Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still on hiatus!

It's not by choice.  I still don't have an Internet connection at my apartment.  I'm actually writing this from my office at work while waiting to discuss tomorrow's classes with another teacher.  So while we're marking time, let's catch up a little.

I missed Free Comic Book Day in Tokyo this year.  My new job splits the Golden Week holidays.  We had Monday off, but had to work Tuesday and Wednesday.  As it happened, Melt-Banana was playing a show that Sunday in a venue about 3 minutes by foot from my favored hotel when I'm in Tokyo.  So I had to make a choice-- hit Tokyo and see Melt-Banana destroy music during my three-day weekend, or go to Blister during my four-day one.  Noise won out and I don't regret it a bit.  Blister does two days of Free Comic Book Day, but I couldn't justify a second Tokyo junket.  So no free comic books this year, no reports on Free Comic Book Day in Japan.

But I did buy some comics while I was in Tokyo.  I went to Kinokunkiya in Shinjuku and bought the first two volumes of Nana and the second volume of Wandering Son, a wonderful manga about a very girly boy and a very boy-y girl.  They're possibly transgender, but I haven't read far along enough in volume one to know for sure.  I'm avoiding reviews and synopses so I can figure it all out by myself.  In the meantime, why should I try to define them?  I'm content to let them tell me when the time comes.

Wandering Son is from Fantagraphics and it reminds me a bit of Dan Clowes's Ghost World in that its creator Takako Shimura places two characters under a microscope and peers intently at their little lives.  It's also a little fragmentary, playing with time in small ways.  For example, something happens to one character early in the first volume (I bought it a few months back) but we learn of the consequences before we find out what happened to her-- which made it dificult for me to follow at first.  But soon enough I settled into a rhythm.

And then work and life happened and I had to put it aside for now.  I work about eleven hours a day.  Well, I don't work, but I'm stuck at the office for that long most days.  There's nothing like spending the hours from 8am to 7pm at your office to cut down on reading time!

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