Thursday, July 21, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: SDCC from me to you 3

Yesterday we covered some insider tips for navigating San Diego and the con.

Before that I shared some pics of crazy characters at the table.

Today, we begin to talk about some of the cool books I picked up at the show. Though admittedly, these books weren't necessarily new or unique to the show, they're mostly one's my shopp'd missed for me that I'd been dying to get my hands on.

Up first we have MBQ, the new TokyoPop manga from Felipe Smith, a US creator (or manga-ka) of Jamaican-Argentine decent.

I'd featured MBQ on TSL previously, since I'd had my eye on Felipe after seeing his original manga, Money, from an internet contest a ways back.

Felipe works in a bold manga flavored style, with some SERIOUS storytelling chops, and a wicked cool filter. MBQ and the characters within spring to life, it's more like being in the scenes than reading them. Felipe's talent for immersing you into the story and making you feel the work is astounding. This worked to especially strong effect in one scene where he had a girl throwing up, but the way it's played, at first you're not sure what's going on, he takes you on the ride with her, til she drunkingly spews all over herself in a hallway halfway to the restroom...

Oh yeah, MBQ does not play it safe, it lives over the edge, as much as it explores all the little details inbetween.

MBQ is at heart though, a character piece, filled with several diverse, unique characters; from the artist Omario (who appears to be patterned at least loosely around Felipe), to the massive MBQ star employee (and I do mean massive) Jeff, to the over the top Irish wunderkind police officer O'Malley, they're all fully realized. At this point in the story, he's just setting up all the players, we're not really sure where they're going yet.

Felipe even manages to get in some thoughts on the state of US comics, be they traditional or manga, and some good natured nudging for others to fully explore the MEDIUM. No wonder I like this guy so much. Or maybe I'm biased after meeting him at the con, and seeing he's just as wild, cool, and engaging in person as his craft. Either way, check out MBQ, it's a strong first effort and volume, leaving me just as anxious for more Felipe as I was coming in!

You can check out more of the man and the book HERE at his website, or go HERE to dig on the book at TokyoPop!

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