Cute Dogs: Craft Your Own Pooches


Cute Dogs: Craft your own Pooches
By Chie Hayano
Publisher Vertical, Inc.
Age Rating: All Ages
Genre: Craft
Price: $14.95
Rating: ★★★★★

Vertical Inc is a unique publisher in the manga world.  They are a boutique publisher who does more than bring manga over from Japan.  They also publish novels from horror to business, Sudoku puzzle books, and coolest of all, craft books.  Their newest release is Cute Dogs, which is filled with exactly that; little stuffed dogs that don’t just look cute, but look fun to make.

Cute Dogs is a thin book at just 79 pages, but it’s packed with 16 different dogs you can create on your own.  Ranging from the Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Welsh Corgi, Miniature Dachshund, to the Miniature Schnauzer, you’ll find many of the most popular dog breeds.  The first half of the book is filled with pictures of each of the finished pieces, showing them from different angles so you know how they should look.  They are all posed with accessories like food bowls, wagons, bowls and baskets.  All the dogs have names and little sayings that give them personality.  It’s fun just looking at these pictures and reading about each dog.  After seeing all the stuffed dogs, we are introduced to the real dogs that worked as models.  They all have wonderful personalities too.

The second half of the book gets into the crafty stuff.  All the materials needed to make these pooches are pictures and described, as well as all the tools.  There is also a basic sewing guide that shows all the stitched needed and how to do them.  There are only three, and they are pretty simple.  Then it gets into the nitty-gritty of cutting, preparing, and sewing the dogs together.  It’s step-by-step, taking you from start to finish through Bob, the Boston Terrier.  He’s the template.  The rest of the dogs have their own variations, but the construction is the same for all.  The directions are clear and concise, with pictures illustrating them, making them easier to understand.

I really enjoyed Cute Dogs.  The dogs are cute, and they look to be fairy easy to make.  Teens would have no problem making these, and even Tweens, with some supervision could do them!  I’m definitely going to try making some of these pooches.  Just paging through the book started giving me ideas of what could be done with them.  Crafters and dog-lovers alike with love this book.  Now, where’s the Cute Cats book?

Review copy provided by publisher.

Shonen Sunday

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Viz’s second big foray into the online world of manga is Shonen Sunday.  It’s based on another manga magazine from Japan.  Several popular titles came from this magazine, such as most of Rumiko Takahashi’s works (Urusei Yatsura, Ramna 1/2, Inuyasha, Mermaid Saga), Detective Conan, Zatch Bell, and Yakitate!! Japan, just to name a few.  Now Viz has brought some titles from the magazine online.

Continue reading Shonen Sunday

What's In A Name?

A short conversation came up on Twitter about whether Japanese names should be translated.  I found some of the point that were made interesting, and it got me thinking.  When you hear someone’s name, do you think about it’s meaning?  Pick up a baby book of names, and you’ll see that every name, even our English names have another meaning.  But because it’s a name, we don’t consider the meaning important.  Why should translators do the same to Japanese names?

Yes, many of the Japanese names have mundane meanings, such as Sakura, meaning Cherry Blossom, or Yuki, meaning snow.  But are you going to call someone named Mirai, Future?  Just because that is the literal translation, that doesn’t make it the best interpretation.  My name, Lori, means “laurel tree symbolic of honor and victory”.  That doesn’t mean I want to be called “Laurel tree”.  If you were introduced to someone named Sakura, you wouldn’t go around calling them Cherry Blossom, would you?  That’s not their given name.  When a word becomes a name, it transcends it’s original meaning, and becomes something more than that.

Translators that change a person’s name to it’s literal meaning are really missing the point.  When something is being translated, there needs to be more than a literal translation.  The translator has to do some interpretation to convey the meaning as well.  And just because someone’s name also means elephant doesn’t mean that’s how the people in that culture will see it.  So we really shouldn’t either.  It’s another case of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

This Week in Manga 8/29-9/4/09

Kodansha Letting Licenses with Tokyopop  Lapse

Brigid Alverson of the Manga Blog reported on Monday something that’s been suspected for a while in the mangasphere, and has finally been confirmed by Tokyopop.  Kodansha, one of the big Japanese publishing houses, is not renewing its licenses with Tokyopop.  David Welsh provides a quick, convenient, if possibly incomplete list of the titles affected at his own blog Precocious Curmudgeon.  This news dominated much of Monday and Tuesday.  Check the Manga Blog for a full roundup of commentary.  This wasn’t an unexpected move, as Tokyopop’s relationship with Kodansha has been rocky at best.  Two years ago, Kodansha made a deal with Random House and Del Rey Manga has been reaping the benefits.  While this doesn’t come as a big surprise, it is kind of painful for those of us that were reading unfinished titles that are now left in limbo.  I’ve been beating the drum loudly for Dragon Voice‘s last volume and lamented the incompleteness of Kindaichi Case Files.  All we can do now is wait and see what Kodansha’s next move will be.  Considering how long this took, it may be a very long wait for the next one.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 8/29-9/4/09

Ask Manga Mom: The Taboo Edition

Static writes:

Is Taboo considered a genre that should be used as a general description for manga sites that contained taboo typed manga books?

