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Kagan McLeod, author of the comic series Infinite Kung-Fu (coming from Top Shelf in collected form in 2008) put together this sweet little print just in time to make your holiday gift giving easier. THE HISTORY OF RAP is a 17.5″ x 30″ print on thick 100lb paper, featuring 469 portraits and tons of biographical info (printed on the back). So awesome you’ll wanna buy two. Now in stock at The Beguiling for just 20 bones. Recently featured in The National Post!

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Nowhere near Toronto and can’t drop by the store? Visit The Beguiling’s Online Art Store, specifically the posters & prints section, to pick up a copy. We can probably still ship it to you in time for Christmas too! While you’re there, pick up one of The Beguiling’s 20th Anniversary Prints by James Jean (also shown).

- Christopher


dramazombies-webcard.jpgHere’s the list of comics scheduled to ship to The Beguiling in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday December 19th, 2007. Please note that not all books ship to all stores at the same time, but if you see something on this list it’s probably at least worth asking about.

ALSO: The Beguiling is having a signing on December 19th! Hopefully you can drop by to meet Svetlana Chmakova and Faith Erin Hicks as they sign their new graphic novels, DRAMACON 3 and ZOMBIES CALLING. For full info visit The Beguiling’s website.

I have to say that not a lot is jumping out at me from the Shipping List this week… Considering how much product dropped on us this past week? I’m kinda happy for the break. I mean, Julie Doucet’s beautiful new diary comic 365 DAYS is shipping this week, but we’ve had that for a little while now. You should still pick it up of course :)
Full list after the cut:

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xtra-yaoi.jpgIf you head over to Xtra.ca, the website of Canada’s twice-monthly free gay newspaper, you can see my second article for the paper, a primer on Yaoi manga from a gay perspective. It’s actually based on a blog post I made here from 2 and a half years ago, which in and of itself was adapted from an article I wrote for a U.S. based gay newspaper, but which never appeared in print because they had weird rights issues. Anyway.

What struck me when rewriting it (and I think it only shares maybe 1 or 2 paragraphs with the original) was how much the yaoi segment of the manga market has changed in just a few years. Where once upon a time there was only Be Beautiful, DMP, and those guys that did Skyscrapers of Oz, there are now so many different publishers and imprints and sub-imprints producing more than 20 volumes a month! What was once an emerging category is now full-blown, and it was a real treat writing an introduction to the genre/phenomena for a gay male audience.

Even better? The story ended up as the cover-feature of the print version of the magazine! My name, finally in lights. My friend Eric Kim, illustrator of Love as a Foreign Language for Oni Press (amongst other comics work) was comissioned to do the cover illustration, and you can see it up on the right there. He did a great job (thanks Eric!) and the paper really pops in the newspaper boxes. You can click on the image to see a larger version.
So, yeah. I’m a paid journalist now, which means I’m Completely Entitled! I get _paid_ for these opinions of mine, which makes me fabulous and insufferable! Bwahahaha!

Love,

- Christopher


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Studio Ghibli, the animation studio behind classic animated films including Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, has been amongst the most prominent and venerated exports of Japanese culture to the west. The films of Studio Ghibli and it’s head, Hayao Miyazaki, were right there at the beginnings of my own awakenings into Japanese culture; Nth generation fansub VHS tapes passed from University student to University student through “internet”, and they somehow wound up in the hands of a bunch of 13 year olds in Brampton. Through the grainy, fuzzy, poorly-tracked screen we could see into a world that was beautiful and deadly and sad-but-hopeful, visions of our own world: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was a revelation.

What’s that you say? There’s a Ghibli Museum in Japan? And it’s easier for foreigners to get tickets through local Japanese cultural agencies than actual Japanese? Let’s go!

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Local #11: Toronto
By Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly
Oni Press
2008

- Chris


When last we left Harajuku, we were standing outside of the Peanuts theme store with our Gothloli friend:

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The Peanuts store is pretty damned awesome, what with it being a completely and thoroughly ‘themed’ shopping experience, meant to feel like the historical middle American past of the strip.

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By the way, in Japan it’s not Peanuts, it’s all about the Snoopy. Welcome to Snoopy-Town!

Continue reading this entry after the cut:

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I’m sure no one is coming here for my opinion on the Video Games Industry, but there’s a little bit of a hubub that went on over the last week or two at Penny Arcade. Basically, one of the proprietors of that fine site said that video game review sites were corrupt, slaves to the almighty videogame ad dollar.

Part One: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/14 – Second Post
Part Two: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/26 – Second Post
Part Three: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/28
Part Four: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/28
Part Five: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/29
Part Six: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/11/30

Also, video game reviewers are in themselves broken, terrible gamers because they play games the wrong way, to complete and rate them, and not to enjoy them.

Now I’m not saying I agree with the Penny Arcade fellas or anything, but I got to play the game that kicked off the whole to-do, Assassin’s Creed. All I did for 30 minutes was run around an giant, immaculately-rendered version of Jerusalem in the middle ages, stabbing people to death. It was beautiful and satisfying and complex, and man, I sure did like killing people.

So, yeah. The Penny Arcade guys are totally right. But the point is, it’s nice to know that reviewing is corrupt in every industry! I just wish there was more money in comics to justify the kow-towing to Marvel and DC.

- Christopher

P.S.: The Penny Arcade guys are raising money again for Children’s Hospitals across North America. Check out ChildsPlayCharity.org.


Welcome back to the guided tour of my trip to Japan! For those of you just joining me, my husband and I took our first trip to Japan in September 2007, and I’ve been cataloguing the trip here at comics212.net, partly because there’s so much comics content, and partly because it’s my blog and I get to make decisions like that. :)

It turns out I took more than 300 pictures in 8 hours on our day-trip to Harajuku, so I’m going to break this day up into a couple of posts just so I don’t crash anyone’s browser.

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First stop? Harajuku station. Looks kind of… Bavarian… doesn’t it? Harajuku is considered the fashion-capital of Japan… or one of the fashion-capitals, anyway. Street style is the name of the game, and the area is divided into what seemed like three pretty distinct areas; the network of main and side-streets filled with fashion boutiques; the Meiji Shrine forest; Yoyogi park, a huge public park. We’re looking at the Takeshita-dora entrance, which lets out into the fashion-district. Before tackling shopping though, we decided to visit the shrine and soak up some (old) culture. You can’t do that, though, without running through a labyrinth of…

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Gothic Lolitas! And their admirers, of course (see bottom-right corner). The bridge over the rail tracks is filled, Saturdays and Sundays, with ‘rebellious youth’ decked out in outre fashions of all stripes, though the ‘gothic lolita’ style (think: creepy babydoll) is the most famous. This wasn’t actually the first costumed person we bumped into, though.

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This was. Yes, those are live goldfish.

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