GraphoLexique du Manga

“Ogives de bonheur, document.write(“”); vent de solitude, spirale de candeur, figure heno-heno-mohe-ji… Voici 33 symboles graphiques des mangas japonais enfin décodés pour le lecteur occidental.
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Plus de 100 illustrations : planches d’auteurs mangas connus en France ou vignettes inédites de jeunes illustrateurs japonais.

Véritable livre ressource pour les auteurs et illustrateurs européens souhaitant mieux connaître les techniques des maîtres mangaka.”

[ Texte du site de l’éditeur et de la couverture arrière ]

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Text in English follows:

Ce livre traite de la lexicographie visuelle du manga. Je suis sûr que c’est un sujet déjà couvert par certains ouvrages du style “Comment dessiner les mangas”, mais je pense que c’est la première fois qu’un ouvrage lui est entièrement consacré.

Le livre explique le «vocabulaire» graphique de manga, c’est à dire tous les symboles et les éléments visuels qui aident le récit et sont spécifiques au mangas. L’ouvrage couvre trente-trois de ces symboles graphiques: (pour exprimer le bonheur, la joie:) les yeux renversés de joie, les ogives de bonheur, les étoiles dans les yeux, les fleurs de pureté, (pour exprimer la gêne, la confusion:) la goutte de gêne, les traits de rougeur, le personnage décoiffé, les postillons de parole, (pour exprimer la colère, la menace:) les crocs d’animalité, le scintillement de mauvais augure, la veine de colère, les yeux pincés d’effort, les yeux ronds de menace, les flammes d’enthousiasme, (pour exprimer la tension, la surprise:) la goutte de tension, le yeux en points, le saignement de nez, les éclairs de stupeur, les lignes de tension, le passage au négatif, (pour exprimer l’absence, l’insignifiance:) l’oeil vide, le personnage sans yeux, la figure heno-heno-mohe-ji, (pour suggérer une prise de conscience:) l’éclat de compréhension, la ligne d’intuition, (pour exprimer la lassitude, l’isolement:) les ombres d’épuisement, le souffle d’air, le vent de solitude, (pour exprimer certains états particuliers:) le spirale de candeur, la spirale de K.O., l’étoile de clic, (pour suggérer une modification dans le cours du récit:) les bords noirs de flash-back, le brouillage de souvenir.

Cela peut paraître un peu sec comme sujet juste de les énumérer comme ça, mais le fait que le livre est bien illustré et que chaque symbole reçoive chacun à peu près quatre pages d’explication, aide beaucoup à rendre le sujet plus compréhensible et facile à “digérer.” Le livre début avec deux chapitres qui explique la question du sens de lecture et de l’index visuel du genre graphique qu’est le manga, et se conclut avec un glossaire et un index des auteurs cités.

C’est un sujet qui certes offre un champs d’intérêt plutôt étroit, mais cela pourrait être utile si vous êtes un néophyte et que vous souhaitez mieux comprendre langage graphique du manga, si vous êtes un apprenti mangaka ou si vous êtes un chercheur universitaire et que vous souhaitez étudier le domaine. Donc une curiosité de spécialiste.

Quelques extraits du livres sont disponibles (en PDF) sur le site de l’éditeur: le sens de lecture et l’index visuel, exprimer la colère, la menace, exprimer la tension, la surprise.

This book title is “Graphical lexicography of manga: Understanding and using the graphical symbols of Japanese comics”. It talks about the graphical lexicography of manga. I am sure it is a subject covered in some English language manga references or “How-to draw manga” books, but I think it’s the first time (in any language—and this time, again, in French) that there’s a work entirely dedicated to it.

The book explains the graphical “vocabulary” of manga, which means the graphical symbols and elements that help telling the story and are specific to the genre. It studies thirty-three of those graphical symbols : eyes reversed of joy, circles of happiness, starry eyes, flowers of purity, sweat drop of embarassment, blushing line strokes, hair messed up out of being put out, droplet of saliva, fang of bestiality, sparkle of bad omen, vein of anger, eyes pinched in effort, threatening round eyes, flames of enthusiasm, sweat drop of tension, small-dot eyes, nose bleed, lightning flash of astonishment, tension lines, scene in negative, empty eyes, no eyes, heno-heno-mohe-ji face, sparkle of understanding, line of intuition, shadow of exhaustion, puff of air, wind of loneliness, spiral of ingenuousness, spiral of knock-out, star of blinking eye, black frame of flash-back, and blurr of memory. It might seem dry just mentioned like that, but the fact that the book is well illustrated helps a lot to understand each symbol—which also gets four pages of explanation each.

