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Joined: 20 Mar 2019
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:57 pm Reply with quote
Grace of Nation. - 1 chapter. Really interestinf book despite I don't usualy read books
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Village ElderVillage Elder

Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8541
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:57 pm Reply with quote

I've had fairly good luck with Fantagraphics up to this point. Wandering Son is at least readable even if they did jinx it by making it too expensive. Otherwise what I have are collections of newspaper comic strips. The Pogo and Peanuts books are odd sized but have dust covers so they can be read while at the dinner table. The Prince Valiant collections are huge but are thin so are readable sitting. The Poe Clan I will probably have to read at a desk.

People who do not accumulate a lot of books do not understand the need to shelve them both efficiently and with at least some sort of logic. It always amuses me when I see furniture stores selling book cases with the shelves a foot or more deep and 13 to 15 inches between. A couple of those are useful for larger books, but too many are a waste of space. Most of my book shelves are 8 or 9 inches deep and 9 or 10 inches between shelves.

I have a number of books from the mid to late 1800s but I tend to think of them as old, but not antique. To me antique denotes something too valuable to use. These are all here for reading purposes. Nothing special some Washington Irving, Jules Vern (got to love those high Victorian bindings) and some early Kipling and Conan Doyle.

As to current reading, I just finished Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter volume 4. I really enjoy this series and I wish we were also getting the novel that is its base. I like her low key approach to changing things. Now we are getting into the court intrigue that started the story. I find this to be superior to the competitor, My Next Life as a Villainess. I prefer when the protagonist is at least competent. In the latter book she is a ditz.

I am currently reading volume 3 of Gleipnir. This series started seriously weird and has gotten progressively weirder. At this point, I'm finding it hard to find any character in it to root for. Next up will probably be a couple of print light novels from J-novel Club.
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Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:47 am Reply with quote
Moto Hagio is by far my fave manga-ka, so of course I have to weigh in here (I just received my copy of Poe 1--cost me, including shipping, about $34 Canadian, but I did pre-order it from Amazon when they had the list price at about $24 American, which I know is around $30 now).

Like I said, I've been obsessed with her work for the past twenty years or so--ever since I was 10 and Viz published Four Shojo Stories that contained They Were 11. I have everything published in English--which isn't much (the other Viz manga, A Prime, the Fantagraphic books, and the shoujo issue of the comics Journal with the full interview with her that was later excerpted and included in one of the Fantagraphic books but is especially handy as they have a complete--up to that time--bibliography of *all* her works, including serialization dates and page count). *anyway*. Oh, I also have her French translations--which is basically a nice two volume box set--but at least I can read it and it has a lot of shorter work not published in English--and I have sets of my two favourite of her titles untranslated even though I can barely read Japanese--A Cruel God Reigns (which of course is epic length) and the vastly underrated MESH. As well as various art books, etc... So yeah, I'm a fan.
(Oh! And her great 50 page story in the Parasyte M volume that recently came out in English and I wasn't expecting to much like...)

And I'm loathe to insult anything about these Fantagraphic books--I'm just glad that they continue to work with Rachel Matt Thorn on new Hagio translations even if, like everything Fantagraphics, it's a slow process. I remember being shocked when they announced their first work--I just thought no one would touch Hagio in English after the Viz releases.

As for Alan's question about size. Poe volume 1 is about 500 pages and Rachel Thorn has told me volume 2 will be about the same (set for next Summer)--which will complete the original series of interconnected short stories (sadly, there are no plans to do the recent revival series, although the original anniversary one off from 2016 might be included in volume 2). So this will cover the original 5 tankoubons.

It's roughly the same size as the previous four volumes of Hagio titles that Fantagraphics have released, and the same heft (though oddly they're all slightly of different heights except for the two volume Otherworld Barbara volumes--but they still look nice together on my shelf).

In terms of how big they are, the first teaser Hagio title from them, A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, selecting some fan favourite short stories, is "only" about 300 pages. It came out in 2010 and sadly, like nearly all Fantagraphic titles, onlyhad oneprint run so now goes for ridiculous prices online.

Heart of Thomas, which came out in 2013, contained the complete series and so was a pretty hefty 600 pages. On the other hand the translation of Otherworld Barbara (one of her titles I knew very little about before, and I found intensely moving and wonderful) that came out in two volumes over 2016-2017 was 400 pages each.

Honestly, I LOVE this format for these titles. They're not titles that would sell well, sadly, even if done cheaply, and the presentation is done with so much care. They aren't as easy to read as a paperback, but the art looks great (I admit I do read them quite often laid upon my lap while siting in bed).

My one main objection is--like I said about nearly all Fantagraphic titles, they do only one, relatively small, print run and you really have to get them relatively quickly (I just saw that Heart of Thomas is also fully out of print and goes for over $200 bucks on Amazon Marketplace). I admit, I have two copies of most of them as I found cheap deals when they came out.

(Another issue I've had is I've often had to return a copy because the hard cover corners and spine get banged up in the mail).

Rachel Thorn implied to me that Fantagraphics weren't interested in doing any of Moto Hagio's longer series (so they won't touch A Cruel God Reigns which was 19 volumes originally--though I think it might be hard to bring over anyway due to its graphic themes of a boy's sexual abuse by his step father). But most of her series are generally short--under 1000 pages. *If* they were to attempt a longer series, I *would* object to this format--I think the size is too big for long series, and the price too high, as well as the long wait between editions (Wandering Son was cheaper and came out more regularly, but I do think it was this format that killed it--at least I assume they've given up on translating any more).

BUt yes, it was confirmed that due to low sales, Wandering Son is permanently on hold at volume 8 (unlike the Hagio books, I don't think any volumes sold out). Shame as they were just a bit over half way complete. I keep wondering if Viz will pick it up... They picked up Sweet Blue Flowers, another Takako Shimura manga (a yuri high school one) after it had been dropped by a smaller English publisher, and released i complete in 4, 400 page omnibuses.

ANYWAY, excuse such a rambling post--I had to work a 30 hour shift today and am still wired but tired. I haven't really compared my Japanese issues of Poe to the first volume yet--I'm curious as to whether they'll publish the stories/chapters in the order they were written or in the chronology of when they are set--in Japan various versions have done one or the other. (I'm hoping for in the order of when they are written as I like seeing the progress in Hagio's style, as well as I like when the stories jump back and forth through the decades).
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Joined: 22 Aug 2019
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:33 am Reply with quote
I've been reading Realm of Terracotta: Last Life on webtoons.

It's about adventure, superpower, and revenge, the hero used to live under the wings of his elder brother, but as time changed, his brother got into danger, he has to become stronger to get back to his brother, so it's also about the personal growth of the hero.

Based on the brief, I know that the story is set in the Warring state period when the land of Zhongyuan was in total chaos, each kingdom hoping to topple the others and reign over the land. Hundreds of powerful clans emerged, all of them support different kings.

The Meng family was the head of the Martial Clan. Their ability, Martial Spirit, gives the bearer the spirit and ability of a great warrior. Meng Yuan (the hero) one day saves a young man named Mo Dun from the abusive Huhai, the youngest son of the Qin Emperor. Infuriated, Huhai orders Meng Yuan to be banished from Xianyang.

It's said to be updated every Friday, I think I'll keep reading.
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