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I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Two Misfits

Inuyashiki  ( volume # 1 ) - Hiroya Oku Nimona -  Noelle Stevenson

Nimona - woman of mystery, transformations and...evil?  Nimona is the collected webcomic of Noelle Stevenson and follows Nimona as she seeks employment as Ballister Blackheart's evil side-kick.  


Nimona's powers are extraordinary and soon Blackheart finds himself taking on his nemesis, the Institution.  However, despite his efforts Nimona remains unclear about killing those who get in her way and has yet to open up to him about her obviously troubled past.


I thought that the storytelling in this graphic novel could have been paced a bit better, there were a few parts that dragged and parts where the same storyline seemed to be explored


The art, which I enjoyed, was very similar to Kate Beaton's style (of Hark! a Vagrant).  I enjoyed the extras included at the end of the book which show the development of her characters and a couple bonus krismas comics.


I wished I had liked the story more actually, but I felt that we didn't get enough insight into Nimona's character or background and the story between Ballister and Goldenloin was hinted at, but also I felt lacked depth.  I got the story of why the characters were behaving certain ways but I just couldn't get a real sense of motivation backing up their actions.


I also felt like the ending, no one really learned anything, there was no real closure.


Inuyashiki came in the weekly library requests pile, many of which I don't really remember ordering, or why I ordered, or what it is about, or anything.  So, without a clue I opened it up and started to read.  


Immediately I started to wonder about this dysfunctional family and why the dad was so old.  Ichiro Inuyashiki has just bought a tiny house, which his family doesn't appreciate at all.  His daughter lets on that he's her grandpa and his son barely speaks to him.  It turns out he's only 58, but finds out that he has a severe stomach cancer, which could be part of why his appearance is so fragile and old.  Also, he only has 3 months to live.  He tries to tell his family members on several occasions, but always gets interrupted and eventually gives up.


Escaping to a park with his only companion, a shiba inu dog he'd recently adopted, he cries into Hanako's soft fur.  He glances up to see a high school student staring off with a look of shock on his face and when he turns to see what the kid is gaping at he sees a meteor, just before it hits the ground obliterating both of them.


There is a page with some alien conversation, then our narrator wakes up and walks home, knowing now that he really is sick having fallen asleep in the park.  His wife rails at him, his kids are embarrassed by him.  He has no one to live for, besides Hanako, who his wife threatens to toss out. 


Alone in his bedroom things start to get weird and soon he discovers that he is no longer himself, his arm opens up with a gasp of steam and jets splatter the wall of the bedroom with what he'd eaten that day.  He discovers a button under his chin, which causes his head to split open revealing a glowing metallic orb.  He seems to be made up of machinery and ceramics.


Wandering in the park he comes across a homeless man being attacked by a bunch of middle school kids.  Having seen enough such events happening suddenly Ichiro bursts into action, blasting the kids with explosives (just as they'd attacked the homeless man with fireworks) and then using a camera on the back of his head exposing their antics to the entire world via the Internet and media.  


Ichiro now knows what he was meant to do, save lives!


In the final scene of the book we follow one of the kid's classmates as he visits a friend.  I was thrown and liked the twist at the end where the other person who has become a robot thingy is revealed and the friend's face is hilarious.


It wasn't until the obliteration that I started to think something was up with this manga more than a slice of life dysfunctional family story.  Then of course I realized it was done by the same author of Gantz and well, now I know I'm in for a ride, but so far, I like this better than Gantz, seems to have a bit more heart to it.