Administration: Adding Manhwa Tag for Selected Webcomics

I’m starting to add the tag “manhwa” to the Korean webcomics I’m posting, because I got into them before being able to have pedantic arguments about what distinguishes manga, manhwa, and even manhua!

The general gist is that these are comics (a) from South Korea that are often (b) in color and now even (c) set up for vertical (phone) scrolling publication.

If you haven’t noticed (because I usually only write at the end of publication, and so much of what I’m reading is in ongoing serialization without end), my main sources of manhwa content are Tappytoon and the Webtoon app.

Many genres and styles are available. I primarily choose stories of:

  • dying of overwork in the real world, waking up as a the villainess of a novel the heroine has already read, and trying to reform her character to change her unfortunate fate
  • avenging the killing of one’s immediate family (feudal settings)
  • secret identities (especially including girls having to pretend to be guys to survive; sole survivors of royal families pretending to be commoners to they can get revenge later, etc.)
  • dramedies (dramatic comedies) which are often also romances and invovle women who are good at fighting with swords (and sometimes magic).

The digital coloring, use of 3D software to model figures in lifelike positions and odd angles, and the application of complex textures and patterns makes this genre quite visually appealing – my phone is filled with screenshots of favorite characters whose costumes would be disabling to draw by hand, but are slightly less so with digital tools. (They can still be disabling – the artists need to take long breaks between seasons to recover from the efforts! Some are on long term hiatus for health reasons… I worry a bit for the artists over this.). I’m a bit discouraged by the dominance of European castles and royal themes, though I understand why the elaborate costumes can be fun, and why it is convenient to have idle (not ordinarily employed) characters with time to get into trouble.

You’ll see the new tag applied as I consider whether to rename the titles to a broader category like comic (which evokes American retro-newspaper comics, rather inaccurately) or perhaps graphic fiction.

Language: Still Studying (Mostly German)

Duolingo language app graphic that reads, "I'm on a 1639 day stream and a Streak Society VIP!"
Special graphic from earlier this week. I am still rolling along, and the lessons get updated around me…

I am ridiculous.

I usually practice German, and will eventually choose my alternate language this year. I should go back to Spanish, but I forget it instantly. I want to return to Japanese, but I found my study notebook, and I don’t understand my own notes! (GAAAAAHHHHH! [Scream that sounds similar in Japanese, actually.])

Google Translate has improved, but often uses less common words or is too literal. I use it when translating discussions of new subjects, but have had feedback multiple times from native German speakers that it isn’t quite right, and they prefer my efforts. But… But…

US Mass Shootings: The Onion’s Devastating Repeated Commentary

If you aren’t used to seeing this satire site’s fierce commentary on American Denialism, it devastates because they can use this template SO OFTEN.

The Onion went big for this particular mass shooting, covering their page in reprints of the many times they have needed to use it. For commentary on that, the Guardian has a good recap:

While you may think this dark view and the imagined interviews are an overstatement, I personally have heard young people say that mass murders such as these can’t be prevented and that gun control doesn’t work, completely oblivious to how the rest of the developed world lives. Without awareness of the world beyond the US borders, the fact that other nations successfully prevent mass murders and successfully apply gun control can’t penetrate the internal propaganda bubble that Americans live in. (This is politically convenient for all sorts of fringe political leaders, but mostly right-wing ones, which we have so many of.) The internal propaganda around this wears people down, until they just… accept it.

And Americans have fantasies such as, “this can’t happen here, to my family,” until it does.

Language: Still Studying

Even I am surprised at my persistence!

I’m still studying Japanese, but my lack of kanji memorization is slowing me down, and I haven’t been making the flash cards from my notes to get to the level I need to be at. But I’m not giving up, either…