Thursday, February 19, 2015

MISC. MANGA, *Blue Monday

Starting off as a series of comic strips in anthologies like Oni Double Feature and Dark Horse Presents, Chynna Clugston took her own idealized version of a teen comedy drawn in a manga style which was printed in a succession of mini-series and one-shot specials through Oni Press. Inspired some of the John Hughes films of the 80s, the regular ongoing storyline started out in the early 2000s, but the plot itself is set in the early 90s.

Bleu Finnegan is a blue-haired teenage girl(you gotta have blue hair!)who is going reaching that part of her life where she's discovering her first love. Bleu herself is a strange one who appreciates old movies and is a major fan of Adam Ant, in fact the main plot of the first mini-series deals with her trying to get tickets for her idol's concert. She's best friends with local rowdy Irish tsundere Clover, and the two of them carry on a "plutonic" relationship with two of the loudmouthed guys from their school, Alan and Victor. Alan has a thing for Bleu, and even manages to con her into going out with him, but only after he agrees to give her a video of her taking a bath. However, Victor seems to have on-and-off feelings for Bleu too, but more committed to Clover. All this while their friend Erin is playing the criminal mastermind at trying to get Alan to go out with her, but at the same time being supportive of her friends. Bleu is actually infatuated with her new teacher, Mr. Bishop, a young history teacher that was first brought in as a substitute. Bleu gets some help from on this with the intervention from a giant otter named Seamus who is a pooka that only Bleu and a few other people can see, meaning that there are some given supernatural elements going on in here, although there are a pair of Jesus head ghosts that sometime haunt Bleu too, so its not so far off to add some otherworldly stuff to it(even Archie had Sabrina!). There's the usual high school hijinks here like Shriner parades, Halloween parties, April Fool's goth fads, and a Jingle Belle crossover, but the story itself mainly contends with the given cast along with the messy Monkeyboy and their relationships both as friends and love interests.

Blue Monday is a really great American manga, and worth a peak if you fell in love with Scott Pilgrim, especially since they both come from the same publisher. A few hiccups in it though are that of the collected four trade paperbacks done so far, most of the third one supposedly happens after the fourth one which is due to the fact that it was a collection of one-shot specials instead of a mini-series. Also, what would make up the fifth volume(the fourth mini-series overall)has been on indefinite hiatus since the first issue of that series was released in 2008, to which so far there hasn't been any continuation of since then. Hopefully, this will get concluded sometime in the near future.

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