2007, was that you? All I felt was a distant suck of wind! Dizzying, to say the least.
A lot of good things happened, actually. I'm now working full-time for one of my former freelance outlets and very happy about that — it means that much more stability in what can be a very uncertain world.
I'm contributing tons of what I hope are good reviews to AMN, although at the expense of stuff written directly for my own site, but I'm really not too worried about that. I may be writing about the occasional title I can't stomach (like Space Pinchy — sorry, Dark Horse), but for the most part I get so much good stuff — Tanpenshu, Berserk, Oldboy, Blade of the Immortal (all of which are, yes, Dark Horse titles; they do far more good than bad by me), and so on — that there's no point in complaining.
And as someone else once said, "I'm still here."
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I've been thinking about what to do with the review copies I get that I don't actually keep, and apart from giving them to friends I know who are on limited budgets, I have a few other ideas. The best one so far is to donate them to the manga libraries of one or more local cons, where I know they'll be warmly received — or maybe donate them to the library itself, although I'd have to check into the policies they have regarding donated materials. (Not all libraries can just take stuff willy-nilly; sometimes they are forced to turn the material around and sell it at a book sale to generate revenue for the library system.)
For those not in the know, the manga libraries at your local anime con work like so. You go into a room, turn in your con badge, and in exchange are allowed to browse a big looseleaf binder of all the titles they have. You can only look at one book at a time, but you can swap it out as many times as you like until they close the library for the day. When you're done, you collect your badge and hustle on over next door to the karaoke booth to wreck your vocal chords (or whatever else you've got in mind). If you're a fast reader and you've got an hour here or there, you can get caught up on a lot of comics this way — especially stuff that might be out of print.
I actually did that with Jiro Taniguchi's Benkei in New York, which I'd been curious about but had never spent the money on. (I feel it's a good-but-not-great book, with some interesting ideas that are not developed well, but if you're a Taniguchi fan his artwork is topnotch as always.) I did the same thing with as many volumes of Cromartie High as I could pack into an hour, although that almost backfired on me because I spent a good deal of that time with my fist shoved into my mouth (or my face smothered in my knapsack) trying not to crack up out loud. </digression>
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See you all next year!
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind