Between now and until nearly the first of the year, the updates here are going to be sporadic. I work for the US Postal Service, encoding mail from across the country. The Christmas season brings a nearly 200% increase in our workload.
One of the great things about my job at this time of year though, is handling the Santa Claus mail, which goes to a firm in North Pole, Alaska that sends a reply back to the kids, that comes across the screen.
I can't help but smile when I see it, because the realization of the imagination and power of belief those kids have is great to see. As an adult it can be easy to become cynical, and not believe in anyone or anything. So being reminded that the innocence and power of belief, just helps me gain a better perspective on life sometimes.
Stuff I'm reading right now while on breaks at work:
Jughead Double Digest #107 - I never cared much for Jughead in the past, thinking his stories would just be silly ones about winning food contests or the like which would bore me because I read the Archie stories to see Betty & Veronica.
Surprisingly, at least in this volume, the themes that I thought of as a weakness were actual strengths. Rather than be hampered by the formulaic story that the Archie love triangle stories have to rely on. Jughead is allowed the freedom to do anything and be anyone depending on what the story calls for. For instance, from being a friend to Veronica and her father one story, to enemy the next there is room for variety instead of living up to certain roles.
Which opened my eyes for the first time to the character's true possibilities.
Hot Gimmick #7 - It is a rare talent to have a lead character who you both want to shake and tell to toughen up, and also take in your arms and help and protect as well.
This is my favorite manga series, because it has such a rich cast of characters who all have multiple sides to their characters. No one is completely good or completely bad, but are just like real people who react honestly to the situation at hand.
Hatsumi as the lead, is the classic "sacrificial virgin" who gives to any and everyone in an attempt to make them happy. While never saying or doing what will make her happy. Which makes everyone in the book love her, though not really in the way she needs to be. Since everyone uses her to try and get what they want, not really what she does or needs.
Swan #1 - I've only read the first few pages, and I really appreciate the "Maison Ikkoku" styled art. Which has clear figures and panel designs, that are pleasant and easy on the eye. I especially like the incredible details behind and in the world of ballet, that makes me feel like I'm learning something while being entertained.
The binding on the book isn't very well done though. The book is a bit hard to open all the way, and I worry that I'll tear it as I do.
So there you go, more as I have time. I hope everyone is having a great holiday season no matter what you celebrate.