Sunday, November 13, 2011

Commentary: Morning Tsu

(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Morning Tsu (2) is a recent spin off from Weekly Morning, having come out irregularly since 2006, and supposedly on a monthly schedule from 2008. It has a rougher feel than Weekly Morning, probably because some of the stories are actually winners of past reader submission contests. There is a lot of similarity between the two publications, in that some of the 4-panel gag strips are by the same artists (or ones parodying each other), and the art styles are all over the place. Having said that, Morning 2 is slightly more expensive for a lower page count (400 yen for 400 pages, compared to 320 yen for 450 pages for Morning), and doesn't have any big-name manga or artists to point to right now, since as of this issue, the creator of Saint Young Men is taking a maternity break. On the other hand, there are several titles that have some promise from some fairly experienced people.

(Morning 2 is one of the only magazines with wrap-around cover art.)

Probably the one artist of any note, is Peko Watanabe with Niko Tama. This issue features the first chapter of Daisuke Nishijima's Subete ga chotto zutsu yasashii sekai. It has a very experimental feel to it, and is about a child ghost in a ghost world. According to his profile, Daisuke has a couple of books and comics to his name. Another one that shows promise is Hayami Rasenjin's Cannons and Stamps, which features a young man in a WW II-like battlefield but with cute furry animal pets. The artwork is very clean, but the character designs are classic "cute kid" style. Finally, there's Fantasium, by Ami Sugimoto, about a kid that has promising stage magician skills. Because I used to do stage magic, I'm usually unimpressed with manga or comics that try to show tricks that don't work that way (i.e. - Magic Kaito and Detective Boy Conan), but the artwork and presentation in Fantasium isn't that bad. I'd have to follow more of the series to say anything about whether some of the secrets behind the tricks are being revealed, but in this episode they're not.

(Cannons and Stamps)

Morning 2 doesn't have anything that I want to read consistently, but there is a "jewel in the rough" quality about the magazine that makes it appealing. Worth sampling over time.

(Niko Tama)

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