It’s the week of Thanksgiving, readers! And if you’re likewise American, you’re preparing to do what the rest of the world thinks we do all year long: eat to the point of sickness and pass out in front of the national pastime of concussion giving. But hopefully you’re doing it someplace warm, with people who love you and enrich your lives (something I hope fervently for you readers across the world, too). As for me, I want to take the opportunity to highlight some artists and bloggers I’ve had the good fortune to come to know (and even sometimes collaborate with) since starting this blog, whose work most assuredly deserves a look.
(I’m not including Artemis in this collection since I’ve talked about her before, but y’all should most certainly check out her blog of newbie-friendly anime essays).
First, Lexi Stone (aka Femservice). She runs two blogs: Femservice: A Safe Space to Discuss Anime and Manga, a blog that’s partially new season posts and part retrospective or analytical essays (particularly strong character analyses), and as the title might imply tries to provide a place for underrepresented voices in fandom or anime itself; and The Classy Shipper, a good old ship manifesto blog in the mode of the livejournal days (because it’s frankly much better to listen to someone talk about their ship when they’ve broken it down into an evidence based essay). You may recognize that second one – my Lupin/Jigen essay originally went up there.
Lexi’s also a writer like yours truly (primarily concentrated on m/m stories and erotica), and keeps a writer blog called Lextasy. She’s well-reasoned and easy to talk to, with strong point by point writing (often in fandoms that don’t get a lot in the way of hard analysis).
Next, Jey Barnes, an artist (physical and digital) who’s also preparing their own web comic, Job Satisfaction. They specialize in monsters, demons, and the cutest body horror you’ve ever seen. I confess I always find myself somewhat at a loss to praise a visual artist, being a strictly word-artisan myself, but I utterly adore Jey’s aesthetic: their art is clean but precise in their detail (which might help that cute/horrifying line), the designs are unique and memorable, and they’ve got a downright odd and biting sense of humor that I find endlessly appealing. They also dabble in erotica, for interested parties.
Also more than worth checking out are their partners and fellow excellent people, Ezra and Laurel: the former with an equal love of captivating demon designs and haunting physical art, the latter with a somewhat sketchier, detail-oriented style that yields the most beautiful portraits.
And most recently, Dee – translator, fellow writer, and proprietor of anime blog The Josei Next Door. Really, if you’re a fan of my stuff you should absolutely be checking her out. While more focused on new releases (excluding an exceedingly excellent first-time-viewing Sailor Moon series that’s not terribly unlike my Green Jacket recaps), her posts also go for a fairly informal textual style with interspersed bits of deep-reading analysis. So if you like my stuff but wish I wasn’t married to weird esoterica and stuff that’s been over for a decade, here’s the supplement to fill that hole in your heart.
Also! Dee and I have recently been doing a collaboration of sorts on the Utena analyses, in hopes of introducing it to new folks. Every Sunday, after I post my new episode analysis, Dee posts her own episode recap (a combination of response to my posts and her own observations) designed for readers who’re watching the show for the first time – it’s a pretty fascinating experience, watching a hypothetical new viewer being led by the hand into this strange wonderland, still trying to get some good thematic meaning despite being ignorant of the core goings on. I’ve been having a wonderful time reading them, and I imagine y’all would too.
+1 for Dee’s blog Josei Next Door! Her analyses of Yuri Kuma Arashi are amazing! Didn’t know the others, I’ll check them out, thanks!