Networks of Desire—the second volume in the Mechademia series, an annual forum devoted to critical and creative work on Japanese anime, manga, and the fan cultures that have coalesced around them—explores the varieties of desire that structure and influence much of contemporary anime and manga in manifestations that range from the explicitly sexual to more sublimated text and imagery. Collecting original essays by scholars, artists, and fans, Networks of Desire considers key issues at play in a Japanese society increasingly uncertain of its place in a globalized world: from idealized representations of same-sex desire in such shjo manga (girls’s comics) as The Rose of Versailles, to fan fiction inspired by the gender-switching manga Ranma ½, to desire in otaku communities.
Deftly weaving together desire and discourse, Mechademia 2 illuminates the techno-carnal fantasies, animalistic consumption, political nostalgia, and existential hunger underlying the most popular and influential expressions of Japanese popular culture today.
Contributors: Brent Allison, U of Georgia; Meredith Suzanne Hahn Aquila; Hiroki Azuma; William L. Benzon; Christopher Bolton, Williams College; Martha Cornog; Patrick Drazen; Marc Hairston, U of Texas, Dallas; Mari Kotani; Shu Kuge, Penn State U; Margherita Long, U of California, Riverside; Daisuke Miyao; Hiromi Mizuno, U of Minnesota; Mariana Ortega; Timothy Perper; Eron Rauch; Trina Robbins; Brian Ruh, Indiana U; Deborah Shamoon, U of Notre Dame; Masami Toku, California State U, Chico; Keith Vincent, NYU.
Frenchy Lunning is professor of liberal arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and editor of Mechademia 1: Emerging Worlds of Anime and Manga (Minnesota, 2006).
Lopes analyzes the cultural production, reception, and consumption of American comic books throughout American history. He charts the rise of superheroes, the proliferation of serials, and the emergence of graphic novels. Demanding Respect explores how comic books born in the 1930s were perceived as a “menace” in the 1950s, only to later become collectors’ items and eventually “hip” fiction in the 1980s through today.
Using a theoretical framework to examine the construction of comic book culture—the artists, publishers, readers and fans—Lopes explains how and why comic books have captured the public’s imagination and gained a fanatic cult following.