Manga - Reading Suggestions

Who doesn't like to read comics, and especially, the Japanese equivalent that is manga? But with thousands of genres and titles, it is quite confusing to know what genres will appeal us, and what titles to start reading, especially if we are just beginning to discover this fascinating medium.

One thing you must know, manga is not "comic books for kids", and there are genres that will cover every group age, gender and social group.

So, what manga should you read?

Well, lets start with the genres and a few suggestions of titles:

Redikomi or Josei, from the Japanese "Lady Comic". Sometimes referred to as Josei (female).This genre is aimed from late teenage girls to adult, going beyond the idealized romance of Shojo, with a more realistic take on modern Japanese women's relationships. I recommend: "Midnight Secretary", "Gokusen" and "Honey and Clover".

Seinen (young man) is the male counterpart of Redikomi/Josei. Genres are relatively the same as Shonen, except that they are darker and more somber. My recommendations: "Bastard!!", "Berserk" ad "Basilisk".

Shojo or Shoujo (literally "girl") is a manga aimed at younger females up to the age 18. A focus on romance and relationships from a teenage girl point of view. Recommendations: "Ceres Celestial Legend", "Fushigi Yuugi" and "Love Celeb".

Shonen or Shounen (It translates literally as "boy"), the male counterpart of shojo, centering on adventure, action and Martial Arts genres. Manga recommendations: "Bleach", "Naruto" and "Full Metal Alchemist".

Yuri or Shojo-ai is based on female/female romantic relationships strong, graphically portrayed themes. Shojo-ai translates literally as "Girl-love". Yuri translates literally as "Lily". In Japan, the term GL (Girl Love) is also used. Recommended readings: "Strawberry Panic", "Free Soul" and "Love My Life".

Shonen-ai / Yaoi, the male equivalent of Shojo-ai/. Shonen-ai translates as "Boy-love" BL (Boy Love). Less graphic than Yuri. Recommended readings: "Count Cain - GodChild", "Boys Next Door" and "Just Around the Corner".

Hentai: this manga is sexually hardcore manga. Hentai is Japanese for "perverted" or "perversion" (adult content). Recommendations: "Step Up Love Story", "Maid in Heaven" and "Sexy Magical Girl".

The next step is to actually go find these titles. But with busy schedules and limited resources, especially when we just want to test the waters, going to the actual manga store can be challenging. That is why reading manga online can be a good alternative.

Comic Book Prices

Comic books are one of the cheapest forms of magazines to buy. Many of these comic books you probably read through the years while you were growing up, however Marvel comics has released new comics as well as superheroes for you to enjoy.

If you are looking for comic book prices for all your books, then one of the best places to get such a list would be Wizard Magazine which you can buy for a reasonable price and you will get to learn more on comic books and how much they are worth now. Wizard also has an online magazine and they also post the latest comic to be released and when it will hit the shelves. Since comic books also has a cult following, then it is important for you to know how much a certain book will cost and which store will have the magazine nearest to you, so you get to buy the comic book before other people rush in and get it and you find that a copy of the comic is already sold out which is bad especially if it is the limited kind.

There are other comic pricing guides that are available in the market today such as Overstreet and Standard Catalog of Comic Books. These comic guides provide you with the kind of information you need like where to get the rare and valuable comics and where you can get first issue comics as well as the back issue ones as well. The comic guides also document how much you can get if you decided to sell your book from the new to the old and rare kind. You can also look for a comic book appraiser to get book pricing.

How To Create Ball Jointed Dolls

The popularity of Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD) or also known as Asian Ball Jointed Dolls (ABJD) has prompted a lot of custom doll collectors to start their own designs and masterpieces. The theme for most of these BJD creations is that it verges on the modern scenarios. These Ball Jointed dolls are mostly inspired by Asian anime creations since it first started as craze in Japan, China, and South Korea. Thus, most features of the modern BJD are akin to the faces of anime and manga comics' characters. But the history of Ball Jointed dolls dates back in the late 19th century in Western Europe in when the dolls were made of bisque.

The reincarnation of the Ball Jointed dolls was observed in 1972 when the Blythe doll was launched. These dopey-eyed dolls perhaps fostered the emergence of the modern Ball Jointed dolls that we see today. Along this resurrection, hobbyists and doll enthusiasts have found this technique to be versatile and flexible when it comes to the movement and pose they want for their creation. Due to this demand, most doll shops right now are catering to this need and most Ball Jointed supplies are available at online stores that have mushroomed.

Doll supplies include synthetic mohair wigs, shoes, clothes, doll body joints and parts (ex. feet, arms, head, eyes, and limbs), fairy wings, paints, airbrush, and sealants. There are also other paint materials that are available to make the dolls more lifelike. The doll's body parts can also very as it depends on the size of the doll that will be created. The materials for these parts are usually vinyl or synthetic polyurethane resin which can be premade or molded for custom orders.

The cured resin results to a smooth skin like texture that is also akin to porcelain yet it is less brittle. The only problem with polyurethane is that it may turn yellow over time especially when exposed to heat or the UV rays. Hobbyists who want to verge on unique customized designs, they can use clay molds to form parts that are not available at the stores. Most of these custom designed parts are used by hobbyists who are into robot figures, vampire characters, and other fantasy and fictional characters.

There are several instructional videos and articles available online on how to paint and string Ball Jointed dolls during the assembly process. Other intricate details involve the process of placing mohair synthetic wigs and the setting of glass eyes. For would-be enthusiasts who like to start their own creation, check online clubs and forums which will provide better inputs on how to start crafting custom Ball Jointed dolls.