Friday, July 18, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Sidescrollers

Artist from F-Stop and creator of Salt Water Taffy, Matthew Loux, did this one-shot graphic novel hoping to appeal otaku and video gamers. Sidescrollers plays out like Clerks meets Saved By The Bell, but with a serious manga approach to it.

Set a few weeks after high school graduation, slackers Brad, Brian, and Matt are spending their summer off playing video games and with seemingly no real plans for the future. Whether they're going to college or getting jobs is never really explored, even though it's revealed Brad works part-time at a fast food joint. The story itself shows a productive day in the life of these three geeks. They spend their time arguing about which cereal mascots would win in a deathmatch, collecting action figures, and keeping up their high score on the nearby Street Fighter arcade game. They also have to dodge Brad, the local jock/bully character who is dating Brad's love interest Amber whose only seeing her to win a bet, plus Brian being stalked by the most evil cat in the world. This all leads up to a big party where Brian's brother is playing with his band.

Sidescrollers is a slice-of-life story that would probably make for a lighter-toned Kevin Smith screenplay. The book actually won some young adult readers awards, although it recently came under fire by some conservatives about its profanity and sexual overtones. It's possible that it wasn't fully looked over upon its original release, but it does make for good read for teenage readers and for generic geeks who like a decent story with relatable characters.

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