Posts from 17th February 2010

Feb 10

Comics: A Beginners’ Guide: Girls’ Comics

The Brown Wedge4 comments • 1,729 views

a page from NanaI neglected comics aimed at girls when I wrote the first 25 parts of this series. I’m male, and I read few comics for girls when I was young. I have had some entertainment looking back later, from the extraordinary extremes they went to to torture their heroines, and the ludicrous contrivances. That’s not to say it’s all silly and unpleasant, but the good stuff is not easily found, and I can’t be of much help. The American market has been traditionally hopeless for girls, though in recent years it has improved.

But the Japanese comic market is completely different, and there I have found a few good comics aimed squarely at girls – and one masterpiece, actually aimed at young women rather than girls, which is what has prompted me to add to my series a year and a half later.

Ai Yazawa’s Nana is perhaps my favourite comic ever now, and I thank my friend Cis for pointing me at it. It’s about two young women who move to Tokyo for a new life, both called Nana. Nana K is sweet and rather naive – the punky Nana O calls her, in an exasperated temper, “puppy-dog-like”, and Nana K gets the happiest expression ever. Nana O is a singer, and it’s her band and that of her ex that provide most of the other characters, and the two bands are central to the developing story, which so far runs to 19 translated volumes of around 200 pages each.


Golden Cross, Cotherstone (cheesy lovers #70 & #71)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/Post a comment • 308 views

Golden Cross

A raw-milk goat’s cheese, made in East Sussex and bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy

This is a white log, covered in a soft and fuzzy white mould. Slicing through, underneath the thin furry covering is an even thinner line of dark ash, and then the cheese itself – slightly translucent at the edges, opaque, bright white and with a slightly crumbly texture inside.

It’s got the putty-like, melt-in-the-mouth texture common in goat cheeses, and a good whomph of salt. (I love salt. I love salty cheeses. I might have mentioned this before.) There’s a grassiness, almost a seediness*, to the rind, which develops into a nutty sweetness in the centre. There’s a subtle goaty taste and bright citrus flavours; the usual lemon, but also something more fragrant and floral. It’s smooth and milky, sweet and salty.

* When I say seediness, I mean sort of seed you put in the ground to make a plant, not the dark alleyway, neon signs, shady character sort of seediness. This is not that sort of cheese.  Now I’m trying to think of seedy cheeses, though. Grubby? Aged? Boozy?


BOY GEORGE – “Everything I Own”

FT + Popular55 comments • 5,110 views

#586, 14th March 1987, video

Sometimes Britain hounds and ogles its flawed celebrities, sometimes it wills their redemption, often a little of both. Boy George’s turn of fortune from Britain’s top pop export to Britain’s most famous junkie was sudden enough and sad enough to put him into the group of ‘troubled’ stars who still enjoyed some level of public warmth, enough at least to send a bad solo record to the top of the charts. “Everything I Own” is the number one as sympathy vote, spun at the time as a happy ending for George.


Pop World Cup – Radio Roundup 1

Pop World Cup Podcast1 comment • 294 views

Oh Lordy! It’s Peter Baran and Roger Bozack in the studio with a complete half-hour recap – including songs – of the tournament results so far. Which at this point means Group A. Los Shakers, Pitch Black Afro, Café Tacuba, and Débruit all make an appearance and we take a look back at the 2008 Europop final.

What do you think of the show? Comment below or send us an email. We’ll try to incorporate your suggestions if we can as well as including more of your comments in the programme. If you subscribe to the podcast you’ll stay on top of the action all the way through the summer.

Roundup 1 produced by Elisha Sessions.