Christmas Gift Review, Manga Retaliation

Posted by on December 3rd, 2009 at 5:34 AM

I’m not very good about keeping up with news-content driven manga blogs, but news-content driven manga blogs have been very good about cross-referencing each other in all their postings, so I feel my industry duty is usually done with a couple of page views. And so I know this isn’t “news” anymore, but “news” of a retaliatory manga gift guide has finally reached me via Ed Sizemore.

I point these retaliatory lists out as an editorial platform: because it’s true a lot of good manga is unfortunately waylayed by chits like the NY Times Book Review. Like, I love Scott Pilgrim as much as the next guy who plays Rock Band stoned on Saturday afternoons, but why would you recommend a mass market in media res installment of a rad series… as a Christmas Gift? i.e. Shouldn’t you wait till the omnibus or deluxe edition or movie version replete with Michael Cera’s pedophantic face plastered all over the cover comes out before you offer it as a gift? OR, wouldn’t you recommend all volumes in print? Is it a recession thing?

Frankly if someone gave me a $12 later installment of a series I may or may not have started, I’d consider their mental health. Just like if someone gave me disc 3 of the second season of Mad Men or a poster from Star Trek Enterprise.

Something that would have made MUCH more sense to put in a NYT gift guide would be A Drifting Life or if they really needed to do one installment from a series, why not Oishimbo (which SCREAMS Bruni+Bittman love and doesn’t depend on previous or succeeding volume for coherence).

Then again, I’m not doing any favors shooting newspapers in a barrel, and they aren’t doing themselves any favors making easy targets with gift guides and “best of” lists that will never ever ever satisfy everyone. Every single book I mention IS in fact worth getting.

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