Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Recommend: Y: The Last Man

Find the first volume at: [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Imagine a world with no men. (It may not be that hard, depending on how your week's been going so far.) What might this all-woman world be like? Would the ladies of the world all come together to catch fireflies, make s'mores, and teach each other how to play the acoustic guitar?

According to Brian K. Vaughan, not so much.

Instead, his series Y: The Last Man goes with the gender-equalicious view that we women can post-apocalyptic a landscape just as well as the guys, thankyouverymuch. It focuses on the only two males to survive a mysterious event that killed all the other men: Houdini-wannabe Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand.

Yorick just wants to get in touch with his girlfriend on the other side of the world, but just about every woman he meets either wants to kill him, sell him, or use him to try and clone a new male population. Or a combination of those three.

With great characters, crisp art, and witty dialogue, Y: The Last Man is an amazing read. Let's just hope it never has to be an instruction manual.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Read this: Visual Language of Manga and Comics

Great article at The Hooded Utilitarian (itself a great blog) about the way page layouts differ between comics from opposite sides of the Pacific:

Usually when discussing the visual language differences between manga and comics, manga is discussed in terms of higgledy-piggledy shoujo panels, speedline overload, sweatdrops, and nosebleeds, and nobody pays attention to the way the art elements and speech balloons are structured to steer your gaze through the page, but I think this may be a more defining characteristic of manga than all the sweatdrops and nosebleeds in the world.

Comics appear to have a much less obvious push through the page, often relying on American readers’ style of reading left to right first, then, if needed, secondarily directing the reader’s gaze through the page by use of action lines and other cues in the art.

It's in-depth without bogging down the reader in detail, and could be a great resource for people who find themselves having trouble reading the layout of comics/manga, or readers who are good at one but struggle with the other.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Comics Glossary

Comics, like any other field of entertainment, does a pretty good job of confusing newcomers with jargon. This glossary can help you navigate blogs and comic-shop conversations with greater ease.

Comic
A work that tells a story or conveys information through the use of pictures, often in combination with dialog or written description.

Panel
The "box" around a picture in a comic. Each panel indicates a separate point in space or moment in time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Reasons for Comics Non-Readership Among Women Survey - The Results

About a month ago, author/artist Hope Larson released the results of a survey she sent out to female comics readers. It ruffled some feathers and started some conversations, but most of all it got me thinking. What about a survey of women and girls who don't read comics?

So I put one together.

While it wasn't a 100% perfect success - more on that shortly - I still think my respondents came up with some interesting replies. And what better way to kick off a blog for non-comics-reading women than by examining them half to death?

I asked these ladies to answer a few questions about themselves, about comics, and why the two so rarely meet. Here's what they gave me.