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Boing Boing, one of my favorite blogs, is going to start publishing new chapters of Elfquest, the comic that was the shining and beloved fandom of my youth. World, you do love me and I love you back so much.

What I love the most about this announcement, besides the fact that it's real and it's happening, is that it shows that Elfquest's creators Richard and Wendy Pini are eminently sensible people who genuinely cherish and prioritize their fans. The comic stopped appearing regularly a decade ago, and the last time any new material came out was in 2006. Releasing the new series online is sure to get Elfquest a lot more attention and a lot more new fans than if they'd tried starting over in paper publishing. And this isn't the first time that the Pinis show that their main objective is to make sure that Elfquest is always accessible to old and new fans: in 2008-2009, they released the whole 6000+ pages of the series on their website entirely for free. 

Devour it
 before the new series starts! Begin with the Original Quest. In its later years, the series branched out into a lot of spin-offs by guest artists, and some of those were not exactly earth-shattering. But the bits drawn by Wendy (MY HERO), especially the first couple of series, are consistently excellent and beautiful and very, very moving. After the first few issues, the art goes from pretty to stunningly gorgeous, and the story is captivating. Elfquest was one of the first US comics to seriously deal with character deaths, non-heteronormative sexuality, and other 'adult' themes, and still feels wonderfully fresh and new today.

(More Elfquest. I can't believe it. All right, I'll probably spend the whole run of the new series tearing my hair out in frustration because my favorite characters, Pike and his Go-Back harem, are in Ember's tribe and it sounds like the new series is going to be all about Cutter's tribe. But I'll live. I'm so looking forward to moaning about all the things I used to moan about!) 
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unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
Home from Tokyo, will get cracking on a bunch of replies now. In the meantime: I looked at the list of pairings on the cover of this dojinshi and felt like a really, really undeveloped fannish person because I only know how to ship mere humans. I should get more practice at looking at the world around me and finding the shipping angle in everything.

Read more... )
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The reason why this talk delights me beyond anything I can express is rather long and convulted, so I've put it after the video. tl;dr version: It's Jurassic Park for real, and Jurassic Park pretty much made me.

Jack Horner: Building a dinosaur from a chicken (16min)

Summary from TED:

Renowned paleontologist Jack Horner has spent his career trying to reconstruct a dinosaur. He's found fossils with extraordinarily well-preserved blood vessels and soft tissues, but never intact DNA. So, in a new approach, he's taking living descendants of the dinosaur (chickens) and genetically engineering them to reactivate ancestral traits — including teeth, tails, and even hands — to make a "Chickenosaurus".
 
Video under the cut )
unjapanologist: (Default)
My definitive admission certificate just arrived, so I can finally say out loud that I'll be leaving for Japan in April and stay there for two years to do research on the cultural economy of Japanese fanworks. I've been admitted to the doctoral degree program of the Graduate School of Economics, economic policy major, at Doshisha University in Kyoto. (Okay, I wanted to type all that out just once because it looks so damn impressive on the certificate.)

"Excited" doesn't begin to cover how I'm feeling right now. It's been seven years since I last got the chance to spend more than three weeks at a time in Japan. Nobuko Kawashima, who will be my supervisor, is one of very few Japanese professors who study the role of amateur cultural engagement in the general economy, and I feel incredibly lucky and honored that she agreed to take me on. Also, I'll be sharing a house with [livejournal.com profile] aoi_shu. Excuse me while I cartwheel.
unjapanologist: (Default)
Hello, I'm still alive. Expect a flurry of posts this week -there's a lot to talk about, from this conference in Cologne to research and travel plans to website-related grumblings.

First, a tidbit of news that still has me cartwheeling around the room a week after the fact: I just signed a contract for a four-year research position that will allow me to study dojinshi and English-language fanwork full time, starting this week. There's a working budget and everything. I'm staying at my current university, but will probably head to Japan for several years in the very near future. More on that when things are definite. The last half year has been a bit of a muddle, with lots of stress about non-research work and very little research actually taking place. That's obviously set to change now that I'm getting paid to work on this project and only this project.

Many, many thanks to my advisor professor Willy Vande Walle and all the other people who helped me apply for this position, and who tirelessly badgered officials until they caved in and decided it would be a good idea to finally give funding to fanwork research in Belgium. I will use my new powers for good!

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