Comics Reviews


I opened this thread to talk about the comics I have been reading (instead of polluting the reading tab with commentaries). The reason I posted it here is because the reading tab is in the same forum (if moderators want to move the thread, fell free to move it but please tell me where it is).

1) Re Bordosa: Do Comeco ao Fim (1984)

One of the funniest comics I read, it describes the "adventures" of Re Bordosa, a single woman living in the metropolis of Sao Paulo. She loves to drink and smoke and spends all her free time lying down in a bathtub drinking and smoking or reading porn magazines:

Re Bordosa is essentially a female representation of the Brazilian men. most Brazilian men from central regions of Brazil are very much like that, super lazy, love to drink, smoke and porn.

Representation of Sao Paulo, Brazil's industrial center and the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere of the world:

When Re Bordosa get's drunk enough she can even pee standing up:

Highly refined piece of Brazilian literature.

2) Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (1994-2006)

Certainly a masterpiece of graphic fiction. It's a long manga that has a very short story, in fact, no plot at all. It's only a celebration of the comic format as an artistic medium.

It's all about atmosphere. in fact, it is a very special manga, at least among those I have read, it's a great achievement in a way, since it achieves a relaxing feeling. Like a therapeutic comic.

Since it has no plot at all and no great thematic elements, besides the obvious fact that it mentions global warming in the way the coastlines changed as much of Japan became submersed in the pacific. It's set in the distant future but apparently population levels have declined greatly as former central part of Tokyo became almost an agricultural area.

The art style is exquisite as well, very simple and elegant. It's a masterpiece of relaxing slice of life sequential art.

3) Zahra's Paradise (2009)

I didn't like this Iranian comic. The style is too deselegant. Both the art and the storytelling.

It deals with the problems in Iran in the late 2000's, such as the fact that they killed innocent college students all the time.

The lines are ugly/deselegant and the overall experience felt forced. A more subtle approach might have worked better but despite the tragic nature of the events depicted (basically a family's search for the body of their son) didn't touch me at all.

We all listen to Death Metal
Have you read Judge Dredd? I really like some of the Judge Anderson comics too. Also there are some really good Alien and Predator comics out there.

No, I haven't read many North American comics. Though I am open to reading something after I get by "manga buff" degree (i.e. after I finish reading 100,000 pages of manga).

4) 1/2 Prince (2004-ongoing)

This Chinese comic (yep, not manga though the art style is obviously "Japanese inspired" ) is ok overall.

CRPGs are popular among "kids" these days. Nothing more natural for the youth culture represented by comics to delve deeply into the genre of comics about people playing RPGs. In this case, it has some gender bender with the idea that a 19 year old girl would be interested into switching by playing a male character (though this is supposed to be in the far future so it's 3D photorealistic RPG which means she feels as if she "were" the male character she plays) because of the excessive protection that Chinese society gives girls relative to boys.

But I generally have a problem with RPG based works of fiction: they are just boring, please, watching a fictional account of people playing a videogame? How boring can something be?

The characters were ok and the art style is very good generic chinese copy of manga.

So far I am reading the following:

1) Nodame Cantabile
2) Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
3) Vagabond
4) Vinland Saga
5) Knights of Sidonia

I plan to read plenty more of course. Since I already read over 1,500 pages of the first two and the last I already gave provisional ratings for them.

We all listen to Death Metal
Vagabond is really cool. I didn't get around to finishing it though. I've also been working through Akira. I have the first two volumes. I was reading Berserk, but I decided to stop because the violence and nudity was getting a bit much for me. Gantz is the longest manga that I've read to completion.

For non-Japanese comics I like indie comics. Alan Moore's stuff is good. One of my favorite comics is The Matrix comics. There's two volumes and they're really good. They add a lot to the uinverse and have the same vibe as the first movie and The Animatrix.

Good recommendation. Problem I have is that my app for reading comics which allowed me to read manga more intensively (bcse is free) doesn't have non-Asian comics (it has Korean and Chinese comics though). But I will think about buying these matrix comics since I loved the first movie and the animatrix.

5) Serial Experiments Lain: The Nightmare Of Fabrication (1998)

This extremely short manga is one of Yo****oshi ABE's contributions to the comic medium.

Like the TV series it's very dark and expressive.

It reflects some of the basic issues of modern industrialized societies, specially Japanese society. It's essentially about social alienation and the loss of the concept of solid ground beneath your feet when you live overwhelmed with information.

The Japanese frequently women and "little girls" as protagonists perhaps because (as Sane has noticed) they allow for the revelation of vulnerabilities and dimensions of men's emotions that are not socially accepted/encouraged.

We all listen to Death Metal
Wow, that actually looks a lot better than the anime. I'm going to have to get my hands on the Serial Experiment Lain manga. I don't really like reading manga online to be honest, but I haven't tried a phone app. I like holding the book in my hands, having it on my shelf, and being able to access it without relying on technology.

I really do recommend you try The Matrix Comics, they are top quality. In the style of The Animatrix they are collections of short stories written and drawn by various artists.

I would also recommend you give Judge Dredd a look. They are very artistic and well written. Not every one may appeal to you, but there are a wide variety of different styles and artists that have worked on the Judge Dredd comics and their spin offs. My favorite are the Judge Anderson ones. She's nothing like the movie portrayal, and the movie is completely garbage in comparison.

Haven't watched the Dredd movie. I am interested in the Matrix comics though.

The Lain manga is very short actually, only 18 pages. The TV series is superior (you notice that I put it into my top TV series list, which means it's

We all listen to Death Metal
Oh wow, 18 pages is really short.

To be honest the Dredd movie isn't really worth watching. It has some appeal, and it's pretty violent. The only thing it really does properly is the grittiness. In that regard it's a better portrayal than the Salvester Stalone Judge Dredd. But honestly, when I first saw a clip of the Judge Dredd movie I thought I was watching a College Humor parody of Judge Dredd. It's by no means a good movie, but it is entertaining.

The Lain series is something I still have to watch again to wrap my mind around. It's pretty slow paced, but has a lot of depth. Considering it came out in 1998, the internet was still fairly young, and it really gets creative with it's concept of what computers are capable of. I love how they refer to the net as "the wired."

6) Akame ga Kill! (2010-)

Presumably a fun manga it's really cliche in many ways. The characters are just the usual archetypes of shounen manga and the style is very generic (the images here are from the animated adaptation but they clearly reflect the manga's style). Nothing special here.

As always in teenager boy's manga the women outnumber the men at least 2 to 1.

The plot is simplistic and cliche and after I had some more experience with manga overall it appears highly derivative (as usual with most manga, the writing tends to be uncreative in general).

My rating is
because it's cliche but competently made.