Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ comics ’

I was out most of  today, but when I came back, I had a slew of Anime Expo-related tweets waiting for me. Some of the most interesting ones were centered around the OEL manga panel, which apparently offered some very harsh/blunt words on both the business side of things and the artist side of things.Dramacon is the only OEL title that anyone buys.

[View the rest of this entry…]

So at Heroes Con this weekend, the Longbox was revealed. The popular analogy of the moment is that it’s like iTunes, but for comics — that is, it will serve both as a platform for companies to distribute their comics for download and as the software consumers would use to read their downloaded comics.

Longbox for comic viewing

It has some very Apple-inspired aethestics.

I’ve written about the idea of digital distribution of comics before, but had only considered a web-based platform because that was what most companies seemed to be experimenting with at the time. And really, I think one of the other reasons I hadn’t considered the iTunes model before is because I couldn’t really see the comics (or manga) industry ever agreeing on a universal solution, especially considering how haphazard and all over the place everyone’s digital model is for anime and television streams and downloads. And yet, how convenient and elegant it would be if they could agree? If you could find all your comics in one place for the super cheap price of $0.99/issue? It’s just about perfect.

[View the rest of this entry…]

In early May, I got to meet briefly with senior editor Eric Searleman of VIZ Media for a portfolio review when he came to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for Editor’s Day. But while both the panel and the portfolio review were informative, but I still had a ton of questions I wanted to ask. It was actually Eric that suggested I hit him up for a formal interview, so I figured, why not?

Interview with Eric Searleman [View the rest of this entry…]

Bucky O’Hare was one of those awesome cartoons from the 90’s that almost no one seems to remember nowadays. Bucky was the underdog beating up toads in space while the Ninja Turtles beat up foot soldiers in Manhattan. I have many fond memories of it, though I don’t think I actually ever saw the entirety of the thirteen-episode series back in the day. Still, the fondness stayed with me, and I was excited when I found out that the TV show was based on a comic series.

The comic was written by Larry Hama and penciled by Michael Golden. Hama is a third-generation Japanese-American, but that doesn’t really explain why I’ve always thought Bucky O’Hare had a very anime/manga feel to it. The original comic ran in the late 80’s and only had one plotline; more were written to coincide with the TV series when it debuted in 1990. The original comic along with two of the later, additional issues were collected together in a manga-like graphic novel released by Vanguard in 2007. I have no idea why they didn’t include the rest of the additional issues, but it doesn’t really matter. I ordered my copy of Vanguard’s release of Bucky O’Hare when I ordered my copy of Viz’s releaseof DOGS vol. 0, and I gotta say: Bucky’s comic is very disappointing.

(this review contains no spoilers!)
Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars

[View the rest of this entry…]

There are a ton of webcomics on the Internet. Most of them suck. Most of them never update when they’re supposed to. Most of them get dropped whether officially or unofficially because their creators either decide that they don’t have time anymore or life decides that they don’t have time anymore for them. The latter bugs me the most, as I seem to have a knack for finding great webcomics that go on mysterious hiatuses as soon as I pick them up, but really, all three of those ailments are very annoying.

So here are five webcomics that 1) don’t suck, 2) almost always update when they’re supposed to, and 3) are currently running. There are also four runner-ups that occasionally fail to meet one of those requirements, usually the updating thing, but they’re far from being dead.

5. Anime News Nina by Robin Sevakis

This is the Anime News Network’s official webcomic and ventures to mock and satirize various aspects of otaku culture, usually in a good-natured way; after all, otaku are undoubtedly its intended audience. Occasionally, I do see things that some people might get upset over, but I doubt Sevakis ever intends the comic to be insulting towards the reasonable members of society. Each strip is can be standalone, but many strips also tie together in short story arcs.

The art is in full color and pretty simple, but Sevakis doesn’t shy away from grand exaggerations of expression and action, which always results in chaos and hilarity. She also mimics styles from specific series to emphasize punch lines involving art. Good times. ANN updates every Wednesday with few exceptions.

Content: 4/5
Artwork: 4/5
Updates: 4/5

[View the rest of this entry…]

Editors’ Day is a small, annual event the Sequential Art department at SCAD puts on. Editors from various comic publishers came to discuss various topics and answer questions at a panel on Thursday, and then spent all day Friday reviewing portfolios from students. Discluding Dark Horse and Oni Press who were supposed to come but have rescheduled, this year we had representatives from Marvel, DC (and Vertigo), Slave Labor Graphics, Nickelodeon Magazine, and… Viz Media.

