Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Six years ago I wrote about JBC, a small used book store in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago, which sold Japanese-language books, including manga.* I was there yesterday and learned that the store would be closing: "perhaps by the end of next month" is what the guy told me. This is sad news, of course. On the other hand, this provides opportunities for bargain-hunters. Not only have prices been cut on their regular stock, but they are selling their rental manga in sets for two dollars per volume. You have to buy all the volumes they have of a series at once (and as far as I could see they were complete series, or complete up to recent volumes): you can't pick and choose individual volumes. But there were plenty of short or reasonably short series there. On the other hand, if you've been waiting for an opportunity to buy 105 volumes of Oishinbo for $210, or even 173 volumes of KochiKame for $346, now's your chance. (Unless they've been sold already, of course.) Instructions on how to get there are in the post I linked to. Note that I'm not talking about the JBC in Mitsuwa, which doesn't sell books. I don't know if that one is closing or not. *The Shiriagari Kotobuki volumes I wrote about in that post are no longer there, though. (I think.)

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Saturday, May 12, 2012


A long time ago I briefly wrote about Kinecomica by Tori Miki. This is a collection of short gag manga, each one parodying or riffing on a well-known movie. What I didn't notice at the time, because I didn't have enough experience with manga, was that some of the pieces also parody or imitate the styles of other manga artists. "Star Wars," for instance, is quite obviously in the later style of Shigeru Sugiura. "Ghostbusters" is equally obviously in the style of Shigeru Mizuki. Though it's not as obvious, I believe "The Bible" is in the style of Hideo Azuma. And "Robocop" is evidently in the style of some 50s or 60s robot manga (the panels are even numbered), but I don't know which. I'm sure there are more parodies that I don't recognize. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if every story in the book is a parody of a different artist.

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