Jul 18, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 874: Weather Woman #4, November 2000

https://www.comics.org/issue/340188/

Though still a bit disjointed, I'm starting to get the atmosphere that's being created by this story. It's not just about the stalker-ish behaviour of the male protagonist, nor the casual nudity of Keiko. There's an undercurrent of satire that's poking fun at both the cutthroat nature of the television news industry and the over-sexualization of everything on television. Once the weather report becomes soft porn, what else is left, really?

I do have another criticism of this series, though it's really nothing to do with the story itself, and more to do with the publishing decisions. Because of the differing method of publication of this kind of serial in Japan, we get chapters that are spread between issues. For example, today's comic finishes chapter 5 and begins chapter 6. The problem with there not being a full chapter in each issue is that the story ends at completely arbitrary moments, dependent wholly on page count. A serial relies on cliffhangers at the end of each installment, but when those installments are chopped apart simply to accommodate the actual material size of the publication, much is lost. In reading serialized fictions, we rely on the ability of the creator to entice us back for more. A better strategy for this, or any manga story that's similarly constructed, would be to fluctuate story page count and ad page count in order to fit a chapter or two, depending on length, into each issue. That way the coherence of the story is preserved.

More tomorrow. To be continued.

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