I recently asked my Bang Bang staff to discuss BL o'clock, the time when we set down our translation hats or red pens or wacom tablets to decompress... usually with more BL! Our BL o'clock posts will feature the book(s) we're reading. Editor Kimberly Lammens always has an interesting books in her queue, so she's up to bat first! Dutch style!
Right now I'm reading Japanese Colour Prints (1966) by J. R. Hillier. Imagine my delight when I realized that the evolution of many of the Japanese comic conventions can be traced to these woodblock ukiyo-e prints!
The middle book is Bread and Wine: an Erotic Tale of New York City (1999). It's a beautiful autobiography: Delany, a university professor, tells the very unusual love story of himself and his partner, a homeless man. Check this book out for an amazing love story told with Mia Wolff's creative and dynamic image-word technique.
Erotic Anger (2001) by Gerard Pommier, a French psychoanalyst. He believes Freud's Oedipus complex, Electra complex and castration anxiety theories explain why we like and/or need angry sex. Eventually, after a page or two of this book, I start crying at my sheer stupidity, walk over to the corner of my office, and pick up a kodomo because Pommier and Freud have cock n' balled my brain. Chi always fixes me up right fine.
Next is Anne Whittingham, one of Boys Love Bang Bang's translators.
J no Subete ("All About J") again before I start graduate school next week, as it deals with some very interesting issues and themes surrounding sexuality. Plus, it's by one of my very favorite BL managaka, Asumiko Nakamura! J no Subete follows J's life and how he deals with feelings of gender disparity over three volumes. It's a very dark and psychological manga, and I'd be flabbergasted if it were ever officially localized, but I do hope it is someday!
Heart of Thomas (Touma no Shinzou). First published in 1974 by acclaimed mangaka Moto Hagio, it's one of the very first shonen-ai/boys' love titles to come out in Japan. I've been really interested in the roots of modern day BL recently, hence why I picked this one up. I'm not very far into it, so I can't comment on the story yet, though! Did you know it's finally getting a localization this year? AND it's going to be translated by localization superstar Matt Thorn?? How exciting! I highly suggest everyone pick up a copy when it comes out. We desperately need more 70's BL and shoujo manga available in English.
Do you have any BL o'clock favorites? Tell us about them! Translator Barbara Vincent and I (letterer Alexandra Gunawan) will make another post later in the month! Let us know if this post was useful for you!