Comics Alternative, Manga: Reviews of My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and Golden Kamuy

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Getting Real

It’s the end of the month, so that must mean that it’s time for Shea and Derek to discuss their latest manga recommendations. They begin with Kabi Nagata’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (Seven Seas Entertainment), a deeply personal autobiographical work whose title is perhaps more provocative than it is revealing. In fact, the guys spend a good bit of time talking about the underlying impulses embedded in the text and how sexual preferences take a backseat to the deeper longings that Nagata reveals. This is a manga all about self-discovery, a diary-like account of the author’s attempts to understand herself within the context of her culture and her yearning for what she calls “next level communication.” As Derek and Shea highlight, this is in some ways an example yuri manga, but at the same time such a designation doesn’t do the text justice.

Next, they look at the first volume of Satoru Noda’s Golden Kamuy (VIZ Media). This is a more realistically based narrative that takes place in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War. The protagonist, Saichi Sugimoto, gained a reputation during the war as an almost invulnerable hero, but he lives his post-war years unsuccessfully prospecting for gold in the Hokkaido region. There he befriends a young Ainu woman, Asirpa, and together they begin hunting down a legendary hidden treasure with a violent pedigree. Both Shea and Derek appreciate the story’s realism and historical context — in many ways, this is a didactic text — but they’re not yet sure of how Noda will handle the indigenous Ainu culture. That being said, they’re both definitely on board for future volumes.

 

 

Deconstructing Comics #412: Add Manga and Mix Well

Marine Corps Yumi and Hollow Fields

This week, Tim talks with two women who are mixing Japanese and Western influences in their comics!

First, Ana Moreno, former US Marine and writer of Marine Corps Yumi, drawn in a gag-manga style by Takeshi Nogami. A gag manga about joining the Marines?! (available in both English and Japanese)

Then, Aussie Madeleine Rosca, creator of Hollow Fields (reviewed on last week’s show). Why does her work read right to left? Does she get any guff from readers about imitating a Japanese style? Also, the art of revealing neither too many nor too few secrets as your story moves forward, and more.

Deconstructing Comics site

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Deconstructing Comics #411: Exploring the “Seven Seas” for OEL Manga

OEL Manga

You may have been vaguely aware that a number of non-Japanese are drawing very manga-esque comics that are published in English only. They’re known as Original English Language (or “OEL”) manga, and many of them are published by Seven Seas Entertainment. Is this an area of comics worth exploring?

This week, Kory and Tim randomly pick up three of Seven Seas’ OEL titles (clockwise from upper right): The Outcast, by Vaun Wilmott and Edward Gan; Free Runners, by Bill Strauss and Jennyson Rosero; and Hollow Fields, by Madeleine Rosca.

Deconstructing Comics site

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