Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Planet Saturday

There is a most wonderful little webcomic lurking out there going by the name of Planet Saturday. Although I am neither quite old enough nor parental enough to fully appreciate it, I can sometimes notice comic timing perfection when I see it. It's happy; it's poetry captured in the expressions of the wonderful characters (but fear the actual poetry); it helps one remember that the world is beautiful. There's a new one with each new month and it seems like just the way to start of each month right.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mushishi vol. 2

Ah, Mushishi, with the sort of mystical stories, each one a treasure which occasionally start off with a bright splash of well used color. Such is the first chapter of the second volume of Mushishi.
Except you'll have to get hold of the original to see it. For the English copy, they've chosen to render the mountain with a mysterious hole in it in muddy grey instead, which makes it quite hard to see at all. What was clear imagery requires hints from the text to identify.

Again in the forth chapter:
More color that we don't get to see. Surely that rainbow in the upper left that I've cut off would look just as good in grey scale? Though at least this one is not reduced to dark grey on darker grey.

This second image also helps illustrate the second difficulty with these books (that has nothing to do with the quality of the original books, just the translation to English). Japanese has no plural form so you have to just look and count. Is there more than one? I see one jar. Apparently the translator saw two because this is referred to as "jars" in the text. Someone is not being particularly careful.

There are multiple spots where the translation just doesn't quite seem to agree with itself. The reader is tripped up and thrown from the fantasy. I suppose it could be the author's fault, it is her first series. Award winning and best seller, but still her first.

The stories themselves are still wonderful taken overall, but the experience of reading them is not what it could be in the English version.

(The two images included above are taken from the Japanese version of Mushishi vol. 2 and are copyright 2002 by Yuki Urushibara.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My first minis

What a wonderful source who will remain nameless. From that same source as the last post come my very first actual mini comics. "First taste is free," says the source. And what a taste!

Yes, it is a collection from some folk at Partyka, including the fish I was ogling probably around June (there at the bottom, but click the link for a few pages). There's just something fascinating about fish that I like to watch. This one has a little quirk in the way it's drawn and my heart just melts.

The first two there are postcards, not minis. Next along is The Monkey and the Crab by Shawn Cheng and Sara Edward-Corbett. I believe at least one mutual friend would fall in love with it just for the binding. It adapts a folktale of a war between a monkey and a crab and is ever so tragic.

Next along is Your Karate Vacation by Matt Wiegle, which is eight pages of, as advertised, advice about your karate vacation. Fast and fun.

Then at the bottom, Seven More Days of Not Getting Eaten also by Matt Wiegle. A fish tale for every day of the week. Or is that a fishy tale? Also fast paced and packed with fun. That fish sure is a sneaky character.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

On the bandwagon

A source who will remain nameless says "I can't believe you've not heard of Edward Gorey." Hum. Well, Wikipedia says he did the opening sequence for Mystery! on PBS (or this one?), which ranks among the things I have filed under permanently cool no mater how many times I see it. (It's actually the second one I remember.)

He did not actually render the classic Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" into cartoon form, but this is still a lot of fun: The Trouble with Tribbles in the style of Edward Gorey.

There seems to be quite an extravagant number of Gorey things on YouTube, actually.