Author Archives: Anna

more comics people comment on ALA Graphic Novel lists

Manga Blog, Love Manga, and Preco
Precocious Curmudgeon and Sequential Tart comment on the updated Great Graphic Novels For Teens list. I wonder if the YALSA folk have any plans to use this as an outreach opportunity with local comics retailers? It seems like it might be a good opportunity to promote graphic novels and their availability at either the library or a local comics shop.

decorative switch plates

Inspired by a comment on my previous post, I decided to see where exactly one would go to find decorative switch plates. I thought that the laundry-themed one in my future home would be a unique example, but did you know that there are actually many different laundry switch plates out there to choose from?

Check it out here are three styles here are some more (I like the way the web page on the site for laundry and sewing switch plates is called “women”).

There are library switch plates.

This page lets you select switch plates with the related themes of Elvis, Lighthouses, and Southwest Missions.

You can also decorate your home with Wonder Woman, Superman, or Spiderman

I’m slightly stunned and disturbed that there are so many varied switch plate options out there.

Back from SLC, I visited my new condo

I just got back from Salt Lake City, I visited the future Mr. Tangognat and checked out our condo with renovations in progress. We bought the place in November from a woman who had a very strange idea of interior decoration. She used a lot of dark green and dark red, and the second bedroom was an electric blue shrine to Spongebob Squarepants. My future husband did a great job painting the dining room and living room a nice warm cream color, and the guest bedroom is now “bonsai green”. I didn’t take any pictures of the nice rooms though, because I felt I had to document the trainwreck like quality of the rooms we haven’t had time to get to yet. To give you an idea of how thematic and overdecorated the condo is, this is a picture of the laundry room:

thematic laundry room

Note that not only do we have a laundry themed wallpaper border, there is also a laundry themed plactic light switch. Yowza!

weird front closet

This is the front closet. She took the doors off the closet, installed a shelf and a wine themed wallpaper border and a yucky looking rack that I think is supposed to hold wine glasses upside down. I think it looks much better now that it is being used as a holding zone for all the paint and tools. I guess we will have to take out all the wine garbage and buy some new closet doors.

horrible green paint

This is the front hallway with the wallpaper border removed, it gives you an idea of how dark the colors are that were used in the condo.

more painted tile

There is not a single tiled surface that was spared a horrible onslaught of stenciling. The former owner used regular house paint on the tiles for her projects, so it can be scraped off.

Bathroom of wobbly pink stripes

This is the master bathroom. I think it is a crime against humanity. I don’t know why wobbly pink stripes would be a look anyone would go for, but I guess someone liked it. I’m looking forward to getting rid of the pink.

R.O.D – Read Or Die Manga

Read or Die by Shutaro Yamada and Hideyuki Kurata 3.5 stars(amazon)

I always feel a little conflicted about manga adapted from anime. For whatever reason, I’m much more willing to watch anime adaptations of manga and I tend to be less enthusiastic about manga versions of anime. There are certain series where I’ll watch/read both versions (Kare Kano, Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc) but I’ve never felt the need to seek out the manga versions of anime I’ve enjoyed like RahXephon, Cowboy Bebop, or Evangelion. Read or Die is an exception, as there was no way I wasn’t going to check out the further adventures of Yomiko Readman, special agent to the Library of England.

Read or Die isn’t a direct adaptation of the original three episode OAV or the TV show, it takes place in a time period between the two anime releases, when Yomiko Readman first meets the precocious high school student and best-selling author Nenene Sumiregawa. I’d be curious to read a review of the manga from someone who hasn’t already watched the anime, because I wonder how someone would react when encountering these characters without already knowing the backstory. Yomiko Readman is an ardent bibliophile, cherishing books the way other people love a fine wine, beautiful work of art, or Clive Owen. She also has the power to manipulate paper into whatever form she imagines – she can deflect bullets, make knives, or make a handy parachute with whatever books or random bits of paper happen to be on hand. The Library of England’s spy operation sends her on special assignments to recover rare books with unique properties.

When Yomiko takes a job substitute teaching at Nenene’s school, her biggest concern is tracking down her favorite author and getting her autograph. But Nenene is kidnapped by an insane fan of literature, and Yomiko must rescue her while fighting someone who has the power to destroy paper. I found some of the action scenes to be a bit muddled, it was difficult at times to figure out exactly what was going on. The art is fairly typical, and it follows some of the character designs seen in the anime – all the female characters are very curvy. Yomiko went up a cup size or two in the manga.

I think one of the things that was lost in the manga version was the jazzy James Bondish vibe of the first Read Or Die OAV. There weren’t quite as many historical or literary references in the manga, and the plotline didn’t seem as clever. I think if I didn’t already have a prior attachment to the characters in Read Or Die I’d probably be less enthusiastic about the manga. I still liked reading it, and I’m going to keep buying it, because how often do you get to read a manga that features super-powered secret agents of a secretive library organization? Almost never! I do think that the best introduction to the world of Read Or Die is the OAV, and if I had to recommend one product I’d say to go for the dvd (amazon) instead of the manga. If you’re already a fan of the anime and want to spend more time with the characters, you’ll probably like the manga too.

