Derik Badman's Journal

2019-08-29 08:14

Yesterday, while I took a walk to the library to pick up a book, Vegetables Unleashed, a cookbook by Jose Andres. The first two recipes I turned to while walking back both look delicious, so I'm very excited to try some of them. Anyway, on the way to the library, I noticed a whole bunch of crows around a tree next to a church, as I got closer I realized there were more than a dozen crows perched on the church and the tree, periodically swooping down to grab fruit of the tree. We used to have one of those trees in front of our old house, it was right outside my office window and I'd watch the birds and squirrels eat the bright red spiky fruit that had cantaloupe orange insides. I looked the tree up then, but have since forgotten the name. Turns out the crows really love that fruit, I've not seen so many of them all in the same place. The library also had another book for me A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, which I read a recommendation for somewhere awhile back. As I had just finished the novel I was reading the night before, it was perfect timing. I started on Olondria before bed last night, so far interesting enough, though I'm still in the "childhood of the narrator" section that seems requisite in so many fantasy books.

Yesterday also saw the arrival of Emanon vol 2. a manga adaptation by Kenji Tsuruta of a sci-fi novel by Shinji Kajio. I read this (and its predecessor) in scanlation years ago, and now Dark Horse is finally publishing the series. The protagonist is a woman who has all the memories of her ancestors all the way back to the beginning of life on Earth. It's an interesting concept, that is here downplayed as a slow introspective manga. Tsuruta's drawing is lovely. He's primarily an illustrator who has done a handful of manga, but unlike many illustrators he can make a readable comic with sequences and layouts. He does have this tick where all his manga (that I've seen) have a young female protagonist who basically looks exactly the same. Emanon, the woman in this manga, looks almost identical to the protagonist of his Wandering Island and some other manga I read of his in scanlation. It's like he really just loves to draw this one woman (and he seems to like to draw her naked a lot too, though always in non-sexual situations). This second volume of the manga, in contrast to the first, takes on Emanon's point of view and opens it up to a little more knowledge about her origin and feelings. It's more effective than the first volume which was narrated by a young man who met her, thus leaving her a lot more opaque and seeming like some idealized fantasy than an person with an unusual history. This volume also has a long color section in the beginning (70+ pages) that shows off Tsuruta's watercolor skills in coloring his drawings. Curious to see where vol. 3 goes as my scanlations only covered the first two volumes.