Writing Updates: Reviews and Shorts

Let’s quit dwelling and whining for a moment and look at what’s going right.

Thanks to a new anime season, I’ve been getting a lot of episode reviews done lately. Even though I told myself I wouldn’t do it, I put my name down for two series, Wake Up, Girls! and Silver Spoon Season 2 (click the links for my most recent review). While Silver Spoon was a given since I reviewed the entire last season, Wake Up, Girls! caught my interest, and even though it’s not as good as the other show it’s been fun to analyze it each week.

Pink by Kyoko Okazaki
Pink by Kyoko Okazaki

I’ve also been getting some manga reviews done, though not as much. My most recent one is Pink by Kyoko Okazaki. This was an odd story, and I had a difficult time with the review. But, I think this might be the best one I’ve written recently, partly because I’ve been trying very hard to practice the art of Not Spoiling Anything when I write up reviews. I think I succeeded?

For writing-writing, I finished rehashing an old manuscript, and I’m letting it ferment for a little while before printing it out and doing some heavy edits (I’m also out of printer ink, so I gotta wait to get more of that, too). Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a few short stories, which range in doneness from fine tuning to a typo-ridden mess. One, a fantasy-ish story, I’ve sent out a couple times, and though it’s been rejected, I got a very encouraging personal rejection from a big fantasy magazine, which made me more happy than disappointed.

Also, my mad querying dash of the other day may have paid off. We’ll find out…

Writing Updates – Misshapen Rough Drafts

  • Yesterday I finished handwriting a rough draft of another middle grade novel. I was really bipolar on this story, having days where I loved it and thought that it was a great idea I could really work with once I got it typed up, and others where I thought I was so stupid for even thinking to write a story like this and I dreamed of dropping it in the toilet or lighting it on fire and just pretending I’d never even made the attempt. (So, I had a normal reaction, then?) I got a little manic while I was writing the ending; I just wanted to get it out, so I wrote several pages as fast as I could, my nose half an inch from the page while I did it. I got most of the plot I’d imagined in those pages, but none of the emotion, so I kind of hate them, and had to stop myself from just rewriting one line over and over again. I want to get at least part of this typed up soon, since I have a couple people in mind that I’d like to show it to for advice on both story and facts, but I need to not look at it for a couple of weeks.
  • I’m typing up another short story that I hope to send to my critique group when my turn comes again. I only hate it about 20% of the time, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one.
  • I’ve gotten a few articles done for Fandom Post, including a review of the latest Avatar: the Last Airbender comic. I’m not as proud of this one as of my last two reviews of these comics, since I think I rushed myself due to being a little behind on my reviewing, so be warned the review is a little more spoilery than I normally like to do. I have finished the last episode of Silver Spoon, which was a great show, but I don’t plan on doing another simulcast, or at least not two at once, for a little while, so hopefully I can just catch up on all the manga I have.

Writin Updates: Creative Screenwriting, More on Fandom Post

Nothing Can Possibly Go WrongI didn’t want to write this until my article was actually posted, since I’m paranoid about jinxing myself, but now I feel safe doing it. A couple months ago I signed up to write for the relaunched, on the web Creative Screenwriting, and a couple weeks ago my first article was published online, my interview with artist Faith Erin Hicks. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I really like Faith Erin Hicks, so even though this interview took place over email, I was really excited to have a chance to ask her questions and write about her. I have another one that I’m currently writing, and I may have another interview lined up. I’ve only just started, and as with anything I’m stressing  myself out, but I’m really excited.

I also realize I haven’t been mentioning what I’ve been posting on The Fandom Post recently. Mostly, it’s been reviews for episodes of anime, Mushibugyo and Silver Spoon, but there’s also the newest Avatar: The Last Airbender comic. I won’t link to everything I’ve posted, but click the link and look at my backlog if you’re interested.

New Reviews: Marceline and the Scream Queens

Marceline and the Scream QueensSince I’ll be headed to school in a few days, but my to-review pile has been stacking up, I’ve been trying to get as much writing done for The Fandom Post as I can before I head out for a week. I’ve sent off a few things, but thanks to end of year rush only a couple have been posted, my reviews of Marceline and the Scream Queens issue #1 and issue #2. This is an Adventure Time spin off series written by Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie) focusing on Marceline and Princess Bubblegum. Overall, this mini series was a fun ride. The rest of my reviews should be up soon.

On top of that I’ve got a bunch of volumes of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan and more Kamisama Kiss to review, so we can look forward to that over the next month or so.

New Fandom Post Review: Pokemon The Movie Manga

PokemonI’m a little late bringing this up, but my review for the Pokémon The Movie: White: Victini and Zekrom went up on the Fandom Post last week. This was adapted straight from one of the movies, which I think gives a clue as to its overall quality, but it was still an OK read. Check out my review to see exactly what I thought!

Fandom Post Reviews: Kimi ni Todoke 12 and Nura: Rise fo the Yokai Clan 6

This week two of my manga reviews were post on The Fandom Post.

