I Read A Manga… And I Liked It?

IMG_1692

As many of you know, the honeymoon is coming a couple of days after the wedding, and Japan is going to be new for both of us. The resounding question though has been:

Why Japan?!

For me, it’s simple. Tons of history, a rich culture full of varying levels of quietly understood respect, and awesome food. A honeymoon should be a trip of a lifetime, something you may never get to do again so you make it as memorable as possible.

Paige on the other hand, though food also sits high her list of reasons to go, has what some may call “closeted” emotional attachment to the trip. No, it’s not where her parents met, or the fact that the Japanese seem to consistently sit near the top of healthiest populations despite their misfortune with mercury issues. No, instead her reasons come from a cultural background that I would have made fun of in high school… Manga.

4f64892812b211e3801622000a1fb91e_7

Yes, it can be strange, and when we first got together her collection was a bit overwhelming, but after considering my closet full of war documentaries and fact books about WWII, I realized we all have our quirks.

So in an attempt to better understand why Japan was our destination, and to grasp at what my soon-to-be wife had loved for so long, I agreed to read a book.

IMG_1693

She dug through her closet, and pulled out the first four books of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. From what I’ve grasped, and may catch flak for, the primary character is an angsty teenager that is estranged from his dad, is necessary to the whole process of protecting earth with robots called “Angels” and allows his self-pity to block out the awesome things in his life like the beautiful women that continuously stream into the picture.

The series was picked because it’s one of Paige’s favorites, and it was supposed to be a fast read.

I’d like to point out here that I’ve tried to read a comic once before, the closest thing I had come to a graphic novel, and because I couldn’t wrap my head around why someone would put the pictures and tiny inklings of conversations together, I gave up and threw the comic away.

This time, however, Paige won. The first book was, in fact, a quick read that left me at least wondering how stupid the angsty teen could be, and before I new it I was into the fourth book of the series.

Ultimately, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I tried a Manga, and I think I liked it. I should probably also explain for everyone that Manga, as I understand it, is basically like anime but as a book. If it’s written down/static it’s manga, if it moves (like it’s animated) then it’s anime.

The lesson from all of this, try something new. Even if you made an attempt once before, give everything a second chance, because you never know when the things you find stupid one day will begin to fascinate you.

The Art of Alienation: Photo Series

171353_1278617690815_7126826_o

What makes something beautiful is always left to the individual, but what makes a photo great is entirely different.

The strongest pieces don’t inspire happy feelings, but rather force you to question what is happening. To go a step further the question must be based on your own self reflection, and not the piece in front of you.

_MG_3555

To me, that is what makes a strong piece, and there is nothing that brings out those feelings better than photographed alienation. Provocative loneliness speaks to everyone, because it’s what we all fear.

9ec44c7cf3c911e295e122000a9e2965_7

As the cultural shift toward emphasized storytelling continues, explore your own alienated self, because you could be surprised by what you find.

044c6f72246111e2bfc622000a9d0dda_7Image collaboration with Paige Hogan