Just to be seasonal

Another writeup from the “I Against Comics” fellow, for the third and as-yet final Dark Horse volume of Museum of Terror.

This is probably my favorite of the three books; the anthology structive gives the work so much more staying power. You don’t have to like every story, and every story has a different draw, handled in a different way. Some will hit you immediately; others are slow burns. It’s bursting with ideas, that you can dive into or select at whim.

I’m doing some other stuff lately. I’m not really sure how much I’m supposed to say, but I’ve a couple of reasonably interesting projects coming out soon…

The Middle Book

Well, hey. Someone said something nice here. He says a lot of interesting things, actually! Even about comics that don’t interest me, which frankly includes most comics. Sort of in the way that I don’t like videogames. For many of the same reasons.

Back to Junji Ito: this is my least favorite of the three volumes, in regard both to the material and to my work on it. Also, the cover kind of sucks. Still, that’s all relative. Overall, those three books are my proudest moment in localization. Seriously, anyone who hasn’t read ’em, go do so. They’re very long, pretty inexpensive, and unusually well-made.

Speaking of localization, this game is… sort of odd. I think it reads pretty well, though.

Late to the Party

From this blog:

The translation by Naomi Kokubo deserves a special mention because it is absolutely superb, giving the characters believable and distinct voices without relying on slang or cutesy verbal devices. The teens sound like teens, the doctors sound like doctors and Tomie sounds like nothing you’ve ever encountered- by turns charming, devious, innocent and then completely inhuman and monstrous. Chris Claremont wishes he could write dialogue this natural.

An ideal translation doesn’t simply substitute one language for another; it amplifies and complements the source material and the author’s original intent. I wish I could read this in the original Japanese, but I can hardly imagine it to be any finer than Kokubo’s work here.

Ahhh… Tomie… You get my highest recommendation!

Now please don’t kill me!

The way manga is usually localized is you’ve got a native Japanese speaker to translate, then a native English speaker to edit or rewrite; so it is with Naomi and me. I have the most fun with Dark Horse, as — being a “normal” comic company rather than strictly a manga publisher — all they ask for is a smooth read that more or less carries the original intent. The result? They put out the most readable, professional-grade adaptations around. I don’t really get credit. That’s okay, though. Naomi does the hard part.

Anyway, of the adaptations I’ve done, I’m most proud of the Junji Ito stuff. What I find interesting is that this guy singled out for praise the specific books, chapters, and characters I spent the most time on.

I’ve never heard of this Chris Claremont person. Looks like he was responsible for writing Uncanny X-Men single-handed for sixteen years. Going by the following description

The most common criticism of his work is his overly descriptive writing style. Claremont’s characters tend to speak in long paragraphs that are often called forced or unrealistic. He frequently employs third-person omniscient narration to describe events that might easily be conveyed in the art and (to some) unneeded thought bubbles to spell out character motivation and personality, especially during action scenes. He is also known for certain characteristic phrases, (for example, Wolverine’s catchphrase, “I’m the best there is at what I do. And what I do… isn’t very nice”) known as “Claremontisms” among fans.

… I’m not sure how strong this praise really is. I guess it’s sincere, at least!

Work update

Museum of Terror 3 is supposedly out now, though again I’ve not yet seen it. As good as are the earlier volumes, I far more enjoyed this than the first two. Furthermore, I think it should be a lot easier to get into than the Tomie stuff. If you pick up one English-language manga this year, choose this one! Dark Horse isn’t sure whether or not to continue the line, so sales of this book are critical.

Oh hey, remember that article I spent so long finishing? It’s going to go up soon, albeit in greatly condensed and at times summarized form. Colin has no objections to my putting the full version up shortly after its initial publication, so watch this space over the weekend for an excusive director’s cut.

I guess the issue was, I intended this to be published two months ago as sort of a conclusion to TGS. I finished it a few weeks ago, and it got held until now as an “event” piece. Then I guess Colin realized it didn’t quite address the new system launches the way he wanted it to, so it got paraphrased into something kind of different. Fair enough, I guess. He’s the editor.

Anyway, I’ll post the original version on Sunday or Monday, after NextGen has accumulated most of the hits it’ll get. It’s kind of different! I was actually pretty excited about some of the ideas in it; a shame they won’t get more air.

(Yes, Shaper, I’m still working on your article. I’ve got it sketched out, and almost two pages of finished text. Moving slowly! As usual! It’s coming, though — if not in exactly the way I expected.)

Top 10… in Malaysia

Well then. I assume these are the English versions, as they’re coming out around the same time as the English editions. I’m… not certain, though. This is kind of strange.

And wait a minute. Here‘s the week before. Again, #1. Different book, different series. Still on top, though. How bizarre.

So. Uh. Not sure what to make of this.

(At first posting, I didn’t realize this pertained only to Malaysia. This confused me, as Museum of Terror 1 was released a couple of months ago over here. I figured maybe the recent release of vol. 2 sent it up the charts. Turns out no, this is even harder to wrap my head around.)