A two-pronged post: catching up and stepping away from the script

August 29, 2010 at 11:52 am (cover art, reviews - links, the art of adaptation, upcoming releases)

Who knew it was possible for this space to be even quieter than it was when I was reviewing for MangaLife? I’ve hardly read any manga this summer, as evidenced by my growing to-read stack–it got a bit out of control after I shopped at Anime North in May, and I haven’t dented it noticeably since then.

In the last couple of months I’ve had a handful of rewrites hit the shelves: Sgt. Frog 19, Zone-00 4, Animal Academy 5, and my first book from VIZ, volume 1 of Seiho Boys’ High School! I’ve also seen some new cover art, which is always a treat for me: covers have popped up on Amazon for Animal Academy 6 and Shinobi Life 6.

Most excitingly, there’s finally art for Demon Sacred volume 1 and volume 2. I adore seeing the first artwork for a new series, and Demon Sacred is all the better because the series’ release was on hold for so long while TOKYOPOP made some more schedule adjustments. But now I’m back to work on it, and the first two volumes (which are super cheap!) will be hitting shelves really soon. I hope lots of people will check it out.

On the review front: last I checked there were still one or two reviews of mine that hadn’t run over at MangaLife, but I think they’ve gotten lost in the shuffle. This one ran a while ago, though:

Rasetsu vol. 4 (B)


I assume I’m not the only person who sometimes has trouble solving problems when I’m staring at them. This happens in all kinds of ways, like the times when I know how to spell a word properly but am unable to remember when looking at a misspelling. (Let’s not even talk about math classes.) Spelling’s an easy one to solve, of course; if I’m looking at a screen, I probably have access to the OED (what’s available online for free, anyway. Ask me if I’m bitter that my old university now offers students subscriptions to the OED online!). But of course that doesn’t much matter, because the act of clicking away and not looking at the typo usually fixes the problem.

And yet sometimes I forget that backing away can be the easiest and best answer. When I get stuck on the wording for a particular line, I can find myself picking away at it over and over, knowing that the version I want is on the tip of my tongue but playing coy. In first drafts I get around that by highlighting the line to come back to, but that only works on the first go-round.

While working on the script for a volume of Seiho Boys’ High School! last week, I got stuck on a line. It wasn’t a hard one–no complex thoughts, no hard-to-translate concepts–but I was completely blanking on the right way to turn the phrase. And then I got around the problem completely by accident: while I was out with my husband, I mentioned to him that I was snagged on a perfectly generic line, and I quoted it to him to see if he could see the obvious way to turn it around…

…except I quoted it to him the way it should be. All it took was saying it aloud to someone else and my brain rewrote it on the spot, so automatically that I didn’t even realize it had happened until I got home, popped open my adaptation, and clued in. (And between that and getting an email from the translator a few minutes later, bang, I had a complete adaptation waiting for one last go-over. So that’s done and turned in, and it’s time to move on to the final volume of Animal Academy.)

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