In English, Fiction, Michael Smith on 2013/11/29 at 10:06
(Because I am slammed up against deadlines (so many deadlines!), here is a thing I wrote ages ago, but never posted, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I cared enough about this book to spend time discussing it. But I wrote it and it’s a nice change from the manga parade of late and I promise I will have something new for you next week after deadline panic has passed.)
First things first: This book is really British. Really British. I don’t think I realized what I was getting into when I asked the bookstore clerk to recommend something that probably wouldn’t get published in Canada, when I was in the Norwich last year. I had to look up what the title even meant. (Turns out a giro is “a cheque given by the British government to someone who is unemployed”, which I guess means that when you’re on the dole, you get giros? It all still sounds weird in my mouth.) So you know, if you’re not British, be warned. There’s a lot of UK-specific action in here.
Even so, The Giro Playboy has a lot in common with another first-person narrative I read recently, Grrrl by Canadian Jennifer Whitehead. I didn’t particularly care for either one of them (read my reasons for not liking Grrl here) (you’ll have to scroll down a bit because I am a technodullard and can’t figure out how to get it to link to just that review), although I liked Giro a lot more at the start and grew to dislike it for different reasons.
In Boys' Love, Doujinshi, est em, Fumi Yoshinaga, Ken Niimura, Sakae Kusama on 2013/11/22 at 09:17
Given that I spent some time talking about the random doujinshi I have encountered on this trip to Japan, you might well expect that there was some non-random doujinshi involved in my reading lately, and in that, you would be correct. I have indeed been reading the doujinshi of people who are, in fact, known to me, as I hope they are to you. And if they’re not, I would suggest you check out the non-doujin works of these artists because they are six kinds of awesome and they could use your support. Oddly enough, they’ve all been published in English, so if you have manga dollars to spend, these would be a good place to put them.
You know that I basically cannot spend anytime in Japan without picking up something by Brain favourite est em. She is just so prolific and her work is just so worth talking about. And for some reason, Mandarake was practically overflowing with her doujinshi work the last time I was there. Did someone sell off their collection? Did she herself decide to replenish their stock? I have no answers, only smutty doujins. Smutty, horsey doujins.
Because of course, I picked up some of her centaur phase work. Both Equus and Equus/Duo contain stories collected in the Equus book published by Shodensha. I don’t have Equus here to compare these doujin versions with the mainstream version, but from my memory, they are pretty similar, if not essentially the same.
In Boys' Love, Doujinshi, Japanese, manga on 2013/11/15 at 09:32
I have been buying a lot of doujinshi these last few weeks. I don’t usually buy so much doujinshi, mostly because I always forget about the many doujin events that happen here in the big city and I can never find anything that I want when I go to the bookstores. But this year, I have been to not one, but two doujin events! And the bookstores have been offering up unexpected goodies. It’s a doujin miracle!
Some of the unexpected goodies are by artists I know and love, and some are by random artists that I came across at Comitia (which hosted the Kaigai Manga Festa where I was the OFFICIAL INTERPRETER for TCAF) or J-Garden (which is incredibly weird, limited to JUNE parody works or original BL stories. On a sad side note, Takako Shimura was apparently there, but we missed her.). So I figured why not divide them up along those lines? Here then, is the first official doujinshi round-up: the random stuff. And it is very random.
The most random and the winner of all the gold stars in the world is Mahoshojo Musashi (Magical Girl Musashi) by 387. Musashi is a 35-year-old, chain-smoking high-school janitor and magical girl. Yes, it is exactly as wonderful as it sounds.