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We will not be the only blogger this week to deny the greatness of Kazuo Umezu’s Cat Eyed Boy ! No sir. Not when Jakala, Dacey, Welsh and Mautner are doing it. No sir. Cat-Eyed Boy is disturbing and creepy and wonderful. Big ups to Viz for bringing it out in this sturdy, handsome two-volume set.


  1. snoid says

    Does anyone know if this reads left to right? or is it right to left? Thanks!

  2. says

    Right-to-left (unflipped).

    And it was actually Chris Mautner who named Cat Eyed Boy his Pick of the Week, but I’m sure Kevin would have blogged about it if he were still doing his old Comics, Covered blog. Those are some seriously snazzy covers!!

  3. says

    snoid, seriously? You wouldn’t read a great comic book just because it’s “backwards,” even though that’s the author’s original intention? That just seems nutty to me.

  4. snoid says

    It’s not like the people who won’t watch B&W movies because they are in B&W, it’s I just can’t read them. You know how some people can’t read comics. I’m the same way with right to left comics. I wish it wasn’t so because I know I’m missing out on some good manga, but my brain won’t let me read them right to left, maybe it’s a lifetime of read left to right comics I don’t know. So not really nutty, it’s how my brain is hard wired.

  5. says

    Huh….weird. I was reading manga back when all of them were flopped, and when they started printing them unflopped there was a bit of a learning curve, but I don’t think it took me more than a volume before I was in the swing of it.

  6. snoid says

    Weird is right, I’ve tried (many times) and I just can’t do it. I get all lost and can’t follow the story at all.

  7. says

    I equate it to being ambidextrous, it isn’t easy for everybody to read a picture right to left. I learned how while working for Kodansha (which eventualy led to being able to write backwards). I think one thing that makes manga “cool” for kids is that a lot of adults don’t “grok” how to read manga.

  8. Ed Brubaker says

    Yeah, I have a really hard time enjoying unflipped manga, too, sadly. I just can’t lose myself in at all, I’m always thinking about the backwards order.

  9. says

    It’s one of those acquired taste things, I think. I found it a bit jarring until I stumbled upon one particular manga that was so addictive that it dragged me over the hump.

    Yes, it was Iron Wok Jan.


  10. John Warren says

    Is it just me, or can your opening line be read two ways, Heidi?

    It sounds like you’re joining a group of people who are denying the greatness of Cat-Eyed Boy, when clearly you’re not….

    “I won’t be the only one denying its greatness–lots of us will deny its greatness!!!!!”


  11. says

    Ditto for me, too.
    And I loves me some manga. However… I am *very* aware of making myself read it properly when it is Right-to Left. I get tossed out the story several times, but that’s okay. The reward for the work is worth it.

    Not sure if it would be a deal breaker for me, though.
    If I want the story I’ll read it. Unless there is a possibility of a flipped version coming down the line… but that doesn’t happen often.

  12. cbrown says

    I just started to get into this new-fangled manga thing. I took me about halfway through the first volume of Deathnote before I really felt comfortable reading right-to-left, then I got the hang of it. I still have to mentally flip a switch in my head when I start, though, and I do sometimes have to stop for a second to figure out the panel sequence.

  13. says

    Umezu could be written in the blood of my mother on the back of my child, and I’d figure out a way to read it. He’s just that good.

  14. cbrown says

    Now that sounds like the most disgusting comic book ever, Tucker Stone.

    Would you have your child slabbed by the CGC?

  15. says

    I’ve been working with L-R and R-L manga. I’ve noticed that the more difficult to read ones are the ones that have poor panel layout. If it deviates from the zig-zag of normal reading and one panel isn’t leading into the next, it’s going to be hard to read regardless of orientation.

  16. thefreakytiki says

    Did I see correctly that these are going for $25 each? $50 for the pair… That’s a lot of scratch!

    Thank you, thank you very much. Try the veal!

  17. The Doctor says

    I thought I might have a hard time with R-to-L manga, but the first time I read one, it took me all of 5 pages to get used to it. I think it’s just a matter of time. Don’t give up people! You’re missing out on some fine work.

  18. rusty says

    volume 1 rules. i haven’t checked out #2 but i’m sure it’s great also.

    unable to enjoy right to left? give me a break. that makes it even weirder/better.

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