A Curious Kuriousity for Manga: An Interview with Lissa Pattillo

Posted by Linda Yau on Jun 4, 2011 in Comic Books, Fandom |


Fans can exist not just in the United States, but just about anywhere in the world. Take for instance this week’s blogger interview with Lissa Pattillo, our neighbor up north in friendly Canada! Okay corny geography jokes aside, Lissa runs a very nice guide to manga news and reviews via Kuriosity. She is involved in way more websites than Kuriosity, and I will leave it for you to read under the cut. So I have notice/lurked her site from her interaction with the defunct Boys on Boys on Film website. She provides the fact that irregardless of geography, reading and love for manga has no boarders!


What was your first anime title? Was it the same as your first manga title?

My first anime title was Astro Boy back when it played on Canadian television. I have vague memories of sitting in front of the TV watching it (and photographic evidence where memory fails – being a toddler after all). For nostalgia’s sake, I remember being entranced by the opening and closing themes and still am. I also idolized Astro’s sister, Uran a lot and doodled her constantly when I could first hold a crayon! My first manga was volume of Ranma Β½ which a friend lent me in junior high. I was blown away by the humour and the fact I was reading something with bare breasts in it (my virgin eyes!). The first manga I then went out and bought for myself was Mixx issue #8 of Sailor Moon.

What’s your favorite title and why?

This is one of those questions I can never answer. There are so many series I absolutely love, and of course how much I love them tends to vary on how recently I read them (I’m the kind of person who falls in love with what I’m reading right now). I have favourite creators though so their works are usually top of my love-lists: CLAMP, Matsuri Akino, Osamu Tezuka, Fumi Yoshinaga and Hinako Takanaga to name a very, very small few. So this answer isn’t a total cop-out: Pet Shop of Horrors, XXXHolic, Yotsuba, Black Jack and Ouran High School Host Club come to mind pretty quick – all for pretty different reasons though πŸ™‚

Has there been a recent series that you would recommend people to check out?

For those looking for something really edgy, I’d recommend Usamaru Fuyura’s single-volume Lychee Light Club (but I recommend not eating anytime around the time you do!). His much more lighthearted Genkaku Picasso was a real treat too. Butterflies, Flowers is a hilarious title for older shoujo fans’ and the Cross Game omnibus are fantastic for a really well-constructed, laid back read.


Is there any fandom(s) that you would be an avid follower for?

I’m not really an avid follower of any fandom today (unless manga industry followers count as a fandom?) but I was really huge into Dragonball Z back in the day. A one-woman Kuririn supporting army, as I was called. I still use the nickname Kuri I was given from back then (hence my site name). Odd as it sounds, I spend so much time reading different series that I don’t have time to throw myself into any one like I used to be able to.

Are there any issues in the trend of anime and manga that you feel passionate about?

I feel pretty passionately about digital manga. I’m not a fan of the trend myself but purely for preferential reasons. I love reading comics of all kinds on paper far more and digital can never replace the solid format, browsing, flipping through, buying and shelf-organizing experience! I understand the importance of series being available digitally though so all for it if down well but I’m really worried about people buying these digital editions and then losing them when a site/company/service shuts down. It’s not really owning it like having a book in your hand.


Why did you decide to start social media/blogging?

I decided to be a blogger when I started reading other people’s blogs and websites during the later part of the manga-boom. I really wanted to get in on the conversation. I never enjoyed forums very much but the roundtable experience that writing posts, sharing them and commenting on others seemed really appealing. I really got started in it when I wrote my first manga review for Ichigenme (Vol. 01) – 801Media’s first release.

What is your favorite part in the blogging experience?

My favorite part of the blogging experience is seeing people discuss what I wrote about on other sites, whether it’s an editorial me or one of my writers posted or just a piece of news I was the first to slap front-row center. It’s a really energizing feeling, seeing something you’ve done spark interest and conversation in others whether it’s good or bad. There’s also that amazing feeling of someone telling us they bought a book and loved it based on one of our reviews – I’m so happy when we can inspire someone else to discover something they love (then we can all gush about it together)!

Other than your own blogging site, has there been any other social media projects/site that you have been involved with?

I have written for a few other sites over the years with contributions to ComiPress, Manga Village, MangaNews, and AnimeNewsNetwork. While I used to do multiple sites at once, today I stick with just ANN (reviews) and Kuriousity (news, editorial) because I’m having trouble enough keeping up with them (sorry, readers!). Social media wise I join many other manga bloggers on Twitter for daily conversation that has really taken my interest in the subject of the industry to new levels. [EDIT: At this present time Lissa is not involved with ANN, but has resigned since her interview was conducted.]

What are tips you can offer for other people looking into getting into the hobby that you are in?

If you mean getting into manga, then I recommend making friends with people who love it. There is nothing more gratifying than having people to talk to who’re interested in the same things as you, plus you can always browse their collection and see if they’re willing to lend you a copy to try out something new! Standing in front of long bookshelves of manga be it your friends’ house, local library, conversation floor or store is also a really inspiring kick in the butt to try new things when you see how much there is (every genre and age-group represented!), not to mention give you ample opportunity to do so. Just really try and branch out – talk to people, read blogs that pique your interest, visit conventions and your local comic store – fantastic as buying and reading manga is, it becomes that much more satisfying when it’s an experience shared! You can see where blogging becomes a fairly natural potential result then too.

Do you picture yourself as an anime/manga fan/blogger, ten years from now?

Ten years from now… hmm, I have no idea. If I am it’ll probably be in a very different way – different subject/more or less reviews – who knows? Honestly I think it depends where my professional life takes me – right now it is hard to keep up on blogging like I used to working a 45 hour a week job. A the same time I always get really charged when I get to take a vacation, travel to a con and talk with like-minded folks so more of that would be a huge factor. Right now though it’s hard to even tell where the industry I love writing about will be in one year, so knowing if I’ll be writing about in ten is a tricky question.

Linda Yau is a fan of Japanese culture, and various anime/manga titles. She is a freelance writer and editor under her own name or animemiz. Her main blog is here and she can be contacted by Twitter.

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