An education in manga

February 25th, 2010

Okay, I confess: It’s been a while since we last updated this blog. Like several-weeks-ago a while. Trying to decipher what goes where in the Tenchi Muyo! universe while being continually distracted by The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks play sessions, the siren calls of various iPod Touch apps and the day-to-day duties of being a Star-Bulletin copy editor/page designer eats up a considerable amount of time, after all.

Hopefully you’ll see us around a bit more in the coming days, though. One reason is because I need to fill my time writing something in the slightly-longer-than-usual break before the next Cel Shaded sees print (remember, now, it’s on Sundays starting March 7). And another … well … is because I finally got a chance to meet Aiea Library young adult librarian Diane Masaki in person on Wednesday, after I borrowed pretty much the entire run (save a few volumes) of the No Need for Tenchi! manga from her branch. (Which, now that I think about it, is an amazing coincidence … I mean, meeting a Masaki on the same day I borrowed books chronicling the adventures of another Masaki — namely, Tenchi? Okay, that was an incredibly nerdy otaku thought, let’s quickly move on.) Diane, as regular Cel Shaded readers will know, has been running an anime club since 2007 that meets every third Saturday of the month at the library. It was great talking to her, but as I was about to leave, she said, “Oh, and I read Otaku Ohana! But recently I’ve been clicking there thinking, ‘Did he put something new up? … Aww, he didn’t.’”

Duly noted. Far be it for me to disappoint a regular reader, so Diane, here’s your new post, with more in store for the near future. I hope.

Something she told me during our conversation, though, got me checking the library system’s online catalog. As it turns out, what she told me was something I completely missed: My book, The Rough Guide to Manga, is now available to borrow through the Hawaii State Public Library System. (The companion book, Simon Richmond’s The Rough Guide to Anime, is available as well.) For those of you somewhere in the state reading this, this now leaves no excuse for checking out the book, so go go go! (And while you’re at it, please donate some amount to our libraries … they need all the help they can get, and then some.)

And that would be the end of this post if not for a Google Alert that chirped into my inbox a few hours ago. Yes, I admit, I have a “vanity search” that sends me any new instances of when my name pops up around the Web. For the most part it pulls up links to columns and articles I’ve written (and the occasional months-old Tweet … yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that, either).

Every once in a while, though, I get a hit that turns out to be quite worthwhile. That link comes courtesy of the Daily Telegraph in Australia, which publishes a weekly educational page, “Classmate,” that focuses on a particular topic. The Feb. 16 topic? Manga. And while I’d consider the fact that my book’s listed among the sources cool in and of itself, I must say the entire editorial package looks fantastic, and an easy recommendation to share with friends who may not know what this whole manga thing is about. Click on the thumbnail image to the right to grab the PDF of the page from the Telegraph’s site. (Fair warning for those of you on slower connections, though: The file size is 2 MB.)

6 Responses to “An education in manga”

  1. Diane:

    Yay! A new post! Thank you! =-) And thank you VERY much for plugging the libraries =-)

    I promise I bought your book for my library but it’s just not ready to circulate yet =-}

    Was good to finally meet YOU in person =-)

  2. Matthew:

    The Star-Bulletin owner is purchasing the Advertiser and putting the Star-Bulletin up for sale. 10 years after this whole mess about shutting your paper down occurred, it’s happening again. What is your Plan B?

  3. AniMatsuri:

    Speaking of The Rough Guide to Manga, why isn’t it available at Borders? Do we need to form a mob to demade they carry it?

  4. AniMatsuri:

    demade = demand

  5. Jason S. Yadao:

    I’m not really privy to the discussions that go on at higher levels, but casual observation would seem to indicate that Borders corporate, for whatever reason, chose only to stock the book online nationwide. I wouldn’t advocate mob riots and breaking down the doors, but everything online is available via special order delivery to stores. Some special orders and polite requests might be nice.

  6. Jason S. Yadao:

    Thanks for your concern! I can honestly say that my Plan B is … well … pretty much the same as Plan A at the moment, which is to keep on doing what I love doing here for as long as this gig holds out. I think it’s pointless to worry about what may or may not happen in the future both here and at our esteemed competition up the street, so all we can do is keep on producing our respective papers to the best of our abilities.

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