Things I managed to get done today:
- pondered making my website Retina-friendly by either adding in some twice-sized copies of images or by switching some of them to svg (both have their problems, I think it’d probably be a mix of both)
- wrote rough script for the next page of Rita
- went to the library and dropped off the overdue collection of Zelazny short stories I forgot to bring in last time
- took some more stuff out of their graphic novel holdings
I’ve been intermittently going to the central library and browsing stuff. Mostly graphic novels. And mostly manga. I’ve stayed away from it for years but having a bunch of it available on the shelves without me having to pay anything makes me go “well, why not”? I’ve been reading various series.
* “Pluto“, by Naoki Urusawa. This is based on “The Greatest Robot On Earth”, an Astro Boy story arc. Eight volumes, pretty worth reading. It made me cry a couple of times. It’s about robots and people and what is the nature of humanity and all that kind of stuff. Also there are occasional fights.
yeah, this spread is in French, sorry. It’s the only image I could find online of one of the sequences I found really affecting, in which a burnt-out military robot becomes the servant of a cranky old blind robot-hating composer because he wants to become a great musician himself.
* “Gantz“, by Hiroya Oku. I’m not sure why I keep reading this, it’s super slow-moving. And Oku has this super-annoying habit of starting chapters with drawings of girls with big titties falling out of skimpy versions of the powersuits used in the story. The premise is interesting – there’s this mysterious black sphere that makes duplicates of people who die, and sends them out to fight weird aliens, then lets them go about their normal lives – but oh god the juvenile teenage boobfrenzy. There’s about a zillion volumes and an animated adaptation.
* “Gunsmith Cats” by Kenichi Sonoda. Several teenage girls in suits are somehow arms dealers and master shots. Also there are seventies muscle cars. I think this one’s pretty popular, I’ve heard the name before, but honestly it did next to nothing for me – I took out one thick volume that was probably about the size of three ordinary manga collections, and haven’t had any desire to get more.
* “Suppli” , by Mariki Okazaki. holy crap. I snagged this today because I wanted to read some romance manga as opposed to the adventure I’d been reading, and I’m blown away. It’s a terribly normal situation – a woman who works in advertising breaks up with her boyfriend, and has to rediscover how to connect with people and maybe find romance – but the art! Okazaki shifts styles, she has incredibly free-form panel compositions, and everything is just so damn pretty. And despite this all her characters have very individual faces.
I could only find images from chapter 1 online. Which is a shame because there are some really nice spreads in chapter 4 that show metaphors for the lead character’s emotions just sprawling across the page. I stopped after that chapter and just closed the book, because I need to process what I’ve just read. I dunno if it’ll affect Rita, but I’m pretty sure reading this series is going to do something to my work somewhere down the line. Drowning City would certainly be enhanced by this kind of attitude, if nothing else. I think I need to read more stuff like this. I’ve heard about the things more emotion-focused manga do but I haven’t really SEEN them until now.
I still fuckin’ hate reading right-to-left, though. It’s a constant struggle to parse the balloons and panels in the proper order.