Interviews

I recently stumbled on a couple of interviews I did in 2003-2004 when I was editor-in-chief for a magazine dedicated to Japanese popular culture (mostly anime and manga). It is strange to reminisce about this period of my life but I thought it would be amusing to share them with you here.

The first interview was done online with a couple of high-school students for a school assignment. It was done in French but I also translated it in English :

The second one was done with Fred Patten for an article in Comics Buyer’s Guide :

 

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My works

I am at that time in my life when you start asking yourself “okay, what have I accomplished?” Then you realize you haven’t done much.

So, to encourage myself, I started building a bibliography of my works. When you have a little idea of what you’ve done (even if it’s not much), you can better plan what’s left to do (and try not to write the same article twice, like a recently did!).

Recently, I have also created an index of the reviews I wrote for this blog to make it easier to navigate for the readers. Hopefully, it will facilitate searching for a subject or a title.

Here they are:

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Index of book reviews

Warning!

This blog was hit by a couple of catastrophes in 2017 that broke many image links and introduced malicious lines of code that have now been neutralized but are still  disfiguring many older entries of the blog.

Please bear with us while we are undergoing the  long process of repairing the blog! The most important part of this blog is still there — the words to read and the ideas to share — but the aesthetic of the presentation has unfortunately suffered.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

— clodjee   

This is an index of all the book reviews of this blog. They are listed in alphabetical order of the titles, followed by the date the review was written and the type of book.

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Index of movies & TV series reviews

Warning!

This blog was hit by a couple of catastrophes in 2017 that broke many image links and introduced malicious lines of code that have now been neutralized but are still  disfiguring many older entries of the blog.

Please bear with us while we are undergoing the  long process of repairing the blog! The most important part of this blog is still there — the words to read and the ideas to share — but the aesthetic of the presentation has unfortunately suffered.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

— clodjee   

This is an index of all the movie & TV series reviews of this blog. They are listed in alphabetical order of the titles, followed by the date the review was written and the category / tag of the review.

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The Controversial Art of Reviewing

Last September I wrote an essay on the “Subtile art of writing a review/commentary” (in French, but it is also available in a machine-translated English version). It is an essay I wanted to write for a long time, explaining how I was approaching the writing of a book or movie review — which I did for twenty years for a magazine. The funny thing is that I discovered a few weeks ago that I had already written that article in 2009 (in English) and forgot about it! I was checking out some old hard drives looking for something and stumble upon this article that I had written for a special issue (PAX #3) of the magazine I was working for, but we stop publication before it was released. It is based on the guidelines I wrote for our staff writers. My views on how to write a review have not change much since then. I thought it would be interesting to share it with the readers of this blog.

Reviewing a media product (wether it is a book, a manga, an anime series or a live-action movie) might seems an easy task, but in reality it is far from being simple. In fact, we are all doing it when we express an opinion to friends, but it is usually done in an emotional and very imprecise manner: “it was so bad, man” or “it was really cool.” In opposition, a professional reviewer—someone who does it for a living—must do his/her best to remain objective, precise and rigorous.

I admit that, if I always try to be an objective and precise reviewer, I am rarely rigorous. I am lazy and tend to keep my reviews short, introducing the subject and expressing my opinion in the most elementary manner. Today everybody is a critic as they can easily post what they think of this or that on their blog , but what makes the appraisal of a professional reviewer more interesting and valuable is experience. I’ve spent about two decades watching videos or films and reading books related to the subjects I review. I have therefore developped a methodology to assess the subject, an understanding of its workings and a set of criteria that—I hope—better equip me to examine and judge a particular media product.

In this article I have attempted to explain how I approach the writing of a review, what I think a review should be and what aspects of a medium I take in consideration when writing a review. I wanted to talked about this for a long time as I think it can offer interesting insights to both our readers and would-be reviewers.

First, there is two types of reviews: the basic or elementary review (the one I tend to favour) and the exhaustive review.

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2017 in books

Readings2017chartThis year I have met my objective of reading twenty-five books (thanks to Goodreads Reading Challenge for keeping track). Unfortunately, of this number four were periodicals, I lost interest and stopped reading for four more and the rest (seventeen) was all mangas or comics! If I check my Goodreads stats, I’ve done better before. Therefore, one of my greatest wishes for 2018 will be to READ MORE! I’ll do my best and try to double down by pledging to read at least fifty books for 2018!

My best readings for 2017 were:

The other books I read and commented were:

I have many more books on my to-read pile (including some great novels) but I just have to find (or make) the time to read them! In the meantimes, I suggest to you the list of the Best Book Review Blogs of 2017 according to Reedsy and another list of book reviews blogs from WordPress. Hopefully, mine will figure in some of those lists one day (and maybe I could start receiving tons of review copies like in the good old days!). What about YOUR readings ?