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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Get Your Japanese Boys Love On(line)

New manga reviews!

One of the cooler things about the Netcomics site (www.netcomics.com) is that it provides readers e-versions of every graphic novel the company publishes. First chapters are free. Just go to the page of whatever title interests you and next to “Chapter” click on “Vol. 1, Ch.1.” Then click the blue “view” button next to it. Subsequent chapters cost twenty-five cents each.

Although Netcomics specializes in Korean graphic novels (called manwha) they also offer several Japanese manga in the yaoi or Boys Love genre, where male-male relationships are depicted in graphic form, including:

  • Age Called Blue by Est Em, of particular interest to American readers as it follows two British rockers, Billy and Nick, in a multi-dimensional story that just happens to have gay overtones. Billy has been harboring feelings for Nick for some time, but hasn't yet found the nerve to try and move their relationship beyond the boundaries of normal friendship.
  •  Merry Family Plan is Sumitomo Morozumi's debut volume, featuring her whimsical and light-hearted romp through four stories in graphic form.
  •  Black Winged Dove, another collection of short stories ("one-shots"), this time by Tomoko Yamashita. Highlights include a protective sister trying to stop a group of homophobes from harassing her gay brother. Another teenager named Minori anguishes over whether to reveal his lifestyle to his family.
  •  Another Yamashita work and one of Netcomics’ more recent additions, Dining Bar Akira, where romantic passions battle behind kitchen doors. Akira Koji, manager of a busy bar and restaurant, gets a late-night confession from one of his employees. Akira has never considered a homosexual relationship before, but things start to change when he can't get the young man out of his head. Will the two of them be able to remain professional when things get serious?
  •  Love Full of Scars by Psyche Delico, follows some of the rougher, odder, and even taboo relationships of the yaoi genre. The stories tell of the physical and emotional marks tough love can leave.
  •  Honey Senior, Darling Junior by Chifumi Ochi is an endearing collection of four self-contained short stories about the inevitability of love. The title refers to the Japanese custom of upperclassmen and underclassmen addressing each other by formal titles.

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