Kisun – Netcomics – 2011 – 4 volumes
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here yet, but Netcomics has resumed updates, and while they haven’t published any print volumes in a long time, there’s a nice selection of digital comics on their website. I’ve always been a fan of their viewer and pricing structure, so they’re worth checking out if you are so inclined. Most of what’s available is going to appeal to fans of Korean girls’ comics (Full House, Small-Minded Schoolgirls, Core Scramble, and So I Married an Anti-Fan are the ones that are updating at the moment), and it’s always a good idea to support a small publisher like this.
I read this on a complete whim today. It has been some time since I’ve read volume two, and just about the only thing I can remember about it is that it read like a Korean version of Happy Mania. It’s a comedic series about three 30-year-old women that focuses on their careers and relationships. Aeri is the manic freelance illustrator with no luck with dates or financial issues, Nagyoung is the put-together successful career woman who finds herself pregnant and forced into a marriage, and the third roommate (who goes by a couple different names) makes a living by dating wealthy men and having them pay for everything.
The story has some forward momentum, with this volume chronicling Nagyoung’s insecurities and the process leading up to her marriage and impending motherhood, both in her professional and personal life. There’s also a storyline that focuses on Aeri looking for apartments and confronting an ugly financial situation, and also finding the-perfect-boyfriend-where’s-the-catch. The third roommate’s story in this volume involves a car accident, the possible loss of her bread-winning appearance, and confronting the truth of what really matters in her life.
But as serious as all that is (the third roommate’s story in particular is more than a little depressing), the writing maintains a light touch, and you can’t help but smile at the three jaded women and their somewhat bitter outlook on life. Nagyoung’s resignation about some things, but acceptance of others were the funniest parts for me, but Aeri rarely confronts dire situations and is mostly the comic relief character.
It’s fun to read a story like this about adult women, too. As much as I like shoujo manga, reading volume after volume about shy girls in high school can wear me out, and picking up something like this, where the women have a completely different outlook and expectations, is like a breath of fresh air. Netcomics is one of the few places you can find series like this (try Small-Minded Schoolgirls, too!). There’s not a whole lot of depth to the characters or story, but it’s still a fun and quick read, especially chapter-by-chapter (each one is only about 20 pages long).
Kisun – Netcomics – 2010 – 3+ volumes
I reviewed this for the weekly Manga Minis column over at the Manga Recon, so you can check out my review over there.
Good stuff. Very funny. I think I enjoyed the first volume a little more, but that does not mean the second was not still pure gold.
Kisun – Netcomics – 2009 – 3+ volumes
I reviewed this over at Manga Recon, so you can check it out over there.
After taking a long break, I tried out another one of Netcomics online-only series, this one one of their very new and very flashy, josei-ish series. I loved it. It was exactly like Happy Mania, which is what I want out of every josei-ish comic I read. What can I say, it was my first, and it set a high standard. Mostly I like the comedic approach. While the characters have a lot of the same dating woes as the ones in other josei series, they also seem to be enjoying themselves, and the writing is extremely self-conscious and makes you laugh at some of the strange things that happen when one is looking for a suitor.
There’s one scene where Nagyoung is trying to break it off with her boyfriend that is absolutely worth its weight in gold. I have never seen awkwardness come across more genuine or funny.
Also, high marks for another scene where an office full of people disburses for lunch and, for one panel, turn into Teletubbies running through a sunny field. I am continually amazed by how universal some things are.