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He's Mighty!!

Weirdly, I cannot find a news story to link to, but I got a press release today that Sega is making Astroboy videogames; one is for the GBA, and the other is for the PS2. The PS2 game is being made as we speak by Team Sonic, so I'm pretty excited about that. Could it be? A licensed game that doesn't totally suck? Only time will tell.

In ˇJournalista! a couple days ago, there was a link to the news that Sprint PCS will be introducing more comic content for the new(er) Vision phones, that allows you to download a comic every day. I'd just like to say that I would not switch back to Sprint PCS if I could download free money every single day. I doubt any of you were really going to switch at the prospect of getting those old Hagar the Horribles, but...if you were? Don't.

In the same edition, Dirk says (commenting on Fake which I have not read), "like most bishounen manga I've read so far, it reads very much like a Japanese woman's idea of a gay male relationship." Now, this made me curious. Because so far as I know, bishounen pretty much always is a hetero Japanese female view of sexuality, as channeled through two men. There are a lot of trans-gendered and gay (or maybe, semi-gay) characters in the manga I've been seeing, but are there ever "realistically" portrayed gay characters? And, while I'm at it are there any (openly) gay creators in Japan? I feel like the stuff is probably there and we're just not seeing it. I've been thinking about this while working on SnowDrop, although since I'm working on next December's volume I really can't talk about what's going on in the book. So far the same-sex relationships seem like they're going down a somewhat realistic road, but it's really too early to tell. It also probably helps that they aren't the focus (the book has a heavy bishounen thing going on, or whatever they call the same thing in Korea, but the two leads are a hetero couple). Anyway. Just curious if anyone can shed a light on any of that...

In work news, the aforementioned SnowDrop is done, and I'm doing some catch-up work around the house while waiting to color Evan's Hellboy story and start the next volume. I may also be doing a weird little thing that no-one in this country will ever see but...well, I don't want to jinx it.

Finally, since I've been speaking of Japanese culture, there was an interesting article in the Washington Post a week or so ago, and the title pretty much says it all: The world bows to Japan's new top export: culture (although, really, most of the cool toys are coming from Hong Kong, and some of the best new character goods and quite a few of the comics are coming from Korea, so really we should all be talking about an invasion of pan-asian culture, don't you think?)


There are comics aimed at gay men in Japan that are done by gay men. They're very different than the romances between guys made for girls.

michael - thanks for the info -- that's what I was figuring. Even before I saw the "pure love = not gay" thing it had struck me that these characters were not about any real depiction of, well, anything. I'm interested to hear that there really are gay-oriented manga, I doubt we're likely to see them over here anytime soon though!

When I read Dirk's comment, I remembered writing to a Japanese friend who's into yaoi ("gay" manga written by women) about the frequent Western criticism, "These stories aren't realistic - gay men don't usually like them". Her reply? "Of course they aren't written for men - they're by women, for women". In other words, guys might like 'em or they might not, but either way, it's beside the point.

Jenny - thanks for the extra input! I think I'm going to start a new post instead of commenting for ten minutes here, so I'm responding to you there, actually....