by Shinsuke Tanaka
Purple Bear Books, $14.95
There's just one word for Shinsuke Tanaka's silent manga Wings: adorable.
A farmer riding his bike finds a puppy abandoned in a box by the side of the road. But this is no ordinary puppy: he has wings! Farmer takes the puppy home, puppy grows up into a flying dog. Various adventures are had, some humorous, some harrowing.
There are no words in Wings; the story is completely carried by Tanaka's excellent artwork, done entirely in grayscale pencil. Quiet scenes, exciting flying scenes, and everything in between works. At an average of about one panel per page (some have two, otehres are 2-page spreads) it reads quickly. Some may bristle at paying $15 for a 5-10 min. read; but this resembles a good hardcover picture book as much as it does a graphic novel, and in that company it's not too expensive at all. Wings will also appeal to fans of Owly (though I'd say that Wings is more sophisticated).
If you're looking for a charming, delightful manga that's quite different from the norm, give Wings a look.
Rating: 4 (0f 5)