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Rising Stars of Manga Volume 5 Paperback – August 9, 2005
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Mail Order Ninja- First Place
*Little boy orders Ninja in mail, takes to school.*
Interesting idea, and very clean illustrations. I'd never seen anything like this in comic form...it was slightly reminiscent of "Fairly Odd Parents" or "Invader Zim". Everything looked like a polygon. Personally, I didn't like that technique, but my little brother loved it. The writing is satisfactory, quirky, and very very simple.
*Boy finds suitcase with the ability to carry people's emotional burdens, or "demons".*
This was actually my personal favorite, mostly for the originality and flair. The art is undeniably "Manga-ish" but is also delightfully sketchy and very expressive. The author uses similar screen tones throughout, giving it a very balanced look. The dialogue isn't to die for, but the emotions displayed by the characters are clearly represented.
Can I Sit Here?
*The thought process of a boy as he approaches a certain girl for the first time.*
Once again, this anthology brings some serious class to Manga. Mixing in a spoonful of indie art, George manages to relate an entire story seen only through the head of one character...with no dialogue, and he did it well. The art is rather good, save for the last one-panel page that looks like it was sketched out in 5 minutes. The writing captures the warped/paranoid/insecure mind set grandly.
*Four zombies are left alone by their master and tend to his manor. One accidently releases some goulish guests from a magical article.*
The art in Zombies is precision cut. There isn't even grey, but there's plenty of intricate shading using black and white. The character design is flawless. The detail is amazing and funny, but a bit crowded. The story suffers a tad...having no actual plot. But the hijinx of the zombies are cute and clever.
*One family line is entrusted with the fate of the world*
I had to read this one several times. It has a surprise ending that just makes your mouth hang for a second as you go, "Wait...What?!" The art is rather inconsistent, the type never grew on me. The character design is awesome though, and the author keeps a fabulous sense of setting. The dialogue at times was a bit stiff, but I think it just adds to the irony at the end.
*Britney-like pop star and her "Tragical" life.*
The art in this is certainly nothing to be applauded. It looked much like a mediocre web-comic at first, and I didn't understand why it had been included. But upon reading it, my opinion changed. Pop Star is hilarious because it is TRUE. The take on pop-divas and their fight for media survival is absolutely a riot. The ending made almost no sense, nor was it very satisfying, but overall it was a funny read.
*Chosen One-type girl must reactivate a giant robot for her village*
My least favorite of the collection. The art is downright bad in too many panels, totally losing sight of proportion...or talent. The settings are drawn fairly well, such as rain, electricity, trees. But both characters featured are annoying...and predictable. It was all a bit random as far as plot goes, then the author went in for a "deep moment" at the end. It just didn't work for me.
Blue Phoenix: No Quarter
*Classic Hero at climax of story...what story?*
Blue Phoenix had some pretty pictures...but not all the time. Matter of fact, there wasn't a whole lot of expression. The main guy seemed to frown slightly and grin slightly a whole lot. He talks in first person and is describing a story that you don't get to read...resulting in almost no pity for what happens to him, and his girlfriend...whom I assume the reader is supposed to care about. Overall, I think I'd be more interested in reading the whole story as a webcomic, but it's not quite publish-worthy.
I was quite happy with the sheer variety of stories and syles chosen. Overall, I say it's worth your money, ESPECIALLY is you're intending on competing in an upcoming RSOM competition. Each entry is commented on by judges, giving VERY helpful hints to prospective contributors.