Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oishinbo: Fish, Sushi and Sashimi Review

I'm tired and cranky today because I had to wake up early again today for a two hour meeting that did nothing for me except piss me off further. I'm not even in that much of a mood to write, but I also feel like powering through and doing something, so I'm just going to write a quick review for some manga (pronounced main-ga) I read this week. Oishinbo is a food and cooking manga (pronounced main-ga) writen by Tetsu Kariya with art by Akira Hanasaki. It is about some guy whose name I can't remember right now but I'm sure is a Japanese name who is a newspaper writer and gourmet who works with his female partner whose name I also can't remember but is also probably Japanese. They are working to create the Ultimate Menu, a collection of all the recipes that make Japanese food Japanese. Each volume in the American release focuses on a different type of food. This is the second volume I have read so far, the first dealing with the making of ramen and gyoza. This particular volume deals with fish, ssushi and sashimi.

I have very much enjoyed the first two volumes of this series that I have read. I'm not a foodie in any way but reading this manga (pronounced main-ga) kind of makes me want to become one. Each volume comes with a recipe that seems easy enough to make, but beyond that I just love the characters. The main character is basically a slacker who just wants to sleep and eat well, but when push comes to shove he is very focused on his job. Well, he's more focused on beating his father, who is also a gourmet, and is working on the simalar Supreme Menu, and is also kind of a jerk. Each volume seems to have at least one of their major battles (think Iron Chef, but with a lot of posturing and yelling, so exactly like Iron Chef).

The format of the story is a little weird. Since each volume focuses on a different type of food, each US edition draws from different periods within the original story. For example, the main character and his female writing partner eventually get married and have a kid as the story runs its course, so each volume of the US edition starts with them as working friends, skips forward to them being dating, and then skips forward even further to them being married. It makes some of the stories come off a little weird and I wish it was being released in a more chronological manner so I could be more invested in the characters. That said, the characters are written with a lot of flair and you quickly catch up with where they are and what the relationships are. With the series running for over 25 years and with more than a hundred tankobon volumes released so far, a lot of credit goes to the translators for making the series easy to follow, and for explaining all the cooking jargon.

The art is kind of simple, but very expressive as the best manga (pronounced main-ga) should be. It reads quick and will make you want to go out for Japanese food. I did have a problem with this volume in that it says sushi right there in the title, but there's very little talk about sushi or how to prepare it, at least not as much as I would have liked. Regardless, this is a great series and one of the best manga (pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) being published. I need to track down another volume now. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy

Got a chance to watch the all new Venture Brothers special that aired this past weekend and is available now on iTunes (at least in the US). It wasn't too bad. Not great, certainly not as good as the previous VB special, which was the Christmas special that came out a while ago. i think the biggest problem with it is that "Behind the Music" parodies weren't even that good when BTM was a viable force in pop culture, and BTM parodies have not gotten fresher with age. Plus it was mostly clips from old episodes. There were a few good jokes, especially the parts with 21 and The Monarch. Your enjoyment will depend on how much you like Dermett. It's woth the $1.99 I spent on iTunes though, but then again, I have a Lions shirt with the name Henchman 21 on the back, so I may be biased.

Expect a fuller review on Geeks of Doom as soon as I get a free second today. I just wanted to get some thoughts down on it and to post something today. I hope to be back later with a possible MAC football preview and 101 reasons why I hate the term "Mouth Breather" as a pejorative.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Afternoon Linkage

A few quick links to some other stuff I have written/been involved with:

Here's the link to this weeks Comics of Doom, the podcast featuring Justin Vactor, Willie Gillis, Hunter Camp, and of course myself. This week we talk about The Bionic Man #1, as well as a bunch of other comics and news.

Also, here is a story I wrote about the next Hellboy story, that will be showing up in January in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #7.


Video Music Awards Review

What, are you crazy? I didn't watch this bullshit. I don't have cable, but even if I did, I still wouldn't watch this bullshit. Adult Swim was running a Venture Brother's marathon leading up to an all new special, "From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy". I would have been watching that, and you should have been too. So don't come complaining to me when you get mad about whatever went on at the VMA's last night. You could have been watching the best show on television. So there.

It Begins

Okay, I'm starting another blog, different from my old livejournal account, but basically the same. Expect randomness. Comics, sports, movies, TV, links, anything that I like. My plan is for something each day. But don't count on it because I lack disipline. Also, I have to learn how to use this system, so there will be not many pictures and then there may be many many pictures.

Also, expect a lot of spelling errors.

Also, expect the use of the word "Also" in a lot of posts. It's how I roll.

I'll try to keep things entertaining.

Back to work.