Diego’s day at COMITIA 107

COMITIA 107

More than three years after his first dōjin convention experience, Diego darkens the halls of Tōkyō Big Sight a second time in search of art to appreciate. (Or heap quiet mental scorn upon.)

Here’s his account of COMITIA 107.

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COMITIA 94

New promotional art and other details have just gone up on the COMITIA website for the convention’s 94th iteration, scheduled on 14th November. I’m planning to attend this one.

Check out the second comment on Daniel Lau’s COMITIA 90 write-up for some advice that may help first-time attendees make the most the experience.

More doujinshi for the iPod Touch

Anime News Network reports that realglobe Inc. is now selling digitised versions of doujinshi on the iTunes App Store. The works of seven artists have been released to date, including the doujinshi Throw Line featuring the art of Murata Renji (“Range Murata”). Murata’s character designs have featured in Last Exile and, more recently, Shangri-La.

Prices range from US$0.99 to US$1.99.

Coming after the debut of Abe Yoshitoshi’s doujinshi on the iTunes App Store (as well as the release of several manga titles from other authors), this welcome news should be music to the ears of iPod Touch/iPhone-armed manga enthusiasts everywhere. Even though I won’t add Murata’s doujinshi to my collection anytime soon – the art is too close to ecchi for my tastes – the fact that well-known artists are now releasing their works through this medium raises the prospect of even more manga and doujinshi debuts in the future.

Image credit: Abe Yoshitoshi, from a blog entry announcing the debut of Yakkyoku no Pochiyama-san on the iTunes App Store. A higher-res version (800×800) can be accessed through Abe’s original post.

ABe doujinshi on the iPod Touch (first peek)

Writing on his blog, graphic artist Abe Yoshitoshi (Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei) recently announced that his doujinshi Yakkyoku no Pochiyama-san (Pochiyama at the Pharmacy) had just been released for the iPod Touch and the iPhone via the iTunes App Store (53 pages, USD 4.99).

(And yes, it’s also available on the Philippine iTunes App Store. All you need is an iPod Touch or an iPhone, the iTunes software installed on your PC, and a credit card.)

According to ABe, the doujinshi app includes both the original Japanese text and an English translation bundled into a single package. Users can’t choose between Japanese and English themselves since one of the two languages will be triggered automatically depending on your iPod’s configuration. (For example, my iPod is set to English so the text appears entirely in English.) The doujinshi can be manipulated like an iPod Touch photo album: slide right or left to change pages, pinch in or out to zoom.

I purchased the doujinshi within seconds of hearing about it, but I haven’t had the chance to flick through more than the first few pages. I like what I’ve seen so far. The images are crisp and clear, the text is sharp and perfectly readable (even on the iPod’s relatively small screen), and of course the art is excellent. On the other hand, the English translation is a bit awkward in places (“You are impolite to customer!”, “I can’t cuz I’m a social withdrawal”), but it’s still good enough to allow readers to follow the story without doing more than the occasional head-scratch.

EDIT (6:51 PM): I’ve finished reading the doujinshi, and I regret to report that the translation DID provoke a lot of head-scratching. “What the heck is he/she trying to say?” came up in my head almost as many times as there were panels. But the art IS good – so good, in fact, that I’m diving in again (shaky translation notwithstanding) and redirecting all of my brain’s processing power towards the single objective of trying to make sense of the story.

I’ll write a full review just as soon as I finish reading the doujinshi. For now, you can view some sample pages here.

Image credit: Abe Yoshitoshi, from a blog entry announcing the debut of Yakkyoku no Pochiyama-san on the iTunes App Store. A higher-res version (800×800) can be accessed through Abe’s original post.

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