July 31, 2007

liz


stopped using a mechanical pencil for a while, having fun with ye old plain hb pencil. great fun, good for warming up, even better after a couple of hours of drawing. still somewhat messy, though. mazzucchelli's batman: year one's probably the book i've mostly been looking at, lately. duncan fegredo also has a bit of that. toth, of course. don't get me wrong, i still love the ocd joy of peeps like frank quitely or seth fisher, but this feels more like a way to go.

yellowish scans because of the moleskine notebook...

July 30, 2007

manga report

so, i've been reading quite a bit of manga in the last month or so, and thought i could sum some of it up. maybe someone finds it useful. note- i read most (ok, all) of these as scanslations, so you can easily find and check out any of them. also, a big part of them is available in english (or french) as well.- - -since reading 20th century boys, which is amazing, and Monster (both by naoki urasawa, monster volumes 1 through 10 or so available in english), it's been tough finding something interesting. i googled some lists of best manga, and most of them had these as top three- one piece, death note, and bleach. one piece i just can't stomach since i really don't like the drawing style (and also, hear it's very similar to naruto, so might just as well read that). bleach i discarded for similar reasons.
death note, however, turned out excellent. i've read the first seven books, and it's been the best fun since monster. lots of twists, good pacing, good drawing, interesting characters, and it's been very thrilling through all of the first seven volumes. it totals at 12 volumes, available in english (i got the first 6).


homunculus is equally excellent, or better even. it's a completely different thing, weird, sometimes scary, and drawn wonderfully. there's no sign of it being translated and published in english (dunno about french), so it's just scanslations (7 volumes, read all of them). highly recommended.


biomega (from the creator of blame!; same universe, same stuff again) is quite popular, but not very good, actually. some good cinematic moments, and a surprisingly non-annoying combination of giger and such biomecha/dark art (with a fascinating drop in quality in volume 2); complete lack of plot and characterization on the other hand. bummer. if you don't need the plot and are around 14, check it out, otherwise no need.


akane-chan overdrive was on someone's list so i read the first volume. had some bright moments, but didn't really feel compelled to read the second book yet. classic boy-girl bodyswap.


genshiken is quite a popular one, or so it seems. it's about otakus (manga geeks, basically), and it's understandable why people like it. it wasn't bad, since i read all of the 8 volumes i could find, but missed something to make it really good. definitely worth reading, though.

team medical dragon is another random download, which started out as a GTO-ish medical thing, but got more serious in the second chapter. art is erratic, but it's an okay read.

uzumaki/spiral by junji ito is one of them classic mangas. only three volumes, read the first two, and it's good. scary stuff.


dragon head is responsible for the whole manga download mania for me. i saw a panel in a taschen book and loved it, however... it starts out wonderfully, as a lord of the flies/postapocalyptic thing, and gets kinda boring along the way. read the first six books or so. worth reading, you might find it better than i did. the first couple of books are nice, at least.


king of thorns seems grossly overrated. even though i like postapocalyptic, "what's going on", survival stories, this one just doesn't do a thing. also, the drawing part seems very fan-made, or a sideproject or something. dunno. i liked the atmosphere, but then again, i liked the atmosphere in the first resident evil movie.



maison ikkoku is a classic manga, and i love it! it was wonderful reading this after king of thorns, laughing my ass off through all of the 15 volumes. great characters, great drawing. this one's for everyone, check it out, at least the first book.


ranma 1/2, also by rumiko takahashi (as maison ikkoku) is great as well. read the first 8 volumes and it keeps cracking me up. stating the obvious again, but wonderful stuff, also a classic.


my balls is a good way to close up- this is a perfect example of why i love the japanese. only they can make a funny, sexy comic about the queen of darkness sealed in a poor guys balls. there's no sign of it being released in english, but the kind people are scanslating it chapter by chapter.

next on the read list - mushishi, alive, gto 8+, tokko.

- - -
ok, that's it. if anyone even reads it, or especially finds use in this, good. i'm off to cook something now, and draw.

hope you're enjoying the summer and stuff.

p.s. there's seems to be some interest in these little reviews of mine, so i'll post some more in a few weeks.


***

a small 2012 update
(since this post is still very popular)

First, an apology to Bleach, or at least the first 25 volumes of it. Large parts of it are terrific, suspenseful and very vell drawn. Inevitably, though, it degenerates into an infinite cycle of stronger and stronger enemies and it's easy to lose interest after volume 20.

I've since reread Dragon Head, and liked it much more. It has my full endorsement.

Things not on the old list
(that you absolutely must read)

Bakuman, from Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, authors of Death Note, is excellent and very, very fun. Making comics as a battle manga? Yes, please. While it maintains a very quick pace and has a lot of humor, it's not silly (like The Terrible Tales of Mangaka - which is also something you should read); it manages to show almost every aspect of the industry and personalities behind the comics. It has recently wrapped, and a lot of it is already available in english, on paper (the other option... is still there, but-).

Pluto by Naoki Urasawa - his eight volume remake of an Osamu Tezuka story combines the best of both masters of manga. Also a great place to start - the box set makes a great gift for an unsuspecting spouse or a friend that needs irrefutable evidence that manga isn't silly stories about people with big sparkly eyes.

A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. This one's also about making comics, but has nothing to do with the exuberance of Bakuman. A perfectly paced, engrossing, moving and very personal memoir. One of the books I keep returning to all the time. This one would also appeal to people who aren't necessarily comics fans- it's simply a great book.

***

That's it for now-- i've read a great deal more in the five years between these posts, but I don't really have time to write reviews of all of it, so I may keep adding to this if time permits, but it might be another five years...

July 27, 2007

bighead


need to fix some things, but like the mood. two and a half pages to go, four days. plus inks.

July 18, 2007

few lines


look at this guy, not a care in the world! then, (kind of) suddenly-

so tired, it's not even funny. i'm amazed the boards i just finished even resemble anything. some of the panels i even like. so it goes. off to bed... and yes, it's 7am.

July 17, 2007

July 16, 2007

casablanca burns


sleeping way too much these days... not good for the head. the rest of the time is effectively consumed by reading death note (fantastic!), playing on the psp and being cranky. doing more writing than drawing, which is strange. need to get up at 7am tomorrow. i think that would help.

July 10, 2007

kid voodoo


we're allowed to post these now, so here- the fighter i did for this round of sam hiti's fistacuffs. below is a "smak talk drawing" done for the last round he was in.

July 09, 2007

franges



went to this robert franges mihanovic exhibition today. sketched a bit on the run (i already posted some sketches of his stuff last year). love that guy. it's enough to see how he approaches hands to see the genius. today was the last day of the show at klovicevi dvori, but they have a lot of his stuff at gliptoteka. if you're in zagreb, croatia, check it out, it's quite worth it.

p.s. the blue three-armed girl was one of the students watching over the show. she wasn't blue in real life.