A round up of some interesting stuff from over the weekend:

§ John Jakala investigates the “failed” manga efforts of Westerners :

I thought this was an interesting quote for a couple reasons. For one, it could be seen as a reason why Pope produced hundreds of pages of material during his association with Kodansha but only a handful saw print. (For an example of a page that was published in Japan, see below.) Secondly, it paints a different picture of the Japanese manga market than I’d imagined. I’ve always assumed the breadth of material in Japan is fairly wide and diverse, but Pope suggests it’s much more narrow and limited. If others have a take on this (Matt Thorn, I’m looking at you!), I’d be interested to hear it: Is the readership in Japan really “maddeningly conservative”? (Or put another way, is it any more maddeningly conservative than the U.S.’s extreme antipathy to anything not adorned in spandex?)

We’d like to throw in here that manga styles at major publishers like Kodansha may look a certain way, but there’s much variety in the managa tradition. For instance, crack open TEKKON KINKREET and it could be drawn by an indie cartooner.

§ The Daily Cross Hatch continues an epic interview with Evan Dorkin:

Someone must have attempted to option the rights for Milk and Cheese at some point.

Sure. Even now I still get a business card tossed my way, at a show, but it’s died down since I haven’t put out an issue in…ten years. The characters don’t really support a tremendous amount of issues. But there will be an eighth issue, if I have my way—if I have my druthers, whatever that means. I don’t really know if I want druthers, but if I have them, I will do another issue. I have various bits collected from various sources. I used to have people ask me to do them more often.

§ Manga: The Complete Guide author Jason Thompson is interviewed at TCJ.com

I have a lot of sympathy for people who have negative first impressions of manga, because I was kind of a snob about what I read in those days, and my first impression of manga was that, you know, the eyes were big! And it was sexist! And furthermore, there were a lot of giant robots, which I wasn’t into either. Giant robots are probably the part of Japanese pop culture I’m least interested in.

§ An art exhibit in Chicago provides the occasion to examine LJ and other online communities and how they support artists

For Chicago illustrator and graphic artist Mike Segawa, joining a blogging community afforded the opportunity for immediate feedback and recognition. “I used to draw in a void,” says Segawa, who started freelancing in 2003. “It wasn’t until I joined a blog community that I got the affirmation and validation I needed.” The blog community he joined was LiveJournal, where he connected with other artists, many of whom joined his “friends list.” Through his online group of friends, Segawa promoted his own work, which led to work and continual exposure. “I’ve personally networked with people I otherwise never would have known,” he says.


  1. Good point, and one I’ve touched on before. I was just reacting to Pope’s particular quote about the manga audience in Japan being “maddeningly conservative,” which struck me as odd given (1) the conservatism of the North American comic book market and (2) the images we see of all the bizarre pornographic manga from Japan. I suppose it all depends on what part of the market you’re focusing on when you make such pronouncements.