Reading List, Febuary 2006

Books

Summers at Castle Auburn, The Safe-Keeper’s Secret, and The Truth-Teller’s Tale by Sharon Shinn
Good YA books! Sometimes I like discovering authors late, because then there are plenty of books available for me to read.

I got a bunch of Janet Evanovitch books from the public library (I am trying to be thrifty and buy fewer books):

Three to Get Ready
, Four to Score, Seven Up, Hard Eight, To the Nines, and Ten Big Ones
All of these were very formulaic, and I could easily finish one of these books in an afternoon, or half an afternoon. Nothing wrong with that! I’ve been a little stressed recently, so I’m giving myself permission to read a bunch of totally frivolous books.

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison
I’ve missed a volume or two in the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, but this still made me laugh out loud when I was reading it in public.

Manga and Graphic Novels

Tsubasa #7 by CLAMP
Tramps like Us #8 by Yayoi Ogawa
Land of the Blindfolded #6 by Tsukuba Sakura
Cantarella #2 by You Higuri
Fullmetal Alchemist #5 by Hiromu Arakawa
Queen’s Knight #5 by Kim Kang Won
From Far Away #5, #6, #7 by Kyoko Hikawa
Bleach #3, #4 by Tite Kubo
Petshop of Horrors #1 by Matsuri Akino
Inuyasha #1, #2 by Rumiko Takahashi
Hana-Kimi #9, #10 by Hisaya Nakajo
Monster by Naoki Urasawa
The Originals by Dave Gibbons
Young Avengers Vol. 1: Sidekicks by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison (amazon)

This is one of the recent books in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series. The first book was the great Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. I think ATFFS started the craze for British chick-lit for teens. I’ve read ATFFS and a few of the other books in the series, and while they are all very funny, sometimes I wonder about an author’s ability to keep a long-running series fresh. If the reader is already familiar with Georgia’s obsession with her nose, tendency to end all words with “osity”, and her insane posse of girl-school friends, what can the author do to keep things fresh? In this case Georgia travels to America aka “Hamburger-a-gogo-land” with her parents to attend a clown car convention in Memphis. Since she’s currently obsessed with a new Love God named Massimo who happens to be visiting America, she’s willing to put up with her embarrassing Elvis-wigged parents and go on vacation with them. When she returns to England she has to deal with lovely looking but tiny shoes, a letter from New Zealand, the always present Dave the Laugh, and the terrors of German class. I did laugh out loud several times while I was reading this but. I think at some point all series have to end, and it is starting to get a little annoying that Georgia still fails to realize that the only boy she needs to snog is Dave the Laugh. Poor Dave the Laugh!

Inexplicably Cranky

I’ve been cranky all day for no good reason. To start off my day I forgot I had a meeting and showed up late, everything progessed from there. Now I’m at home drinking a Bass and knitting, so I’m starting to mellow out. It is a good thing I’m going on a mini-break to visit the future Mr. Tangognat in the middle of the week. Happy Thoughts!!! Here are some links:

Carnival of the Infosciences #26
Happy belated birthday to neilalien
Crochet Tomato Gallery
I read the first volume of Monser, and it was great. There’s a new Flipped column up talking about books from CMX. I never seem to be able to find Chikyu Misaki in any book or comic store, I guess I’ll have to order it.

Thanks to the people who’ve ordered stuff through the little amazon box on the right! That and the adsense ads are going to be it for me in terms of trying to get a few pennies from blogging, in anticipation of my upcoming voluntary unemployment.

Poetry!, New Manga

Check out the lovely literary poem (written by a librarian) over at Chicken Spaghetti.
New CMX books, I know Emma has a built-in fanbase, and how funny is it that Megatokyo is jumping to a third publisher?
New Dark Horse titles. I like the ides of Kurosagi Delivery of Corpse (5 students at a buddhist university use their super-powers to search for corpses and carry out their last wishes) but I didn’t really like Madara, the only other Eiji Ohtsuka manga that I’ve tried.

Mouse Guard: Belly of the Beast

There was only one issue of Mouse Guard left when I went to the comic shop, so I picked it up. It is a lovely all-ages comic. When I first saw the cover image of a mouse in a cape holding a sword I was wondering how similar it might be to the Redwall books, but other than having mice with weapons there aren’t too many similarities between the two works.

The mice have guards to keep them protected as they go about their business in the wood. Mouse Guard opens with the mysterious disappearance of a grain merchant who was traveling alone. Three intrepid members of the Mouse Guard named Lieam, Kenzie, and Saxon set out to investigate. David Petersen’s art is richly detailed, you can take a look at previews for the first and second issues on the Archaia Studios web site. Check it out!

Tamora Pierce writing White Tiger, Sex in Manga @ your library

The New York Comic-Con edition of Publishers Weekly features a couple articles that may be interesting to librarians.

There’s the article Librarians Talk about Sex in Manga about a panel at the Con sponsored by Library Journal. The article doesn’t really contain much new information for me, but there’s the link!

I was thought it was interesting to find out that YA novelest Tamora Pierce is going to be writing a White Tiger miniseries for Marvel. There’s a press release and cover art from David Mack on Pierce’s web site.