By Shannon H
The manga release list this week has been culled back from the usual extravaganza we’ve been getting used to as of late. For me, the most exciting of the new books is without a doubt the newest volume of Fairy Tail, but I’ve already had a nerdgasm about that in this column, so you’re off the hook this week. At least as far as Fairy Tail is concerned. That doesn’t mean you are exempt from my elitist railing about what is a cut above the rest, though! This time you get to hear me talk about some under-the-radar manga-ka you probably should start paying attention to, so that you can like them before they’re cool. And be ironic about it, or whatever it is you hipster kids value these days.
The first flail-worthy artist to talk about is Natsume Ono, who is about as indie as manga can possibly get. Honestly, looking at her art you might not even recognize it as being Japanese, since the designs have a much more American underground look to them. But if you know a thing or two about the history and tradition of comics in Japan, you’ll know right away that Ono’s work is as manga as you can get. Her layouts and inking style are very indicative of a manga-ka, proving that manga isn’t made so much by shiny-shiny desu animu girls and giant eyes, but rather by the actual construction of the comic itself, with cinematic layouts, and traditionally inked and screen-toned images. Continue reading