It is a pretty narrow field of interest but it can be useful if you are new to manga and want to better understand its graphical language, if you are a wanna-be mangaka or if you are a University academician and want to study the subject.

A few excerpts (in french) are available (in PDF) on the publisher’s website: the reading direction & visual index, how to express anger, threat, how to express tension, surprise. You can also find more information on the back cover of the book.

GraphoLexique du Manga: Comprendre et utiliser les symboles graphiques de la BD Japonaise. Written by Den Sigal. Paris: Eyrolles, 2007. 160 pgs. 17 €. ISBN 978-2-212-11791-2. Recommanded for adults.

For more information / Pour plus d’information:

GraphoLexique du Manga © Groupe Eyrolles, 2007.

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June in review

June seemed like a very nice month (as good as May usually is) although we had a few days of heavy rain (my garage was flooded a couple of time: on the third, on the thirteen, but the worse was on the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth). Despite all this, I was able to finish repairing and painting the garage door. The garden also started to blossom in many colours. The Mom alley-cat that took up residence in the garden’s shed (and who gave us Caramel last year) gave birth to another litter of kittens but was later chased from the shed by an invasion of raccoons!

I’ve complained many time to the city (using the official info and complain phone line) about the sidewalk’s defect that cause the rain water to go to my driveway instead of the sewage’s gutter and therefore flooding my garage. In three years nothing was done. Taking advantage of some errands near the borough Hall, I decided to pay a visit to my elected official. He was not there but I spoke with his assistant and explained the problem. She suggested that I email them pictures (which I did right away) and, to my great surprise, less than a week later there was city workers making markings on the sidewalk to prepare it for the repair!! Another week later some workers came back to cut the concrete. I expect the repair to be done soon… Now I know what to do to get results.

In june I also started working in a new location. I felt right away that the adaptation to this new work place would take some time. I have to learn a new routine and every place has its own particularities. However, a month into this new job, I must admit that I am quite disappointed. I remembered the place as very well organized, operating smoothly and quietly. Either I remembered wrong or something changed (well, a rapid succession of changes in management can fuck up the best of organization). I like the team, the place is indeed much more quieter and I now save between fifteen and thirty minutes on my commute, but so far I haven’t been given any specific tasks, the work flow is extremely disorganized and chaotic and the reduced staff and budget means that we are always running to keep up with what needs to be done. Not much time to relax, so it is even more stressful and tiring that the previous place! I am not sure I made the right move… I still have time to adapt, but as soon as it’s possible (I can’t move for another year) I will start applying to other jobs in the hope of finding the dream job or at least something even closer to home.

The end of june and early july brought a heat wave with temperature around 30’C (going over 40′ with the humidex)! We had many weeks without any rain, but it ended today. Hopefully, the rain won’t last too long. I took another couple of weeks of vacation to travel a little, do some work around the house and catch up with my writing (if I ever can!). My first day off, I was so tired that I slept for nearly twelve hours! I haven’t done that in a long time. I started updating my “Essential anime and manga references” moving it from the Protoculture website to my blog and adding more titles to this bibliography. I am planning on posting reviews for all those references (either updating the reviews that were previously published in PA, using some texts that had never been published before [like for the Dico Manga] or simply write new ones). I also wrote comments on the second volumes of Joséphine Impératrice and Le guide du mauvais père (both in french). It feels great! I hope to be able to keep that pace all summer.

Before the rain, I experienced a few of those perfect days of july. It reminded me of my childhood: a slight breeze in the trees, the songs of unseen birds, the distant shouts of children playing in the neighbourhood, the sun reflecting on the water. It brings back a feeling of deep quietness and idleness. Something that the europeans call farniente, I think. Unfortunately, in this busy life, it is only a fleeting sensation…

Not much happened in the news, but I nevertheless gathered a few worthy links that I gladly share with you after the jump:

Anime & Manga related, Japan, Popular Culture

Apple, apps and mobile devices news

Books, Digital Edition & Libraries

Economy, Environment & International/U.S. Politics

Health, home & garden

Library Humour

Media, Culture, Entertainment & Society

Movie Festivals

Sciences & History

Technology, Gadgets & Internet

Union stuff & Montreal’s libraries

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