Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weekly Round-UP: April 3rd - 9th and thoughts on FEH's book signing

Whew, a bit of a more normal week as far as updates are concerned. No no movie review again but again, I just haven't had a chance to catch anything! I thought I might early in the week but between writing up the Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu review (and re-watching the first episode, you know for research!) I just didn't have any time left for a movie. I mean, if I didn't go to Faith Erin Hick's signing I might have but I'm gonna talk more about that in a minute.

I DID have time to write up my short thoughts on Girl Waits With Gun (Takahashi-san is Listening was written in advance, as was my throw-back review of Josei Kausei obviously) and I've been working on my spring round-up which will be going live tomorrow, much earlier than I expected!

And now, bullet-point thoughts on the FEH talk/signing:

  • This was "in conversation" with one of the NPR book people, Petra Meyer, and it was funny to hear her start talking and think "oh wait, I've heard her on Pop Culture Happy Hour"!
  • Funnier still was that her parents sat next to me in the row and, out of a comic book store with nerds, I'm the one who got asked "what's the difference between a graphic novel and manga?" by them, clearly I come off as just that nerdy yet unthreatening? (must've been the collared shirt with bunnies on it that I was wearing)
  • I found the question/their reaction ("no difference really, manga is just Japanese" "that's what we were thinking") interesting, I've grown used to stores/libraries shelving the two separately but when I was growing up usually libraries had such small collections they were mixed, or there were so few non-manga titles for teens and kids (ie, the areas I was frequenting) that it didn't matter anyway. This comic store (Fantom Comics) had the manga and other foreign language titles in a separate area from the trades/floppies.
  • Honestly I didn't hear anything new about FEH herself in the talk but that's what I expected, I have read a lot of interviews with her/her posts after all! Somehow I didn't know about the "Wolverine and his Canadian Eggs" comic short so that was fun to look up when I got home.
  • Honestly I was more interested in some of the discussing more involving Petra? Like, it was funny how she was, not shocked or horrified but certainly taken aback at hearing that FMA (which FEH mentioned as "basically a perfect work") is 20+ volumes considering that was almost my same reaction when I initially heard that The Nameless City was going to be only three!
  • And then it got me thinking about how really, 27 tankoubon volumes isn't that much for a comic. Hear me out, you can read each under an hour so that means less than a month's read if you read an hour a day (one volume is an hour's read if that). And FMA isn't "one book" it's "one series", if it was a fantasy work it'd be at least a duet, probably a trilogy (not the best comparison since it doesn't quite follow that act structure but what I mean is, there are way more than one book's worth of events in the book). And if you read an hour a day then you can finish a trilogy in about that same amount of time too, so really it's not that long!
  • I was interested in the recommendations they had for each other, Petra recommended Grace of Kings (which I didn't like but I could see why) and FEH recommended Solanin which I thought was a great choice, a more mature read but also a story that I feel like has to be told in a comic, the quiet scenes wouldn't have the same impact if it was text only.
  • Yes I think it's a bit silly if you can't really get used to reading manga and you, well, don't have a reading disorder (I don't have dyslexia etc so I can't comment there). It just takes concentration at first to get into the swing of things, I typically only have trouble these days if I'm switching from reading a webcomic to a manga, one after the other, which I honestly don't do very often for that reason!
And I started in on the book on the train ride home so the rest of my thoughts are all related to it so I'll save those until I get a proper review done I think! Was a nice chat and nice that I finally had a chance to get to Fantom Comics, small store but they seemed nice.