Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Garo Status Updates

Ok, I've been at this for a while, and those of you that like Garo magazine may have been wondering what's going on. For those of you who don't care, we'll see you tomorrow.

On average, I can process two Garo issues a week, and I'm trying to upload each review on Mondays, although sometimes I forget and grab some other pending blog entry instead. Part of the idea is to get a backlog of entries in case I get busy with something else and have to switch my focus (like what's going to happen pretty soon). Partly, it's because while I can read Garo whenever I take the trains, I can't always get access to a scanner to scan in the highlighted pages, so I'll have the summaries written up long before I've got the scans in.

In any event, I realized pretty quickly that the html index pages, recording which stories appeared in each issue, and which artists did which stories, was going to be unmanageable. It was taking a good hour just to update those two html pages and proofing to make sure there were no mistakes. So, a couple of weeks ago I sat down and wrote up some scripts to automate the process for me. So far, it looks like I've caught all the bugs, and not only are the html pages being updated, but I'm also adding the links to the scanned pages, adding "target=_"blank"" to all of the links, automatically generating the "features" blog entry for Nihongo Hunter and building up a hefty database of artist and story entries. This means that I can manipulate the database any way I want to display the data as desired, such as printing out the story index by year. What was taking about an hour per issue now takes about 1 second.

Therefore, I'd like you to check out the online index of stories I've recorded so far. If you see any errors, or have anything to add to the artist bios, please let me know.

I took the 1964-1965 index data from Welcome Datacomp and worked it into the same format and put it into its own page. If you find this information useful, please go over to Datacomp and let kransom know. If you find errors, they're my fault; please let me know. If things work out, I'll be going back and writing up summaries of the earlier issues as well and I'll add them to the main index then (donations made in the name of purchasing the earlier issues will help expedite the process...)

As mentioned on Same Hat and Welcome Datacomp, The Center for Book Arts is running an exhibit (April 14, 2010 - June 26, 2010) on Garo right now, covering 1964-1973. If you're in New York, drop by the Center and grab the exhibit book. I'd love to know what additional information they have on the lesser known artists (like Kuniko Tsurita).

Those of you who follow Nihon-go Hunter already know that I wrote up the translation for Sampei Shirato's "War" short story. If you feel like it, you can grab the scanned pages and photoshop in the dialog from the translated script. Loads of fun for the whole family. Even the little ones will enjoy "change font size" and "left justification"!

Finally, about the "needing to have a backlog" thing. There's this thing in Japan called the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). They've recently revamped it to have 5 levels (up from the previous 4) and I'm hoping to find the new study books this week, and to get my application handed in for the N3 test by the April 30 deadline. If that happens, and I can get vacation from work for July 4, then I'm going to spend the next 8 weeks doing nothing but work and Japanese language study. Things will get quiet here on the blog then, but I'll be sure to upload the weekly Garo summaries first thing Monday mornings, anyway.

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