It has taken me quite some time to decide what to write about for this blog. Although I am fascinated by the world of print culture, I know so little about it (at this point in time). Despite my limited knowledge of the many facets of book binding, type face, etc, my time as a reader has lead to an appreciation for the quality of a book. As Febvre and Martin explore in their essay, the construction of a book can be just as important as the content of its text. In the early days of print, craftsmen worked tirelessly to reproduce the manuscripts of the monks and scribes who had for centuries held a monopoly on the written word. As print spread, this desire for quality persisted, but relented to some degree. This created a space for cheaply made printed texts also known as ephemera to gain traction in the new market. Today, ephemera and higher quality books circulate throughout the world. Japanese comic books, also known as manga, were originally printed in large volumes and circulated on cheap paper. This issue of the manga Blood Lad is an example of a traditional manga collection.
Conversely, this hardcover reissue of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is somewhat of an oddity among Japanese comics.
The higher print quality lends itself to collectors far better than the flimsy paperbacks frequently sold in Both Japan and North America. Despite the lack of content and higher price of the second book, its charm is undeniable. The reader may be paging more per page. but the quality of printing is the draw. Conversely, the lower quality Blood Lad manga is jam packed with content, which makes it equally as appealing, albeit in a radically different way.