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Shaenon K. Garrity
This is where I write stuff.
Overlooked Manga Festival 
28th-Jul-2006 02:00 am
No new Smithson page this week, but Brian has posted a most excellent painting of Mr. Gallant. Go admire it. I like Mr. Gallant. When Smithson is adapted into a hit teen drama on the WB, I want him to be played by Curtis "Booger" Armstrong.

I'm enjoying I'm Just Drinking, a giant wiki of drinks based on webcomics. I contributed a couple of drinks for Jason Thompson's "The Stiff." There are three Narbonic drinks, but none for Li'l Mell or Smithson. It's so sad. Smithson should have drinks! Admittedly, though, Narbonic has the most drinking of all my webcomics, so it should probably have the most drinks.

Also, behind the cut is another thrilling installment of Shaenon's Overlooked Manga Festival.

When I proudly presented the last Overlooked Manga, From Eroica with Love, some folks commented derisively on the characters' impossibly long shojo-tastic legs. I take this as a sign that we're ready to mock and insult popular manga conventions, which means it's time to learn the truth:

Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga is a raunchy tongue-in-cheek guide to manga that remains almost as true today as it was when it was published way back in 1990. Viz serialized it in the late, lamented alterna-manga magazine Pulp and published this collection, in an oversized edition designed to resemble a how-to-draw-manga book. The original Japanese series is considerably longer, and its first volume includes some segments that were cut from the Viz version (usually, I think, because they dealt with material American readers wouldn't be familiar with).

The extremely loose plot has creators Koji Aihara and Kentaro Takekuma, as themselves, learning the secrets of manga so that they can become wildly bestselling manga artists. Together they discover the basics of craft...

...the iconic elements that define boys', girls', men's, and women's manga...

...the keys to writing in different genres...

...and the foundation of the entire manga industry (please brace yourself for awesome):

Some of my other favorite stuff: the overview of a shojo manga plot ("There's only one story that really works for shoujo manga! The heroine screams, 'I'm late! I'm late!' while running out of her house (because she's clumsy)! There are no alternatives to this beginning! Another important detail: she has to be chewing on a piece of toast!"), the mah-jong manga drawn with no knowledge of mah-jong, the explanation of why ladies' manga are like Tetris, and, of course, the lesson on placing dirty subliminal messages into your manga. It's all rendered in crude but enthusiastic artwork and played at a constant, vein-popping fever pitch. Also, Aihara and Takekuma draw hideous naked pictures of themselves all the time.

Basically, if you've read more than a couple of manga, this book will be hilarious. Actually, if you hate manga, you might still like it, since it presents manga as a soulless, hurriedly-drawn conglomeration of nonsensical cliches. Which is generally true, and yet here I am, reading it anyway, and posting my favorite parts on the Internet.

Thank you, Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga. For teaching us to laugh about manga...again.

28th-Jul-2006 10:54 am (UTC)
I was buying Pulp for this and the writing.

This makes my life easier, because now there's essentially two copies of volume one in the house and it doesn't have to be disputed in the Property Split.

It breaks my heart that there wasn't more released in English.
28th-Jul-2006 11:59 am (UTC)
"There's only one story that really works for shoujo manga! The heroine screams, 'I'm late! I'm late!'while running out of her house (because she's clumsy)!"

Coincidentally, I was just watching "You're Under Arrest" a couple of hours ago, and...well...
28th-Jul-2006 03:45 pm (UTC)
I think the Bite Me drink would just be pure grenadine with a spud floating in it.'
(Deleted comment)
16th-Jul-2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Famous Name Panties (and thongs) Galore. Lots of new VS styles and colors. These are overruns that you won't find anywhere else - so they're perfect for auctions, flea markets, home parties, or however you sell them.
28th-Jul-2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
I absolutely must find a copy of this.
16th-Jul-2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Org Proxy-Connection: close Unlimited Power - Anthony Robbins - Review - WHY YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK.
28th-Jul-2006 06:53 pm (UTC) - Drinkies
You can make the Hypnotic Tibetan Tea alcoholic by substituting that fermented mare's milk liquor they drink up on the steppes for the milk. Mmm, tasty.
29th-Jul-2006 02:03 am (UTC)
I know less than nothing about Manga, but I really enjoy your Overlooked Manga articles. Perhaps I'm even learning something...
31st-Jul-2006 09:08 am (UTC)
Maybe you've seen this by now, but re: Smithson... a drink (http://www.imjustdrinking.com/wiki/index.php?title=Drink:23_Skidoo).
3rd-Aug-2006 12:34 am (UTC)
I love this book! I picked it up on the cheap and have used it as a serious research tool for many years.
3rd-Dec-2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful. petronelle linked me here.
19th-Jun-2007 09:09 am (UTC)
That manga, Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga is disgusting. But it is a work of genius. Thank you for the trip down memory lane!
16th-Oct-2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Nice Pic. 8P
23rd-Dec-2007 10:01 am (UTC)
I found scans of this manga. ^^
God, I thought it would teach me or something, but it's just teaching me evil.


14th-Feb-2008 10:39 pm (UTC) - thanks...
That manga, Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga is disgusting. çocuk oyunları But it is a work of genius. Thank you for the trip down memory lane!

(Deleted comment)
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10th-May-2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
Squee! Monkey Manga is hilarious! "Look and Draw!" is the best advice I ever got from a how-to book...
19th-Apr-2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
Ha..ha..ha.. i can’t draw a manga , so i worst then monkey lol



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