Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MANGA: THE COMPLETE GUIDE (or, Thompson's Manga Bible)

As you probably heard, our friend Jason Thompson's incredible manga guidetome has been released! MANGA: THE COMPLETE GUIDE features reviews on EVERY MANGA EVER RELEASED IN ENGLISH (updated through this summer-- yes, he read them all), along with succinct, thoughtful primers on the different manga genres. The Four-Panel Manga primer is on page 111, and Horror is on page 150.

I got my copy from Del Rey last week, and have been poring over it, making lists of things to read and spot-checking Jason's commentary on all my favorite titles. We're a little late to the party, but Evan and I wanted to say-- CONGRATULATIONS, DUDE!



(For those who need a reminder, Jason is a former Viz editor who spent 10 years editing manga, helping launch the English edition of Shonen Jump, working on PULP and Secret Comics Japan, and editing Same Hat favorites like Uzumaki and Gyo. He still works freelance and is the continuing editor of Drifting Classroom and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Oh, and we posted earlier about a manga event at the Asian Art Museum where Jason waxed poetic about manga magazines in Japan.

Dang, it's been a Thompson frenzy in the blogosphere (or is it, mangasphere?), with tons of reviews and interviews with Jason floating around (see here and here, to start). As of this week, THOMPSON FEVER has hit print media too, with a cover feature on HOW MANGA CONQUERED AMERICA in the newest issue of Wired. Jason wrote the 10-pg history of manga comic, with art by Atsuhisa Okura:


Click above image to read the comic

Have people picked up this book yet? It's required reading for any manga fan, and so far I've been using it to compile must-read lists of classics (including tons of stuff outside the usual genres I stick to...), read up on out-of-print titles I've been considering tracking down and seeing what Jason thought of some of my favorites. Generally speaking, the reviews are extremely fair and pretty right on (my only complaint I can remember is that Octopus Girl deserves a 3.5 stars instead of 3! HA!).


(Dubbed 'The 4 Horseman of the Mangapocalypse: Fred Schodt, Gilles Poitras, Patrick Macias, and Jason Thompson')

I also have been reading the book for simple vanity. I actually wrote 12 reviews for Jason, convering some small, hard to find ebook releases. Mine aren't nearly as polished as Jason's (or other guest reviewers like Carl Gustav Horn or Shannon Garrity), but if you have the book, feel free to check them out!

My reviews:
BASS MASTER RANMARU
DREAM HOTEL
ELECTRIC MAN ARROW
HAMSTER CLUB
LOAN WOLF
MOURNING OF AUTUMN RAIN
NURSE CALL
PACHINKO PLAYER
STANDARD BLUE
WILD BOOGIE
URBAN MIRAGE
DEVIL IN THE WATER

Congrats again to Jason-- He worked his ass off on the book for nearly two years (and read WAY MORE MANGA than any human being should), but the end result is an incredibly fun and useful guide. GO BUY IT!

5 comments:

Joseph Luster said...

I'm going to pick this up really soon. It's a pretty amazing achievement, and I'm glad someone like Jason was there to read all that darn manga that I wouldn't even want to touch!

Jason Thompson said...

Aww, shucks! Thanks for all the work you did on the book, Ryan! You were the best!

bittermelon said...

wow. if i were jason i could die a happy man knowing i accomplished such a feat. but i'll just die a sad woman instead.

mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jones, one of the Jones boys said...

3.5 stars out of, what, 3.5? All right, maybe out of 4. It better not be a 5 star system, that's all I'm saying.