Here’s the other big Internet dust-up of last weekend. It all started when Dirk Deppy linked to a Guardian article lamenting the lack of manga for newbies who aren’t below the age of 18 and offered the following bit of snark:
Let’s grant that manga offerings in the U.K. are even more limited than here in the States; still, may I recommend that Beauman take a look at the works available from the collaboration between British publisher Fanfare and Spain’s Ponent Mon? Likewise, readers interested in seeing what the Anglo translation houses haven’t touch yet might want to have a look at this guide to scanlations. There’a actually quite a lot out there beyond the usual books for teenagers.
This got Chris Butcher really upset:
When did we as passionate, intelligent consumers decide to simply take what was given to us? Don’t get me wrong, I like the books by Fanfare/Ponent-Mon a great deal, I think I own better than 3/4 of them. But they aren’t the end-all and be all of manga for grown-ups (particularly not while their print-runs stay small and their bookstore distribution remains… the way it is). I don’t think that it’s a failing on the Guardian blogger’s part for him to go see what manga is all about and then lament that the books that he could find on store shelves is not for him… because they aren’t. There’s no denying that Naruto or Hot Gimmick are not exceptionally drawn, well-told stories in their respective genres… but their respective genres are TEEN FICTION.
Why is “Oh, there’s not enough manga for adults, better go to the internet” a legitimate sentiment anyway? Why isn’t any energy being invested in asking/demanding more manga for adults, or better still, showing some support for the material that’s already out there? Why does Shannon Gaerity have to hold the torch alone so much of the time? How much of the time do you spend reading books aimed at your age group, versus reading the ones for children and teenagers?
He also plays up Viz’s new Tekkon Kinkreet collection, which leads Dirk responded:
Having a Beguiling employee berating me for spotlighting “low-print run books with poor bookstore distro” over comics like Tekkon Kinkreet is the single most perplexing and dispiriting way to start a week that I can imagine at the moment. By this logic, Thunderbolts is a better introduction to the possibilities offered by Western comics than It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken, the latter of which cannot be found at either of the two chain bookstores closest to me — and you now know what that means.