kajarainbow: (Default)
So, I read a lot of Japanese comics. I do mean a lot. For an assortment of reasons (availability via certain sources online being one--I'm poor).

I run across a lot of stuff I'm just tired of. A lot of stuff with somewhat interesting premise that flat-out ruin it by thrusting tedious cliches in.

Example: A comics about cats having territorial struggles. Could've easily been interesting, whether it's done with full-out cats, or with catboys/catgirls. But this one I took a peek at just because of the premise had a magical collar everyone's trying to get, all kinds of silly powers, the Ultimate Wild Cat or whatever, a breed 'more wild than the norm', and the concept of a power-up just by tearing off ones collar. Essentially, it's a bunch of boring silly manga tropes with cat ears/tails tacked on.

Another example: a comic about a fairly nice person trying not to turn into a human-eating ogre. Except that it became increasingly evident that the creator was just following the typical Shounen Jump formula (i.e. Naruto/Bleach). I quit reading about the time the main character got tossed into the Underground Training Ground for a Training Ordeal.

On the other hand, there's some series that seem to somehow manage to pull off utter ridiculousness. Others reuse those tropes in a way that's at least somewhat passably tolerable, and their execution's at least enjoyable. But what I really want is the strange stuff. I'll enjoy some of the less 'out there' stuff, but it often isn't my favorite.

And while there're definite trends both visual and story/character wise in the stuff I've seen, there're some fairly different works. I've really liked a number of those. Stuff like Tekkon Tinkreet, Uzumaki, My Street (this one is Korean), Sexy Voice and Robo...

So, let's see. I wouldn't mind recommendations, actually. Not just Japanese comics, any kind of comics online or offline will do. Webcomics as well as printed comics.

I like surreality--not the bland "Look! Talking penguin, gamer girl, Satan as roommate!" crap found in so many webcomics, but more of a dreamy or hallucinative quality. I want stuff that arouse intense emotions in me just by their visuals, especially. FLCL, Kageoru, Listening to 11.975MHz, Tekkon Tinkreet, Milk Closet. (Not necessarily constantly trippy, but frequently so.)

I tend to like a certain macabre touch (thus my interest in the 'nice guy trying not to turn into flesh-eating oni' premise mentioned above and annoyance at its disappointing execution). Anything by Junko Mizuno, Higurashi no Naki Koro ni, Hellsing, stuff with amusingly grisly carnage or morbid outlooks. A number of the 'gothy' comics out there simply disinterest me, but Serenity Rose's an exception.

Perhaps the ultimate fusion for me would be cute, macabre, and surreal. The game Yume Nikki manages to combine all those elements as an example. Another example, Junko Mizuno's stuff is cute and macabre and often a little strange (a giant pig that sells meat cut off himself, Cinderalla wishing to become a zombie so she can join her beloved undead musician named Prince, just most anything in Pure Trance, and so on).

There're other sorts of comics I like, but those tend to be the types of comics I most want more of. I also wouldn't mind recommendations of movies/series/games/whatever in a similar vein. And, frankly, I'll sacrifice general quality in a number of aspects for something that stimulates me enough (though well-executed surrealism has its own challenges). This crazy shit energizes me. It's mental food for me. It fills my head with imagery. It excites me. I love it.
kajarainbow: (Hellvis damning God)
You might've seen the Japanese comics ("manga") lining their own rows at some chain bookstores. Some good, most crap like most mediums in general. Well, there's a whole strange world of technically illegal but not prosecuted fan translation efforts going for those. Companies seem to tolerate them as useful indicators of what would be popular here, cherry-picking the fan-favorites or particularly interesting series and doing their own professional translatons and commercial American releases.

This is a good review of the whole thing: A Comics Reader's Guide to Manga Scanlations. It has some excellent recommendations, and some you might not care for. The groups it illustrates, though, are the ones with the best tastes in my mind. Buncha additional personal recommendations: )

This amateur translation of a four-page Moto Hagio comic makes me really wish more of her work was available in English. I know of precisely three translated works. One of them is the obscure A, A' volume sitting on my shelf (quite good work but from what I've heard not as developed as her later works), one was a short story published only in some comic magazine (that linked scanlation article above is from said magazine's website), and one is the one I just linked. And that's all.

And now for a bizarre campy hell high school comic. Cut for pictures )
kajarainbow: (Great Leopard Moth)
Continuing in my apparent tradition of posting in intermittent spurts, I'd like to recommend to you fine readers the Dresden Codak webcomic. I enjoy it for its sheer expansiveness of imagination and lustrous art, casually and offhandedly combining advanced physics with whimsy or fantastical adventures. The individual comics range from entertainingly silly to wistful.

There're very few webcomics that feature a fight between two WWII-era German physicists where one of them escapes by employing the very principle he discovered, or lines such as "My heart is nothing more than an engine forged from the remnants of a dead star. You know that." The usual mood is like a strange dream.

It is cousin to A Lesson Is Learned But the Damage is Irreversible. The two even link to each other.
kajarainbow: (Default)
Sometimes Zippy the Pinhead does strange things to my memetic headspace. I've mentioned it once before on this journal, but those most recent strips left me particularly mulling some very altered viewpoints. With strips featuring themes like Conflicting Forces of the Universe, More Than Kitsch Art, and Happiness in Sadness, it's the most unique currently running newspaper strip out there I know of (though if any of you know of another like it, I'd love to know).

Also... My birthday's coming up soon. I only mention this because I recently got a happy birthday wish on here. Now, the thing is, more and more I've been tending to treat my birthday as more of a quiet personal thing. If any of you would like me to observe your birthdays, speak up and I'll make an effort. :) But, for myself, I don't really care if other people do observe my birthday or not. If my birthday passed with no one remarking upon it, I wouldn't mind that. Honestly, I've gotten tired of birthdays, and of gift-giving holidays in general--having to think of things I want in order to tell others, and getting presents I don't have much use for.

I find this birthday remarkable only because it's the first deadline for starting transition (I've set a few before) that I've actually met.

Leviathan

Apr. 25th, 2006 02:19 pm
kajarainbow: (Default)
"Bizarre Japanese occult scifi camp." That sums the Leviathan manga up fairly well. Either the translation here is bad, or it genuinely has truly bizarre dialogue. I'm inclined to think both. The series has the imagery to match its dialogue.

Magical surgery to separate people into halves each with its own brain hemisphere. A giant who can read genes by looking at the objects possessing those genes. A main character patched together from six people, each part still possessing a bit of its own personality. Some warped gore. Nietzesche is on the side of Heaven, which is a Ruthless Light where Hell is Corruption. Alien Child of God. A weredog detective.

And an unborn apocalypse, frozen in time. Both having happened and not.

Not much about this series makes sense, but I've found it to be very interesting. Not necessarily good, but interesting.
kajarainbow: (Anisha by Pixel)
The clash between state-sponsored "We Meet Your Needs" conformism and anarchistic wildness, played out in a 'high school' setting.

Sentient rainbows.

Modern art street gangs (complete with pretentious narrative monologues).

The Pure Ones Are Crazy.

Creeping encroaching Rules of Behavior.

Absurd names such as Stiff Pillar of Iceblue Broken With Small Flashes of Pink Warmth.

The fabric of reality slowly melting as everyone goes around their routine lives.

This is what I want an artist for.
kajarainbow: (Anisha by Pixel)
"Don't Feed The Rainbows".

Inquire within.

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