Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Podcast #6: What Keeps You Going?

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Episode #6 of the Girlamatic podcast is here, in its new roundtable format! Featuring Laura Wilson of Five Star, Ira Marcks of Witch Knots, Tasha Lowe-Newsome of Raggedyman, and special guest Zack Giallongo, we talk about artist and writer motivation: the things that make you go, “Yeah, let’s create!” Individual influences, work ethics, conventions, and, hey, money. What gets you going?

For more information on the new podcast format, see here. If you’d like to suggest a topic or a guest for upcoming podcast episodes, email or tweet us the info!


Podcast #6 coming up tonight

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Hi guys! Due to some technical difficulties (thanks for letting us know!), we’ve taken down podcast #6 to be repaired by our behind-the-scenes elves. The full, good-as-new version should appear tonight, so look out for it!

Danke!


New changes to GAM podcast; send in your reader/listener questions!

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Hello everybody!

With a new year comes new changes (to paraphrase Spiderman, and by “paraphrase” I mean “butcher the line with no resemblance to the original whatsoever”). And with that, we can reveal that the GAM podcast is taking on a super new format!

  • Roundtable!
    Group talks like the Halloween (October 09) episode were so much fun, enabling everyone to chat with each other, that we’re going to make the podcast more of a roundtable. A bunch of cartoonists getting together to shoot the breeze and spin on particular themes/topics — what could be better?
  • Featured guests!
    Something else I’m excited about is that I’m aiming to have at least one special guest as part of each episode. And guess what? For the first GAM podcast of the year, our guest is going to be super comic artist Zack Giallongo!

You may recall Zack from such works as, oh, Novasett Island, Grune, Life Meter, the Tenth Life of Pishio the Cat, the upcoming Broxo, not to mention various artist sketch cards for Topps. I mean, dude.

Also in this podcast episode are Ira Marcks of Witch Knots, Tasha Lowe-Newsome of Raggedyman, and Laura Wilson of Five Star. Sweet!

If you have a question you’d like to ask Zack, Ira, Tasha, or Laura (especially pertaining to cartoonist motivation and Getting Things Done, as that’s our topic this month), please let me know by this Wed, Jan 20! You can either e-mail lynn@tentative.net or tweet me at http://twitter.com/lynnlau. Thanks!


Boys Over Flowers

Thursday, January 14th, 2010


Overall Rating: A+
Summary: A drama/romantic comedy shojo series created by Kamio Yoko. The TV series is a Korean adaptation of the Japanese manga. The story revolves around Geum Jan Di, a high school girl who works in her family’s dry cleaning shop and a fast-food restaurant. The story begins when Jan Di delivers some dry cleaning to the ridiculously posh and exclusive Shinhwa High School. Only the richest and most talented kids are granted admission to Shinwa, and they don’t even have to go to class if they don’t feel like it. When Jan Di gets there she discovers that the young man whose clothes she’s delivering is about to commit suicide. Apparently, he has been getting bullied because the F4 (or Four Flowers) decided they didn’t like him.

Jan Di saves the boy before he can commit suicide, and her actions soon become public knowledge, and expose the bullying. The public demands changes at the school, Jan Di becomes known as “Wonder Woman”. In order to appease the public, Jan Di is offered a chance to go to Shinwa on a swimming scholarship. Jan Di declines, but her family agrees for her, so our adventure begins!

On the first day of school, Jan Di meets the infamous Four Flowers. They are the most beautiful, popular, rich and powerful boys in the school – Goo Jun Pyo (the leader), Yoon Ji Hoo (the sweet one who plays violin), So Yi Jung (one of the playboys), and Song Woo Bin (another playboy). All of the other students clearly worship the Four Flowers, and try to give them presents and treats. Jan Di is enraged by the boys’ behavior, and fantasizes about confronting Jun Pyo.

She finally gets up the courage to do it after he bullies her friend Oh Min Ji after she accidentally slips and drops some ice cream on her shoe. Jun Pyo demands she licks it off, and when Jan Di confronts him he offers to let her take Min Ji’s place. Instead she pushes Jun Pyo over.

Jun Pyo declares war on Jan Di, and gets the school to bully her. Jan Di refuses to give in, despite the bullying and the rest of the Four Flowers begin to think she’s “interesting”. Ji Hoo is totally sweet and offers her a handkerchief when she’s covered in flour, and protects her from some boys trying to hurt her. Is it love?

In the meantime, no one has ever stood up to Jun Pyo before. He interprets her actions as a demonstration of love, and begins to develop feelings for her as well.

Who will Jan Di end up with?

The beginning of “Boys Over Flowers” drags a little bit, but once things get going it’s a lot of fun. I love stories where A) the main character is a woman, B) the woman stands up for herself, and C) there are pretty boys. I like all of the characters (even the mean girls), and I think they’re do a really good job of developing the relationships (Jun Pyo and Jan Di are particularly hilarious). My only complaint is that I wish there were more female characters and that the women interacted more. Regardless, the series is proving to be a lot of fun, and if you like your high school romance/drama with a healthy side of comedy then I think you’ll enjoy this one a lot.


What US Media Can Learn About Dynamic Female Characters From Manga

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Last week I came across this article on Jezebel titled “Memo To The Media: In 2010, Add More Dynamic Female Characters” buy Latoya Peterson, and I wanted to spend some time discussing it. The main concept of the article is that while manga has it’s fair share of sexism and follows plenty of stereotypes it also has a lot more content for women and by women than you can easily find in mainstream US media.

I loved the article, and was really pleased to see that many of the manga the Latoya recommends are titles I haven’t read yet. The one title I had read, Nana, is one of my absolute favorites. Does it portray women in romantic relationships with men? Yes, definitely. The main difference for me between Nana and US-based media representations of women is that it treats them like real people. They also pass the Bechdel test because the two main characters are women, they talk to each other, and they often talk about things other than men. A+

There are plenty of issues with manga and anime and their portrayal of gender (fan service being a prime example), but there is such an amazing variety of options it’s easy to find titles that are women-centric, and deal with issues of gender in mature ways. I agree with Latoya’s premise and wish that the US would create more material that is for women and by women that presents women as more than accessories, are from different walks of life, and don’t have to be made-over to be beautiful.