Book review: Once More Upon a Time

Once More Upon a Time
By Patrick Thomas and Diane Raetz
Publisher: Dark Quest, LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9826197-5-9
Review copy purchased by reviewer

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is a different kind of Mystic Investigators tale by my New York homeboy, Patrick Thomas, and his latest collaborator Diane Raetz. I’m more accustomed to reading about the exploits of Agent Karver, and his empathic partner Mandi Cobb, in the Department of Mystic Affairs. They’re both pros at dealing with practitioners of the Dark Arts, fairies and mystic beasts. But the protagonist of this novel is a young witch named Jillian Anderson, an agent of Templar Mason, once known as the Knights Templar. She’s new at this business, so new that her mistakes can cause serious repercussions for the people she’s trying to help.
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Press Release: Illustrated messages with Jmanga purchase! will be holding a special gift campaign from March 13th to 26th (PST) for BL/Yaoi Feature “ABC of BL/Yaoi”. Subscribers who purchase one of the corresponding BL/Yaoi titles during the campaign will receive a special gift from JManga!

Just in time for the campaign, JManga will be adding the adorably drawn and ever so sweet love story, “My Darling Kitten Hair” by Haruko Kumota. Purchase “My Darling Kitten Hair” Vol. 1 during the campaign and receive a special illustrated message from the artist, Haruko Kumota! There is also a special illustrated messages from Nase Yamato to those who purchase “Pet on Duty” or “Cigarette Kisses”.

JManga will be also adding “70% of First Love is…” by Hiko Yamanaka and “100 Blossoms To Love” by Gido Amagakure on March 13th and will be giving away special wallpaper for both titles.

“My Darling Kitten Hair” (Released 3/13) / Illustrated message from Kumota Haruko-sensei
“Pet on Duty” / Illustrated message from Yamato Nase-sensei
“Cigarette Kisses / Illustrated message from Yamato Nase-sensei
“70% of First Love is…” (Released 3/13) / Special wallpaper
“100 Blossoms To Love” (Released 3/13) / Special wallpaper


In Praise of Scan Girls

Yeah, I read a few scanlations, but I also buy the printed English version if it’s licensed and published, and if I just can’t stand it, I’ll even buy the Japanese version. No, I can’t read Japanese, but the pictures tell most of the story. And the scanlations often have a note urging readers to support the mangaka (creator) by buying whatever version of the work is commercially on sale. That’s no hardship for me because I love the feel of a book in my hands. But if there are only scanlations, then I will read the scanlations and hope I can eventually read it in book form.

In the course of reading these scanlations in undisclosed locations, I became aware of a most wonderful thing: communities of manga loving females devoting their time, talents, and energy to producing this work, and producing it well enough, for other likeminded, non-Japanese reading females. I became very impressed by the camaraderie and professionalism of these groups offering new members a chance improve their Japanese, editing, or visual editing skills. I’m not a joiner, but this is one club I’d love to be in if I had the time, talents or energy for it. The scan groups, as they call themselves, have often been the catalyst for getting certain Japanese works licensed and published in the U.S. In every case that I’ve seen that happen, the scan groups do the following things:
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