Viz Media
I was surprised that Viz ended coming after all. A few months back, a professor mentioned that Viz had canceled for Editors’ Day, which was kind of expected considering the whole VP of Original Publishing leaving the company thing in February despite various announcements about Viz’s upcoming original comics line last summer. The whole idea seemed like it was going to collapse, though I wouldn’t really blame Viz for it, especially after all the controversy and criticism TOKYOPOP got the same summer for screwing over many of their original creators. The OEL bubble had always seemed like a precarious thing, but everyone agrees that the economy isn’t helping.

[View the rest of this entry…]

I swear this will be my last Watchmen-related post, ahaha…

Even before I went to see the movie on Friday, I had heard the blasphemous whispers of a sequel. Or at least, I had heard that Zack Snyder is refusing to have anything to do with one, which is certainly reassuring. Watching the movie, I couldn’t help but notice Dr. Manhattan’s ominous line, “Nothing ever ends.” It seemed like it had less to do with his concept of time and more to do with Hollywood’s tendency to milk everything for all its worth. Except that a second Watchmen movie wouldn’t fly, even for non-fans. Seriously, what would you do? Just about everyone involved in the film is confused on that front. Who would want a sequel? Or even a prequel?

[View the rest of this entry…]

I’m not really sure this should be considered a review. I cover the basics, I guess, but it’s more like me rambling in an semi-organized manner about the movie and the book and describing which of the changes I liked and which I didn’t. As such, this is your spoiler warning:

(this review contains spoilers for both the book and the movie!)
(Hey, this poster looks kinda familiar…)


[View the rest of this entry…]

This was something that has been on my to-read list for years. One of my professors assigned it as required reading last quarter, but we never ended up discussing it, so I never got around to finishing it. I was determined to finish it before the movie’s release though and thus finally sat down and marathoned through it in five hours on Tuesday. Now I can finally look forward to the movie tomorrow (not seeing it at midnight). I hear there have been a lot of mixed reviews going around, but I don’t really want to read any of them until I’ve seen it. I’m not really worried, honestly. The trailers look great, though I’m kind of on the fence about the special effects. Despite that, I don’t think I’m expecting a whole lot from it, so hopefully my purist neuroticism won’t strike too badly.

We’ll see. I will definitely be writing a review of the movie as well, so yeah. In the meantime~.

(this review contains no spoilers!)

[View the rest of this entry…]

Japanese Sound Effects

November 8, 2008 Editorial 3 Comments

So I was working on my final for Sequential Art. It wasn’t a sudden realization or anything — I’ve thought about this a few times before — but it occurred to me again that the Japanese have the most ridiculous sound effects ever. Seriously, they have sound effects for pretty much everything, including things and actions and events that… don’t make any sounds. This is a far, far cry from sound effects in American comics (and perhaps European comics? I really have no idea since I don’t read any) where half the sound effects are just the verb they’re trying to describe, like “scratch scratch” or “stomp stomp.” As such, I’ve found it to be very, very frustrating trying to incorporate sound effects into my own comics because there just aren’t that many to choose from, and it kind of feels stupid using verbs as onomatopoeias when they obviously aren’t.

Of course, there are some American artists that will use Japanese katakana sound effects in their pages even though the comic is in English and reads left-to-right. Off the top of my head, I know Christy Lijewski, a SCAD grad, and rem, a Houstonian, both do this (though sometimes rem draws right-to-left). The difference is that both of them legitimately know the language, and I don’t (yet?), so I guess I’d feel a little pretentious using katakana in my comics even though I could probably pull it off well enough.

So the question of the day becomes… why aren’t there more English sound effects? Why don’t we also have sounds for things like “shock,” “silence,” “rudeness,” “flailing,” or “a quick glance sideways”? Sure, it is kind of ridiculous to have sound effects for things that inherently have no sound, but it certainly is useful. One of my roommates hypothesized that Japanese theatre might have inspired some of their sound effects since it might not have always been apparent what was going on in nondescript genres like shadow and puppet theatre, so they could have utilized a wide range of informative sound effects to help things along? Honestly though, I know little of Japanese theatre and am really just grasping at straws here.

[View the rest of this entry…]