To solidify this blog’s role as the crankier sibling of Manga Bookshelf, I’m going to talk a bit about something I read yesterday. I’d begun the day with a spring in my step, newly freed from some responsibilities that had been feeling burdensome for a while (my own fault entirely) and looking forward to a month full of talking about comics I actually like. I had rediscovered the joy in manga blogging, and it felt pretty good. Then I followed a link to some comments on Twitter that altered my mood completely.
Most of what was said was too ridiculous to inspire much serious ire, but the thing that really got me was a comment about the closing of Manga Recon and an expression of disgust over the fact that we’d all thanked and complimented each other in our farewell roundtable. That comment really got to me.
So here we are, a group of writers who have worked together for a long time. We’ve seen the site built up by the people who came before us, and have worked hard (unpaid, thank you very much, Twitter guy) to maintain their standards. Furthermore, many of us have this very site (and its editors, past and present) to thank for teaching us how to be better writers and introducing us to a larger online community that has offered us unprecedented kinship and sheer enjoyment, daily.
Yet now, as we witness the end of the place that gave us all this and bid it an official farewell, now of all times, it is somehow inappropriate to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation?
What the hell, guy?
I mentioned earlier that I’d rediscovered the joy in manga blogging this week, and it really is true. And while much of this is due to feeling a bit freer with my time and looking ahead toward talking about some series I really, truly love, when I really look at what’s enticing me forward so much this month, it’s the people I’m working with at least as much as the topics we’re discussing. It’s the ParaKiss MMF, the Banana Fish roundtable, the Fumi Yoshinaga week, the new NANA project, and everything else I talked about in my recent news post.
Sure, these are comics I like a lot, and it will be a pleasure to talk about them. But what makes it all a true, delicious joy is the people I get to talk about them with. It’s Michelle, Danielle, Eva, Kate, Khursten, Robin, and Connie. It’s everyone who joins in at the Manga Moveable Feast. It’s the readers who come along to comment and the folks chiming in on Twitter. It’s because I’m not talking to myself.
You want to criticize my writing? Go ahead. There’s plenty there to criticize. You want to disagree with my opinions? Sure, get in line. I suspect most manga bloggers out there would say the same. But to get on our case for liking each other? What’s that about?