§ Shaenon K. Garrity does what they said couldn’t be done and offers A Crash Course in Boys’ Love , with a historical context.
In America, “yaoi” has become a catchall term for any manga or anime that includes suggestive situations between male characters, including mainstream shojo (girls’) manga that would not be classified as yaoi in Japan. In Japan, the general term for this type of manga is “boys’ love,” often abbreviated as BL. The term shonen-ai, literally “boy love,” is also used, but today often refers to older titles, especially early BL manga set in private boys’ schools. In American fandom, “yaoi,” “BL,” and “shonen-ai” tend to be used interchangably. The characters themselves are called bishonen, “beautiful boys.”
§ Jog investigates an early and unsuccessful attempt at bringing manga to the US.
§ Marc-Oliver Frisch continues his look at comics of olden days with Steve Gerber’s great “Headmen Saga” from THE DEFENDERS.
The creators confront their readers with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes there is no solution, and violence only serves to exacerbate the problem. What’s left for the characters—and the audience—to do with the situation is to live with the consequences and, hopefully, learn from it so it won’t happen again. It took decades for this kind of self-reflection to become more common in a genre that’s still largely based on men in tights trying to resolve conflicts by beating each other up at sight—and even when this reflective aspect is present, even today, it’s rarely as well-executed.
§ Joss Whedon talks about Dollhouse and up-and-coming director John Cassaday.
I have the same feeling about Cassaday; he’s a storyteller. I gave him shorter scripts than any other artist I’ve worked with because he has an extraordinary visual sense and it very much matches my own. Now directing is such alchemy, it’s so easy to fail. And I’ve seen people who are great at their jobs because everybody has a go. Editors, DPs, actors, craft services guy, everybody wants to try it out but it is such a diffuse but necessary set of skills that you never know which one this person might lack. It’s a risk that in the old days I never would have taken, I was too busy going “I’m hanging on for dear life.” With Cassaday, I know he can tell a story, I know him as a person, his sensibility, the way he is with other people and I just feel that this step is logical for him, it’s something he’s been pursuing for a while.
§ Alex Hoffman at the Transmission X blog wonders if webcomics should really be thought of as separate from the rest of the industry vis–à–vis the segregated nominations for the Joe Shuster Awards:
Could it be that the lack of webcomic nominations for Best Artist, Best Writer, Best Cartoonist or Best Colorist are due to their method of publication? Isn’t it possible that somehow, somewhere, people are writing on the internet just as well as others are writing for print? It’s too early to be pointing fingers or yelling about prejudice, but this division of suitability seems somewhat arbitrary and unfair. But how do we know this to be the case? Maybe webcomics are considered, but none have been good enough to merit a nomination. Well, this year’s nominations prove that isn’t so: Nominations for Best Artist list all credited work for the past year, for instance: “Steve McNiven – Amazing Spider-Man #546-548, Wolverine #66-70 (Marvel Comics)”. Yet, for Karl Kerschl, only his print work is mentioned.
§ Fashion corner: D~LuxeList spotlights Barbie-themed accessories from Jonathan Adler and Christian Louboutin