summit of the Gods

An old camera found in a shop in Kathmandu starts up a sometimes exasperating, but ultimately engrossing, story of climbing Mt. Everest, with one of the most satisfying endings you’ll ever see. Kumar (who translated the story into English for Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s edition) and Tim discuss Baku Yumemakura and Jiro Taniguchi’s The Summit of the Gods.

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Deconstructing Comics #524: “Assassination Classroom”

Assassination ClassroomHe’s taken a bite out of the moon! He’s threatening to destroy earth! He’s… teaching junior high? What is the many-tentacled Koro Sensei up to? Why is he up for letting a bunch of 14-year-olds try to kill him? Tim and Kumar talk about Yuusei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom – incomprehensible sound effects and all!

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Deconstructing Comics #521: Kaigai Manga Festa 2016, part two!

Kaigai Manga Festa 2016

Part two of our roundup of creators who tabled at this year’s Kaiga Manga Festa, including talks with Graeme Mc Nee, Matthew Forsythe, Karl Kerschl, and our own Mulele!

Creators show their work to editors at Comitia, the larger festival alongside Kaigai on October 23, 2016

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Deconstructing Comics #509: Comic Art Tokyo 2016!

CAT

Comic Art Tokyo (CAT), organized by Adam Pasion of Big Ugly Robot Press and James Stacey of Black Hook Press, was held at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo on July 31, 2016. Tim was there, recorder in hand, talking to tablers!

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#507 Excel Saga

Excel Saga

A fantastically undermanned operation is laying the groundwork to take over the world — starting with Fukuoka, Japan! That’s the premise of Rikdo Koshi’s Excel Saga, which ran in Japan from 1996 to 2011, and started in North America in 2003, where three volumes made it into the top 50 graphic novels chart. But now, with the manga boom long past, it seems to have faded to obscurity. Tim and Kumar take a look at the first three volumes to decide whether its current obscurity is fully deserved.

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Deconstructing Comics #506: Drawing, Translating, Podcasting

Brandon_dragonPodcast co-founder Brandon talks about building a daily drawing regimen, using Scott Robertson’s How to Draw.

Then Kumar tells us about each of the various manga titles he’s recently translated. Looking for some good manga to read? Here are some ideas!

Finally, Tim talks about attempting to make podcasting profitable, and his self-published English study book and comic.

Below: a timetable of the episode, and more art from Brandon.

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Deconstructing Comics #502: “One Punch Man”

One Punch ManOne Punch Man was originally a crudely-drawn Web comic by a guy calling himself “One”. But then the story, with art by slick manga artist Yusuke Murata, was picked up for publisher Shueisha’s Young Jump Web Comics website in 2012. It subsequently became an anime, and the manga is available in English from Viz.

This week, Tim and Kumar take a look, to discuss whether the story is really served by Murata’s typical manga art, and the good and bad points of the comic as it exists.

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Critiquing Comics #090: Here, After; Coco Soco; Apartment Hunt

Here, After; Coco Soco; Apartment Hunt

Critiquing Comics returns with a look at three comics with connections to past DCP and CCP episodes:

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ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 66: Image’s MONSTRESS by Marjorie Liu

https://soundcloud.com/comicsverse/episode-66-marjorie-lius-monstress

MONSTRESS, written by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda, is an all-new series from IMAGE comics. At the center of the story is Maika Halfwolf, a young arcanic (i.e. non-human) girl with a mysterious past and an even more mysterious power she can’t control. Tortured by the murder of her mother, Maika searches for both answers and revenge to her mother’s death with a single-minded focus. With only 3 issues out so far, the fantasy epic is focused primarily on world building and setting the stage for what promises to be an out-of-this-world plot full of deception, betrayal, discovery, witches, arcanists, spirits, magic, ghosts, and gods. Set during a fragile truce between the Arcanic and the Human Federation (The Motherland) and their Cumaea allies, MONSTRESS is a story about war and the effects of war on those most often forgotten – the victims. Along the way, however, MONSTRESS addresses timeless issues surrounding race, power negotiations, slavery, inequality, what it means to be human, the power of memory to shape both identity and the role the dead play in transforming ongoing life.

LISTEN: Did you know Marjorie Liu wrote for Marvel’s ASTONISHING X-MEN? Our podcast on Emma Frost is a great introduction to the X-Men world!

In this podcast, ComicsVerse contributors Kay Honda, Kristine Don, Mirae Lee, Emily Coleman, and Génesis Tuyuc examine how Liu and Takeda use fantasy as a means to explore oppression, subjugation, race and gender relations, and the idea of otherness in the war-ravaged world of MONSTRESS. How do Liu and Takeda use a matriarchal society to subvert genre standards? How do Liu and Takeda enrich the world of MONSTRESS, specifically with the use Asian mythology and landscapes?

We also consider Maika as a protagonist and what her relationships or lack thereof reveal about who she was, who she is, and who she isn’t. Is Maika a hero in the strictest sense or is she morally ambiguous? What is the significance of her handicap? What is the importance of the highly feared and desired ‘mask’ which Maika carries within her? Who are these Leviathans and why is Maika the only one who can see them? How can we analyze each character using Batson’s Truth Characterization and what does this reveal about their truth, their flaw, and their conflict?

CLICK: Want to read more MONSTRESS? We analyzed the first issue rather extensively in this review!

This podcast delves into the power storytelling has to reveal uncomfortable truths about the monster in all of us. From all of us here at ComicsVerse, we hope you enjoy this podcast and join us in our discussion of the fantasy epic MONSTRESS in the comments below!

For your convenience, this podcast is also available on iTunes!

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunessource: http://comicsverse.com/episode-66-monstress/

homepage: http://comicsverse.com

Deconstructing Comics #310 Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” and “Vagabond”

Slam Dunk/VagabondFLASHBACK! Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk is easily mistaken for a serious sports manga. Pick it up, though, and you’ll find instead a hilarious ensemble comedy that just happens to involve basketball. Still, the series is credited with basketball’s 90s popularity in Japan, and led Inoue to create several other basketball-related series. But is oeuvre isn’t all hoops; he’s also the creator behind Vagabond, a sometimes-violent but intriguing take on the life of 17th-century historical figure Miyamoto Musashi. Tim and Kumar dig into both series.

Originally published February 27, 2012

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