Also, could you give me a perfect but brief (short) definition of the “TABOO” that I cold use to describe the genre if it were to be used as a general – common – genre type.

This isn’t  my area of expertise, but I thought I’d weigh in anyway.  A taboo is a strong social prohibition on activities or customs that are considered sacred or forbidden.  The term comes from Polynesia where it’s context was religious.  Most taboos have a religious connotations, they can affect dietary restrictions, sexual activities and/or relations, bodily functions, exposure of body parts or offensive language.  Taboos are not universal, but many cultures may share some, such as cannibalism and incest.  Taboos can change over time, as a society or culture changes.

Continue reading Ask Manga Mom: The Taboo Edition

Dark Hunters Volume 1

It’s just another night on the prowl for vampires for Kyrian of Thrace when he meets the most frightening thing imaginable. And accountant. But Amanda Devereaux is much more than she seems. Hunted by one of the deadliest of vampires, Amanda is the key to our survival. If she goes down, so does he, and –no offense– he doesn’t want to die (hence the whole immortality thing). And he doesn’t want humanity dead either, which is a good thing for us since he and Amanda are all that stands between us and oblivion. Let’s hope they win.

Continue reading Dark Hunters Volume 1

Viz Signature Ikki

 

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Manga for older readers has been few and far between, as teen manga dominates bookstores and sales.  But as manga readers grow up, there needs to be something to appeal to them and keep them interested in the medium.  Viz Media has been working in that direction with their Signature line, and now with a website that provides manga to read for free.  Working with Ikki Monthy magazine, they have brought out a diverse line of titles, many of which I liked, but not all will appeal to everyone.  But the beauty of doing this online, it doesn’t have to.

Continue reading Viz Signature Ikki

This Week in Manga 8/22-8/28/09

Next Tokyopop Webinar Announced

Tokyopop has announced it’s next webinar, and this time far enough ahead of time for people to plan for it!  It’s in the evening this time, 7PM PST/10PM EST, on Tuesday, September 1 5PM PST/8PM EST on Wednesday September 2.  It’s a better time though I’m going to miss the beginning.  5:15 is the best I can do getting home.  East Coasters will have a better time of it.  There’s nothing on worth watching at 8PM on Wed is there?  Tivo it if you must!  Otherwise, there will hopefully be some more good recaps around the mangasphere.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 8/22-8/28/09

Children of the Sea Volume 1

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.

Sora begins investigating their strange connection to the sea. But the current research is too slow for Sora, who is lured away by with the promise of answers. This leaves Umi severely depressed, and it is up to Ruka to help her new friend find his brother. But time is quickly running out…


Children of the Sea Volume 1
By Daisuke Igarashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen+
Genre: Mystery
Price: $14.95
Rating: ★★★★★

 

In an attempt to draw in more adult readers, Viz has been expanding their Signature imprint.  The titles in this imprint are meant for a more mature audience that have out grown or aren’t interested in the eternal power ups of shonen or the angsty drama of shojo.  Children of the Sea, the first title from the online manga magazine Ikki, is the perfect debut title.  With none of the usual manga conventions, beautifully rendered art, diverse characters, and a compelling mystery, this is a title that both non-manga readers and long time fans will enjoy.

Continue reading Children of the Sea Volume 1

Shot Across The Bow

new_reader_open_angle_f_610x568We knew it was in the works, and now Sony has unveiled it.  The third e-Reader in their hardware line, the Reader Daily Edition.  Sony announced the new device on Tuesday at a press conference.  The Daily Edition is different from it’s older brothers in 2 important ways.  One, it has a larger touch screen, coming in at 7 in.  And two, it has built-in wireless capabilities, provided by AT&T.  Finally, Sony has a device that can truly compete with the Kindle!  ….Maybe.

Continue reading Shot Across The Bow

Why I Like Osamu Tezuka’s Manga

A few weeks ago on Twitter, there was a discussion about Osamu Tezuka’s manga and whether he deserves the title “God of Manga”, and it got me thinking.  I have to admit, back before I started writing about manga, I was kind of in agreement with animealmanac.  I’d never read any of Tezuka’s manga before.  I was familiar with Osamu Tezuka, mostly by reputation, and by the cartoon Kimba the White Lion.  I have very found memories of Kimba, but never took Tezuka too seriously because of that.  I knew he was called the “God of Manga”, but never understood why.  And then I started writing reviews and receiving review copies.

Continue reading Why I Like Osamu Tezuka’s Manga

More Manga For Sale

I sold most of my manga from the first batch I put up on eBay.  Thanks so much if you bid!  But I’ve still got more I have to move out.  The next batch has gone up.  Please look and bid if you’re interested:

Inuyasha Volumes 6-10

Inuyasha Volumes 11-15

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 1-5

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 6-10

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 11-14

Tsukoyomi Moon Phase Volumes 1-5

Tsukoyomi Moon Phase Volumes 6-9

Starting bids are the price of one manga, so you’re essentially getting 5 (sometimes 4) for the price of one.  I will combine shipping for multiple wins.  Thanks for looking!

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