Tuesday, December 30, 2003

5 comics I read this year

This is not a "top" 5 in even the most tenuous and subjective manner. I have no idea what 5 comics even I liked best this year, I've probably forgot most of them and I haven't even read half the comics I bought. But since I started this end of the year silliness I might as well finish it. So here are 5 comics I read this year and liked:

1. Paradise Kiss. I've written about this before, and I still love it. Of course, it's taken—what, a whole year?—to get the last volume out (it should be out in April, I think). But worth the wait. I hope it's followed up by more of Ai Yazawa's work.

2. One Piece. Completely silly but lots of fun. Evan wanted to read this ever since we first started seeing the merchandise for it a couple years ago, and he got his wish! I hope retailers that carry it have enough of a clue to push the fact that it's a pirate comic.

3. Courtney Crumrim. I'm not totally caught up on these, but I've really enjoyed the collections so far. And look, it keeps this from being a "5 manga I liked" list, ha ha.

4. Blade of the Immortal. Okay, it kind of goes on and on, but I still haven't gotten sick of it.

5. Kodocha. Okay, I haven't read it the way a normal reader does. But I enjoyed working on this book more than I enjoy reading most comics. I can't wait until the distant day in the future when I have forgotten what happened and what I did on the book and can just read it like a new reader. And, now that I'm finished I hope to track down fansubs of the anime (I didn't want to watch them until I was done—I didn't want to be accidentally influenced by anyone else's rewriting of the series).

There's a lot of other books I read, or have in my giant stack, and I'd have to give special mentio to: I.N.V.U., Pet Shop of Horrors, X-Day, Kindaichi Files and Shadow Star. And I'm sure there's more I've liked and just can't think of. Oh well. Tune in tomorrow to see if I can actually come up with one last list!


  1. Dear Sarah,
    This is Phoebe Gloeckner (cartoonist.) I wanted to tell you that I've been seeing your name in Kodocha for a long time now, and I wanted to thank you for your part in the series. My daughter Fina (12) LOVES Kodocha. I had to go to the bookstore seventeen million times in November to look for issue ten, which didn't actually get there until December, but you don't know how happy happy happy she was to finally get it and she read it at least seventeen million times, one for each time we looked and it wasn't at the store yet.
    Is #10 really the last?
    Can you recommend another title for a 12-year-old girl? She also likes Ranma 1/2, What's Michael... is there anything else good?
    Sincerely Yours
    Phoebe Gloeckner
    PS: Where did you learn Japanese?

  2. er, if you want, i might be able to help out with at least some of the fansubs. i think i've got up into the 50s or so, all on VHS...

  3. Janaki - thanks! but I've taken a vow to bring no more VHS tapes into the house. I'm going to try and find them on vcd or at least divx (if I have to) eventually.
    Phoebe - thanks for the message! that is such a cute story! Yes, #10 is really the last volume. I was hoping they'd get another Miho Obana book, or at least the one companion volume to Kodocha (there is a one-volume book of the Mansion of Water story) but so far, no go. You can tell Fina that I'm sad, too.
    I myself don't read japanese -- I work from a raw, literal translation. I did learn a lot from looking things up, however!
    Other titles she might like -- that's a hard one. I have not loved a lot of the more straight domestic stuff I've read. But Kare Kano and I.N.V.U. come to mind right off the bat (as books I like, that is). If she liked Ranma she might like the shape-shifting and comedy aspects of DNAngel. (I'm working on that right now -- I think volume 1 comes out next month.) Hmm. I'll think about it a little more and bring it up in my next entry in case anyone else has any ideas!
    And btw -- we're big fans so, you totally geeked us out with your comment! ^_^ thanks!!

  4. no problem! i don't know if they're available digitally, but if you do get into it, i'd look for the Kodocha Anime/Friends of Sana fansubs, when you do go looking---they're really good. because the anime relies so much more on pop culture and puns and slapstick-ness than the manga does, there are a lot of notes that the fansubbers took care to put in to help in understanding it better. i don't know about other subs, but i do like theirs a lot---quality and care are nice. :)
    someday, i'll have a high-speed connection instead of dialup, and such things will be easier for me to seek out. XD


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