Friday, 25 March 2011

Netsuke and New (to me!) Manga

After feasting on literary delights as rich and elegant as Edmund de Waal's The Hare With Amber Eyes, wonderful though it undoubtedly was, I need to pause and...well, digest. Any book about netsuke is always going to put me in mind of other Things Japanese. Here is my favourite netsuke at the V&A (a monk carrying his familiars around inside peaches):

Then there's Sam's and my new Manga addiction. I say new not because we're new to liking Manga, but that we're new to actually BUYING lots of it. 'It's ok', we say to each other now, 'we're supporting our local bookshop'. Well, we are! There are few causes more deserving than the Big Green Bookshop, as many, including the redoubtable Scott Pack (who likes cake almost as much as I do as well as being rather brilliant) who held a 'tweet-up' there this week, will testify...although should we really be having this much fun doing something heroic?

Latest and best so far for me is probably Kou Yaginuma's Twin Spica - the enchanting story of Asumi Kamogawa and her adventures at Space School. Mini amaretti biscuits, both of them:

But then altogether darker, beautifully illustrated, thinner, but just as addictive, is Tsutomu Nihei's Biomega. The first three volumes have me completely hooked into a dark, scratchy, vast future cityscape peopled with  huge motorbikes, half-human heroes and a gun-toting bear. Akira on crack. Brilliant. Green and Black's Dark Chocolate covered shortbread. Almost too much!

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