One Thousand and One Nights 3

April 1, 2007

ARGH!  I read this one last week and I could’ve swore I wrote about it already.  Guess not.  I keep forgetting the things I read lately, I guess.

This one goes back into the realm of confusion for me as more plot-oriented things go on.  Having read volume one too long ago doesn’t help, but I often can’t quite piece together what’s going on.  I think more plot happens here than in either of the other two volumes though, so it’s not like there’s a ton of stuff I have to draw in from the previous volumes.  We get some background for the brother/sister team, and we also get some turmoil for the sultan in the form of an attempted coup.  This part of the story is okay, but the better part is always the story they tell.

This time around, Cleopatra gets the treatment.  It talks about her and Ptolemy, and also Caesar.  Any manga with Caesar in it gets a thumbs up from me.  Unless… you know, it’s Caesare.

6 Responses to “One Thousand and One Nights 3”

  1. Sara K. Says:

    I just finished this volume, which is the last one I have.

    I enjoy this immensely. Of course, I love the ancient world. And the brief retelling of the Osiris legend made me think about the Egyptian myths I would love to see re-interpreted here (“The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog” would be pefect). I also really like the art. I am rather struck by the dark lines encircling everyone’s eyes, a very effective technique.

  2. Connie Says:

    Oh, glad you picked it up!

    I do like the way the artist draws the eyes on the characters in this series. It’s used most effectively here, but I think it might be a technique used in Korean girls comics, because I know I’ve seen one or two other manhwa series that use it. I can’t recall which ones at the moment other than DVD, but that series is drawn in a more distinctive style anyway and probably doesn’t count.

    I had forgotten all about the stories in these early volumes, I read them so long ago! I remember being somewhat impartial to the early volumes, I ought to go back and re-read them just to see if I like them any better now.

  3. Sara K. Says:

    Surrounding the eyes with thick black lines has actually been a very popular makeup technique ever since people have been wearing makeup. The black makeup make the white part of the eye look brighter, and thus bigger. However, it only works if the makeup is right up against the eye, which is why I never do it.

    While reading this manhwa, I constantly think about how the characters are all braver than me, because of their devotion to pouring makeup into their eye in order to maintain their striking looks.

  4. Connie Says:

    Haha, I like that. Now I have to think of them performing the brave act before going out and doing anything in that series.

    We did have a lot of lectures about eye makeup in silent films and afterwards while I was in school, but I actually had a professor that claimed that Loie Fuller popularized wearing kohl and heavy eye makeup in Europe and America in the 1890s. It wasn’t a fact I had considered until I was at an exhibition a bit later on depictions of French celebrities in the latter half of the 19th century and I noticed that at least one of the pre-Fuller celebrities had the same makeup. The professor was quite fond of her, though so perhaps he was biased. I imagine it had passed through Europe at least a few times as a fad in the thousands of years kohl has been around, if it wasn’t used regularly for stage performance all that time. I can imagine it being a Muslim-influence Iberian style, actually.

    I hadn’t considered the rimmed eyes to be makeup, only a drawing style, but now that you point that out, it makes a lot of sense in this story, because it seems like both the main story and most of the side stories would realistically feature heavy eye makeup. That’s a really neat detail to include.

  5. Sara K. Says:

    I think any culture with access with dark makeup has some variation of this technique. You don’t have to be Leonardo da Vinci to figure it out.

    Though taking another look at the manhwa, it’s not a full rim – they leave a gap open, and looking closer, it’s not actually right up against the eye. This actually more like the technique I use for my eye makeup. It’s a good substitute for the full rim, since the makeup can be a millimeter away from the eye. So I guess the characters aren’t any braver than I am, though they’re still more dedicated since I don’t use makeup in everyday life.

  6. Connie Says:

    I still think the characters are pretty brave. Putting it on to go into battle shows real love for appearance. I suppose you wouldn’t want to die and not look your best. I just finished volume seven, and was thinking of this the whole way through.

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