One of the features of the library catalog I love most is when it tries to re-spell whatever it is I've just typed. The greatest potential substitution I've had yet came recently when I tried to type "Scooby Doo" without a hyphen.
"Did you mean Scabby Doom?"
Ah, Scabby Doom.
Scabby Doom can be leaving your freshly packed lunch on the table near the door. Again.
Scabby Doom can be waiting for a bus in a cold rain with no hot coffee because you forgot to set it the night before.
But real Scabby Doom, I've decided, is that adrift-on-an-iceberg feeling I get when I don't have a promising stack of books waiting to be opened. It's that "nothing good to read" feeling, something so ridiculous to contemplate in my line of work that when it happens I feel I must be in an alternate universe. Water water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.
I was recently treading water in this book-less sea looking for something to occupy my commute when a hold I had forgotten about crashed ashore. Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi is exactly the kind of imaginative and atmospheric manga I look for and rarely find. The story and pictures combine a detailed realism with an element of fantasy that is compelling.
Ruka is a troubled girl from a broken home stuck hanging around the aquarium where her father works. Umi and Sora are strange siblings raised by dugongs with an otherworldly affinity for the ocean. The drawings of the sea and its creatures are striking; whale sharks and beached oarfishes are particularly memorable.
Japanese culture meets an urban legend from Fisherman's Wharf?
Feral and occasionally luminescent manatee children?
A mystery of disappearing fish involving the world's aquariums?
Scabby Doom be gone!
(Now if only I could get rid of Scooby-Doo, too. These are the animated perils of living with children who have not been raised by manatees.)
Has the library catalog given you any fantastic or semi-hilarious substitutions? Post a comment!