Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Quick OEL Manga Reviews

The Dreaming, vol. 1
by Queenie Chan
TokyoPop, $9.99

I love gothic-style stories, so it's a treat to read this first volume in Queenie Chan's new OEL title. This comic has it all: a remote location, a boarding school in an old mansion, a dark forest, mysterious old ladies, secret twins, and seances. The twins in question, Amber and Jeanie, arrive at an old exclusive Australian boarding school, and are soon caught up in mysterious late-night happenings and other spooky stuff. Honestly, I eat this stuff right up! Chan's art is very good. She gives her characters a manga-style look without being derivative, her backgrounds are strong without being overpowering, and her layouts flow well. The tones are good too, providing excellent balance and enhancing the art. In all, this is the strongest of the TokyoPop OEL titles that I've read so far.

Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Serenity, vol. 1: New Bad Girl in Town
by Buzz Dixon & Min Kwon
Real Buzz Studios, $7.97

Serenity Harper, the new girl at school, it short and mad at the whole world. She swears, gets in fights, and tries to steal boyfriends. Luckily for her, the James A. madison High School Bible Club decides to take her under their wing, and is determined to introduce her to Jesus Christ, whether or not Serenity knows that she wants to be. I'm all for having positive religious messages in comics, but Serenity is so full of cliched characters and situations that it's nearly unbearable. Kwon's figure art is good at aping a manga style, but her layouts could be stronger and the backgrounds, when they appear, are merely servicable. For its intented audience--Christian youth who want a manga fix--I suppose this will do, and the comic doesn't completely shy away from teen-oriented issues (e.g. sex). But I prefer religious themes in my comics that are more challenging (e.g. Testament--golly but I miss Metron Press.)

Rating: 2 (of 5)


Anonymous said...

Hello. :D I stumbled here out of pure accident from Love Manga, and I want to thankyou for enjoying "The Dreaming", and for reviewing the title. Volume 2 is coming out in November 2006, so hopefully you'll pick it up and have a look as well! :D

Anonymous said...

Hey Queenie! I must say that your book looks fantastic. I really love your art style and your style in general is just sooooo off the hook! As an American Manga-Ka, I know it can be hard with all those "Japanese Purists" out there, but just keep your head up and dont stop doing what your doing. As a fan of OEL and also an aspiring Manga-ka myself I want to wish you the best of luck. May God grace you on your path to being the best you can be. Cya ^^;;