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NYAF 2010: "Gay for You?" Yuri & Yaoi Manga for GBLT Readers

By October 20, 2010

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Leyla Aker, Erica FriedmanAs part of the New York Anime Festival 2010, Author/Librarian Robin Brenner gathered a group of gay, lesbian and straight manga experts and readers to talk about yaoi (boys love) and yuri (girls love) manga from a queer point of view. The panel "Gay for You? Yaoi and Yuri Manga for GBLTQ (gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and queer) Readers" attracted a fair amount of fans, and generated some lively discussion.

The panelists at this discussion included:

NYAF logo

  • Chris Butcher - Comics retailer (The Beguiling) and Toronto Comic Arts Festival organizer. Chris is also a frequent traveler to Japan and has written about yaoi and bara manga for his blog, Comics212.net.
  • Scott Robins - Librarian and yaoi manga reader. Scott also reviews books for School Library Journal's Good Comics for Kids blog.
  • Alex Woolfson - Blogger/manga reviewer at his blog Yaoi911.com and author of original yaoi comics including Tough and No Kissing.
  • Leyla Aker - Editorial director at VIZ Media and self-described "yaoi manga fangirl." Leyla has braved several Comikets, so she's a far braver woman than I.
  • Erica Friedman - Publisher and founder of ALC Publishing / Yuricon, an organization dedicated to publishing and promoting yuri manga.
  • Robin Brenner - Librarian and author of the Eisner Award-nominated Understanding Manga and Anime, and the upcoming release Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World, both from Libraries Unlimited. Robin also writes for her blog No Flying, No Tights, EarlyWord and School Library Journal.

Future Lovers Vol. 2Check out my transcript of this discussion, and see what these panelists had to say about:

  • How and why yuri and yaoi manga are received and perceived differently in Japan and the United States.
  • The tension between wanting 'realistic' representations of gay relationships vs. craving the 'crack' of over-the-top fantasy romances.
  • Misogyny in yaoi manga, and how it seems especially odd when these sentiments come from female fans.
  • Can gay comics be more than just about being gay?

It's pretty fascinating stuff! If you were there, or if you've read the transcript, what do you think about what they had to say? Do you agree or disagree? Add your comments below!

Image credits: Deb Aoki, Reed Exhibitions, Saika Kunieda / BIBLOS

Comments

October 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm
(1) louis says:

I really think it’s a great idea to open up too all readers of manga.
(especially to us gay woman,men,teenagers,transgenders etc…)
i am so excited to grab a copy a.s.a.p.
if and when will it hit the stores?
louis

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