No fun screenshots of panels for this recco because I apparently didn’t save any of the PDFs.
I LOVE comics and zines that can entertain me while also teaching me stuff. A good diary comic like My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness can really scratch an itch of introspection, but my favorite are manga that go further in what an industry or hobby is like, such as Manga Diary of a Male Porn Star or the upcoming I’m a Terminal Cancer Patient, but I’m Fine. (I recommend both of these, by the way. I hope you’ll also join me in preordering Kate Beaton’s Ducks as well.)
Pompo: The Cinéphile isn’t a diary comic, but the amount of education involved in its creation is similarly as compelling. It’s a fictionalized tale that ruminates on an industry or culture from someone who clearly knows a thing or two about it. Similar recommendations for this kind of story from Seven Seas would be Blue Giant, BL Metamorphosis (both which will get their own post at a later date), Young Ladies Don’t Play Fighting Games, or even My Brother’s Husband, Tokyo Revengers, or Bride’s Story. Either based in personal experience or thorough education, these books speak like a teacher, and it rules. (At least, I think so.)
If you are into any of the above titles, you might also enjoy Pompo: The Cinéphile, which is a story where the titular Pompo (a producer) starts her assistant, Gene (an aspiring director) on the road of his dreams. The story walks the journey of the creation of a film from casting actors, shooting on location, cutting trailers, and witnessing a complete film as the culmination of all the work done by everyone involved.
It helps that the adaptation of the manga was done by Jay Trust, who I’ve been told is a director in their own right… though it appears they may be doing their manga adaptations under a different pen name than their directorial ones, as I can’t find them anywhere.
If you’re a nerd about filmmaking, I recommend reading Pompo. There are two volumes of the manga released so far and a third one on its way. It’s a dense read, but a joy.
The manga takes place in Nyallywood, which is obviously a fictional stand-in for Hollywood, but there are a lot of funny little Japan things all over the story. This manga has also been made into an animated film, which I haven’t seen! But maybe that is more your speed.
Either way, this is a definite recommendation from me. These are books I’m proud to have in my collection. I hope you check them out.