I was approached recently by the editor of a comics news site, Broken Frontier, and asked if I would do a weekly review column for them -- picking up "Crossing Borders", a column which the previous writer described as "reports from the world of comics from off the beaten path, those with an “alternative” sensibility or told from an international perspective". I must admit I was a little hesitant at first, for a few reasons: first, the writings I've done on comics here have tended to take a somewhat more skewed perspective on things rather than being straight reviews, and I wasn't sure reviewing as such was the best mode for me; second, I know far too little about manga to write from a truly international perspective; and finally, I have a lot of other projects on my plate. But it sounded like fun, so I decided to give it a try. (I was also comforted by the fact that the previous columnist took a rather broad view of his mandate, which suggested I could do the same (as in fact I will.))
And, lo and behold, my first column -- a review of Matt Madden's wonderful book 99 Ways to Tell a Story, is now up at Broken Frontier. I invite you all, Noble Readers, to go take a look at it.
Those who have been reading Attempts for a while may recall that I've actually written about Madden's book before -- although that, too, was not quite a straight review, so I was happy to take another crack at it. And I'll admit that there was a comfort zone in writing about a book I'd discussed once before (in another context) for my first column.
Anyway, my reviews will -- FSM willing -- generally be up on Fridays. I'll try to post links to them here, but of course you can go read them at Broken Frontier yourself.
As a small additional treat for my readers here, I'll mention one thing I didn't put in the review. My only negative comment on Madden's extraordinary work (which you can sample online here, by the way) is that the cover and general sales presentation of the book was terribly off-putting. So what would a good cover for Madden's book be? Actually, most of the foreign editions had quite good covers. I thought that the UK cover was clearly the best, and the nearly-identical Italian cover is (obviously) really good too. But the Japanese, French and Spanish covers are good too (they're all variations on this page). Only the US version was bad.
Anyway, take a look at the column, and look for it on future Fridays!