Monday, October 29, 2007

"COLORS" by Naomi Nethercott


Bright, dark, and beautiful,

Someone is drawing,

The colors are acting colorful,

It feels like colors are everywhere.

This type of poem is called a Cinquain. Naomi will turn ten next month and is in fourth grade.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Manga Messiah Gets A Response on the Web

On August 24, 2007 Anime News Network posted a news item on Manga Messiah and the Manga Bible. ANN is one of the more important mainstream anime sites, it has a huge amount of information on anime and also features bulletin boards where readers can post comments. So far, the news item about the Bible Manga project has generated 110 posts by ANN members. One of the more prolific posters is a young friend of mine who is a fan of both anime and manga. He is doing a great job of interacting about important spiritual issues, from a Christian perspective.

The posts in this thread (which can be read by anyone, you don't have to sign in) are informative and interesting.

The Original Article on ANN: Christian Manga, Bible with Japanese Artists Announced

ANN Discussion Board Posts: Click Here To Read

There is a well written, review that includes a number of photos of Manga Messiah at a site called Manga Life.

Finally, "independent comics site" has a scathingly negative review that includes the following paragraph: "There are many weird things out there, like pizza with spaghetti topping or movies about killer tomatos. In the comic book world I'd guess that the weirdest thing to date is "Loaded Bible" or "Swing with Scooter." Now, Tyndale House Publishers takes the cup with their newest project, coming this fall: The Manga Bible!"

I will add more links as I find them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bible Manga: How Will the Church Respond?

A Report on the Bible Manga Meeting:

We held a "Bible Manga Informational Meeting" in Tokyo on October 27th, 2007. At the meeting Roald Lidal, director of New Life League Japan, announced that the Japanese version of Manga Messiah (the first book in a series of five) will be released early in 2008 and sold in mainstream bookstores in Japan for between 800 and 1,000 yen per copy.

MM (Japanese version) will also be available in Japan to churches and other ministries for the deeply discounted price of 250 yen per book -- if ordered by the case directly from the publisher.

Lidal emphasized that the Japanese used in this series of books will be genuine "street Japanese" in typical manga style. Participants speculated that many, if not most, Christians in Japan will not appreciate the Bible being published as manga. But, Lidal is deeply committed to his almost forty-year-old dream of producing genuine Bible based manga that will connect with mainstream Japanese.

We got to see a full color draft of "Manga Mutiny," the first of the five Bible Manga books. No details but I can assure readers that NLLJ is taking a bold and exciting approach to depicting the early chapters of Genesis.

The attendance at this meeting was low, only a dozen. It could have been one of those days when lots of people had other things going on. But, my feeling is that it indicates the established church is not very interested in Bible Manga. This is because Japanese pop culture is feared, ignored and/or rejected by a large percentage of Christians. This is a huge blind spot but people can't see that because, well, because it IS a blind spot.

How important is pop-culture in Japan?

Lidal told the group that a few years ago a Japanese manga series called Shyonen Jump, was publishing 6 million copies per week. One of the well known series published in the weekly Shyonen Jump magazine is a series called Bleach. The manga called "Bleach" is an amazing depiction of a cosmic battle between good and evil spirits. The story is squarely based on widely held Japanese beliefs about the spirit world. Bleach has also been produced as an anime series.

This kind of story is part of pop culture in a country where people are said to be "secular" and "not interested in spiritual things!"

Both "Shonen Jump" and Bleach are popular in the US market as well.

Note: "Shyonen" is the standard way to spell this word and also better reflects Japanese pronunciation, apparently the publishers decided to use "shonen" to make it shorter.

This photo is a montage of images from "Bleach"