My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I met the author of this American “manga” at Tsubasacon this year, listening to him talk to another would-be artist about his process which was fascinating. Take that and couple it with the quality of the matted art he had on sale (one of which I recognized as inspired by The Ridges, the old Athens (Ohio) Lunatic Asylum), I bought all three of the graphic novels in the series without hesitation. It didn’t hurt that one of the main leads was a lady cop and there would be shapeshifters.
In part one, the idea of there being something supernatural is only hinted at. Kathryn “Kate” McAllister and her somewhat older partner, Michael Stuart are detectives in Chicago. When they track down Alfonse, one of their usual informants, he sends them on the track of something big in Chicago’s Chinatown. In the meantime bodies are popping up, mauled as if by a large animal, making people wonder if someone’s exotic large cat pet has gotten loose in the city. Even though she is injured, Kate bounces back – rather quickly in fact. What’s harder for her to escape are her terrifying dreams.
While part one is rather brief, it sets up the series nicely. Kate and Michael are fun characters and a bit of an odd couple (She’s a dedicated junk food eater and he’s a “the body is a temple” sort for example). The art is very nice, though I’m not fond of Kate’s big anime bangs (but I’m never fond of those even if they are manga standards).
However, brief or not, there is a wonderfully large chunk of extras that include the artistic process and character studies. I think those would interest a lot of readers. It’s definitely fun and I’m looking forward to moving onto part two.
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