Monday, December 8, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Coco Gun-Bun

Like Sharknife, Coco Gun-Bun blends manga and blacksploitation. Originally a black 'n white one-shot by Shanda Fantasy Arts, this was later picked up as a colorized series by Angry Viking Press. Written by Chelsea Mitchell whose work doesn't seem to expand outside this comic, and drawn by Ron Murphy who also worked on Gold Digger and Ninja High School put this together.

Set in the fictional city of Neo-Metro, the whole town is run by evil pimps, even though we don't see much in the actual prostitution racket. To fight back at the corrupt police and growing criminal forces, there comes forth a rise of Mystery Men-styled superheroes. The most successful is the masked bootylicious babe in a Playboy bunny outfit, Coco Gun-Bun, who uses special "guns" that instead of shooting bullets like regular guns shoot a variety off gadgets like grappling hooks and gumballs(similar to Courageous Cat). This brings forth a little rivalry from wannabe crimefighter Katerina Kat who hires some goons to help her rub out. In the second issue, Coco teams up with the street fighting "Junior" to fight The Flaming Fro who sets them up to get caught by the police. Unfortunately, that's where the series left off, so far...
It's worth tracking down the two color issues that have been done by Angry Viking Press. There's been no word of future issues after issue #2, even though there was a webcomic of Coco Gun-Bun set up by the creators for a while, although it is currently down.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Blue is For Boys/Pink Is For Girls

One of the more unusual approaches to a manga anthology was done by UK publisher Sweatdrop Studios. They decided to do one book for the shounen genre, and one for the shoujo genre. Blue Is For Boys usually starts out a story done for the action/ninja/fan service loving otaku, and then continues it in Pink Is For Girls but for the magical girl/bishounen/gothic Lolita otaku. Most of the stories in each book were oddly enough done by separate authors, although sometimes at least plotted by the same manga-ka.

Some of the standout stories were the spoofing of One Piece fans in Two Halves, the epic quest for a lost heir in Chenezzar, and the high fantasy-turned sci-fi tale of Angel's Game. Other stories take modern day same-sex perspectives on Romeo And Juliet, the estranged meeting of two possible lovers in Steaming/Brewing, and the Scott Pilgrim meets Sailor Moon battle of the bands plot of Super Brother/Magical Girl.

It is possible to have only one of these volumes on their own, but you get the full story of each collab. Both books are sold separately, so you'll have to check someplace like to buy them at the same time.

Shipping in a nutshell...

Friday, December 5, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Free Collar Kingdom

Similar to the Magical Meow Meow Taruto anime, Free Collar Kingdom takes common Japanese housecats and envisions them as catgirls and catboys. Author Takuya Fujima did this as he's an animal lover, and based it slightly on his own pets. The manga was picked up by Del Rey Publishing who did a fairly good English adaptation of it, although they did take some liberties with the script.

In modern day Japan, the manga positions average cats as small humans with cat ears and tails, they also wear cat-sized human clothing and are pictured by humans as cats playing dress up. Cyan is a rare shorthaired cat that gets abandoned by his owner's parents as they think their son won't live through the medical treatment he needs. Cyan teams up with a rogue gang of cats called the Free Collars who fiercely protect their domain, which is Nyan-Nyan's Mansion, Cyan's old apartment building that is the former stomping ground of a legendary stray cat named Nyan-Man. Cyan befriends the cute Scottie, whose master still lives in the same apartment building as a manga creator. The Free Collars' turf is constantly being invaded by the sexy Siam and her catgirl army, although Siam is a sympathetic villain in the spirit of Team Rocket. Siam's lieutenants each have their own unique quirks, but they all want to take over Nyan-Nyan's Mansion mostly to expand their territory, but to search for Nyan-Man's mythical lost collar which is like the alley cat's Holy Grail.

This works out as a pretty good manga trilogy, although they left room open for more at the end. The artwork is excellent, and the characters live up to their manga archetypes both physically and spiritually. This isn't one of those "furry" titles(not that there's anything wrong with that!), but it doesn't hurt if you have a thing for anime girls with fuzzy ears.

Monday, December 1, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Victorian Secret: Steam Queens

This dieselpunk comic by Iron Man artist Brian Denham acts as a slight continuation to The War Of The Worlds. It's part of Antarctic Press' Victorian Secret line, but stands alone as its own series too.

Set in the late-1930s, Earth is once again being invaded by Martians as part of their regular campaigns that occur about every decade. To counteract these little green men are the dynamic duo of Raven Mask and Magpie, a pair of ace female pilots who fly up to the mother ship and take out in the spirit of Independence Day. Although, Raven Mask herself now has some kind of deadly secret as she has red skin just like their enemies.

This is visually electrifying comic with sensational use of color when it is shown, and definitely entertaining enough for even the average war buff. It's currently an ongoing series with more issues on the way.