I had my hesitations in picking up Smells Like Green Spirit. First, it had a tacky title (seriously, it sounds like it attempts to be as cool as the Nirvana song). Second, the cover art for the first volume is odd. I can’t quite place other than “It doesn’t look like a BL title at all!”
Perhaps those signs were telling about how unique this book really is.Read more
I think there’s some of us who felt that a part of us died when Jmanga announced that they’re closing shop. I really liked Jmanga and I enjoyed the convenience of their service. But as with things digital, the idea that what I own disappears with their sites just sucks a lot.
Other manga apps (like Viz’s manga app) is available only to US and Canada. I tried purchasing digital editions here in Australia with little luck. Vertical digital editions can be bought in Australia via Amazon’s Kindle service so I’m thinking it’s okay elsewhere. You can also purchase DMG and Sublime books via Amazon.
That leaves a lot of manga left untranslated. I’m a little fortunate since I can check ebookjapan for Japanese titles. But that leaves a lot of English readers who have little access to manga. So when Crunchyroll announced that they’re working with Kodansha in publishing some fan favorites in English via their website, I was excited. Totally excited!
Comic Natalie releases another set of videos in their features section, Power Push. This time they tasked Natsume Ono and Rensuke Oshikiri to draw some illustrations of each other’s characters and wow… well… it’s always nice to see you favourite artists at work?
Well there’s the fact that Ono draws on this large tablet. Not sure if that’s a CINTIQ but wow. That’s just… Imagine if she drew her BL with that! So large and up close.
Either way, it was such an interesting exchange. Watching the videos also made them think how they thought so much of each other’s characters and how, for Oshikiri particularly, it was hard to capture the handsome and erotic appeal of Ono’s style, while Ono found it difficult to draw a girl. But both tried hard and did well, I think. The two seem to have a large appreciation for each other’s works, with Ono as a fan of Oshikiri’s High Score Girl and Oshikiri challenged by Ono’s style.
The challenge’s in promotion of Ono’s upcoming release for her Big Gan Gan comic, Acca. A new volume of High School Girl is coming out soon as well. I haven’t read Acca yet, so I’m looking forward to that book coming way.
You can also download wallpapers of their exchange in the Natalie page!
This week, I caught wind of this group of artists who call themselves the Year 85 Group, alluding to classic shoujo manga super power group, Year 24 Group. Technically, it should be Year 60 Group (Showa 60 is 1985), but you know what, it’s a cute reference in respect to the ladies who revolutionized shoujo manga as we know it today. In celebration, they’re putting up a comic anthology called Hana Doki Kira!
Here’s what the anthology is all about:
26 artists with diverse skills and styles, with experience ranging from the fine arts to game design, were asked to consider what Shōjo personally meant to them, and to create art based on their interpretations. Known for its distinctive use of flowery imagery, magical plot devices, and romantic themes, Hana Doki Kira takes its title from the same three key elements of the Shōjo world– ‘Hana’ meaning flower, ‘Doki’ echoing the sound of a pounding heart, and ‘Kira’ the impression of sparkling beauty.
While Shōjo is a subgenre of Japanese comics that is targeted towards young girls and women, it can be enjoyed by anyone, drawing upon the shared spectrum of human emotion. “It has been said that Shōjo is a mirror that reflects the heart of the reader,” says illustrator and Year 85 Group member, Rebecca Mock.
Resumes from the artists in the book include clients such as the New York TImes, Lucasfilm, Juxtapoz, BOOM! Studios, Random House, Rock Star Games, and Womanthology, but regardless of experience, all were brought together by their mutual love of the genre. Supporting the project will not only expose the viewer to new works, but will also support the artists directly. Proceeds from the project that exceed the production costs of the books and rewards will be used to compensate the artists for their time and work.
Hana Doki Kira is using the Kickstarter platform to raise $9,500 in 31 days during the month of November, with the intention to print a limited number of books in a distinct limited color palette. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform which will allow the artists to directly interact with friends and fans. People are encouraged to pledge any amount, with rewards starting from $5 for a digital PDF of the book to higher levels of compensation which include limited art prints and oneofakind art commissions. Money will only collected if the project reaches it’s goal, but should the project exceed its base funding goal, push rewards offering upgraded binding, foil stamping, and bookplates, are also in place.
“It’s really important for us to give back to the community,” says art director, designer and Year 85 Group member, Annie Stoll, “A portion of the books created will be donated to libraries, girls’ clubs and anime clubs to help foster and inspire the next generations of Shōjo artists!”
I usually shy from kickstarters (especially those kickstarted by established companies) but dangle indie, shoujo, and comic at me, I’ll be looking. I think it’s a good effort and I’m quite interested with how they’re gonna pull it off. Hopefully, they manage to get enough backing because nowadays, comics needs more shoujo love.
I also had a chance to talk to the creators on their thoughts on shoujo and how this reflects in their works in Hana Doki Kira!
Gaiz, as you know, I’m hooked on Kyoto Animation’s Free! So when a college friend who had plans to visit Sydney saw the end card of Free’s 11th episode, she immediately sent me a private message asking if we can go there. Now how am I to refuse a friend? More so have a chance to share a moment with Rin?
Well this precious boy may have had a sad story in Australia, but it sure was fun in finding this area.