Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: The Best New Manga Vol 2


Publisher: Carol &Graf
price: $15.95

This is the second volume showcasing various forms and types of manga. With over 23 stories and 500 plus pages this is a great introduction to the manga universe. All of these stories read like traditional comics and offer a variety of narrative and visual style. Here are a few of my favorites from the anthology:
Another Summer Day by Nana Li
three different sets of siblings in three different time periods all being affected by war.Li has a gorgeous crisp art style that lends itself well to the Black and White manga format.
The forgotten  Incident of San Sabian by Chankhamma &Said
This is a creepy tale of a man trapped on an island trying to figure out the past as he is haunted by internal and external stresses.
The art really represents the mental state of the main charcter and the creepiness that surrounds him.
King of a Miniature Garden byChi-Tan
This is a Yaoi story. I had never read a story of this genre before but I really enjoyed it. Yaoi is a phenomen in Japan and recently in the USA. Its a unique genre since it explores the love story between two men, but the genre is created to appeal to women. There are some unique hallmarks of a Yaoi relationship. Both of the main male characters are NOT Gay. They are often conflicted by their attraction for each other but through a series of challenges, similar to those in traditional romance novels are able to admit there love to each other. What i loved most about this story was its themes of duty , sacrifice and love. The beauty of this story is that it would resonate the same if the characters where  a man or woman or even two women. I'm not really drawn to the genre of Yaoi as a whole but this story was enjoyable.
Sojourn by Paul Duffield
This is an interesting story. Not one line of dialogue but it portrays mood beautifully. A man rises from bed scribbles a not and then takes a bus ride. In the middle of the woods he pitches a tent and sits. The woman who was sleeping in the bed awakens , reads his note and begins to cry. Gorgeous art that is augmented by the lack of narrative.
Some of these stories were hit or miss but all of them were interesting and complete unto themselves. I wouldn't say this volume represents a full sampler of the entire manga world but the stories does have a definite manga influence.


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