First was the twelfth volume of Kimi ni Todoke, a truly fantastic shojo romance story. I’ve reviewed random volumes of this manga, and had to make up for the blank spots with library rentals. I love it so much that now I want to own all those volumes I’ve already read.

The other review was for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 6. I’ve been reviewing this series for a while, and while it kept getting better it’s kind of evened out. Still, it’s a pretty decent shonen story, when they keep to the demon stuff and ignore the fact that the main character is still in middle school.

Quick Recap – What’s Going On?

I fell off the wagon again and forgot I had a blog. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been up to since the last time I remembered to post.

First off, I’m very happy to say that I’m now a new contributing writer at Manga Bookshelf. In my new monthly column, Comic Conversion, I’ll be comparing prose novels with the graphic novel adaption. To kick things off I compared Witch & Wizard with the manga from Yen Press. For the next one I want to look at my favorite book, The Alchemist, and that graphic novel, and then the Pride and Prejudice and the comic from Marvel. After that I’m not entirely positive – I’ll make it up as I go.

I’ve also gotten a few more reviews written for both The Fandom Post and Suite 101. Most recent is my review of Tesoro, but I’ve also reviewed Dawn of the Arcana, The Innocent, Nura volume 5 and Kimi ni Todoke volume 8.

Work’s going forward with our second Digital Manga Guild project, Blanc. Our Typesetter is almost finished, so once that’s been quality checked we can send it off. At this rate I don’t know if it will get on the site before January, but we’ll see.

And finally and probably most importantly, I’ve gotten underway with my preparations for my third semester at Lesley. All of the readings and workshop manuscripts have been posted, so now it’s just three straight weeks of reading to get ready. I can’t believe I’m already halfway done with the program…

Review Recap: Sad Monsters, Sketch Monster, Nura & Psyren

I’ve fallen behind on this again, so let’s take a look at my reviews from the last couple of weeks.

First on Suite 101 I wrote a review for Sad Monsters, a humor book by Frank Lesser (who happens to write for Colbert Report). Because I’m apparently on some list at Penguin this book was sent to me randomly, but I’m glad it was. Written in short chapters with styles ranging from diary entries to Craigslist ads, Sad Monsters sets to prove that monsters are just as sad and messed up as humans. With all the paranormal romance stuff going around, it’s pretty relevant, and funny.

Next is Sketch Monsters, a kid’s comic that originally previewed with Power Lunch. This one was really cute, and funny, but I think I enjoyed Power Lunch more.

On The Fandom Post I wrote a review for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan volume 4. I wasn’t a fan of this Shonen Jump title at first, but I’m glad to say that it just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to review the next one.

I can’t say that for Psyren, which I reviewed for Suite 101 just the other day. Even though a lot of Shonen Jump manga tend to prove themselves after the first volume, this one was just so dull that I don’t care to see where it goes from here.

Review Recap: KON, Bunny Drop, Power Lunch & Kurozakuro

I have been avoiding my blog for too long. Particularly I fell behind in promoting my own darn reviews. Here’s what I’ve been up to the last two weeks:

On Suite 101:

  • K-ON! volume 3: How can I be enjoying something so much, and still think it’s mediocre at best? The characters are fun, but gosh this story is shallow.
  • Bunny Drop volume 4: I still love this adorable manga to death, but the drama didn’t grab me as much as previous volumes have been.
  • Power Lunch volume 1: This is a kid’s comic from Oni Press. I discovered it back in May on Free Comic Book Day. It’s just as interesting as I had hoped it would be, just a little short.

Over on Fandom Post:

I’m figuring out how to write a review for GON, the wordless manga bout a jerk-off dinosaur, and I’m reading through the Gandhi manga biography. I’ve also started writing some short reviews for Real Otaku Gamer, starting with My Girlfriend’s A Geek. Hopefully those get up soon…

Recent Reviews: Kurozakuro, Blue Exorcist, Yen Press Manga

I’ve been slow to update on this, but here are a few recent reviews I’ve done around the ‘net.

First was Kurozakuro volume 3, up on The Fandom Post. In this volume we’re starting to get more answers about what is going on, but the story telling is also really weird and clunky at times. And it’s still disappointing that none of the old female characters have returned. Read the rest of what I thought here.

On Real Otaku Gamer reviewed the first volume of Blue Exorcist. This manga had a slow start, but the Shonen Jump story is action packed, and has nice background art and awesome character designs. But it’s a supernatural high school story, and I got sick of that idea fast, so I’m not sure if it’s something I’d carry through with. The whole review is here.

Also on Real Otaku Gamer, I wrote three quick reviews of ongoing Yen Press series: K-ON!, Spice and Wolf and My Girlfriend’s a Geek. Each of them have their flaws, but they’re fun in their own way. And I’m finding myself increasingly biased towards Spice & Wolf. Check out each of my thoughts here.

I’ve also gotten some other blog posts done. On Real Otaku Gamer I posted a news clip on Digital Manga Publishing’s eManga website, and yesterday I had my say on the character of Wakaba for this month’s Cross Game Manga Movable Feast.