The Webcomics Weekly is back in your life. And this week it’s not “A Fake Affair”, it’s the real deal, with continued coverage of “Lavender Jack” as well as “Straylight Tiger”.
A fake deal
Updates: Daily (Completed)
By Akiko Higashimura
Reviewed by Elias Rosner
Do you like romance NOT in an office or high school? Do you like messy protagonists stuck in increasingly absurd but never unbelievable situations? Do you like the adorable bumps on your head that chastise you for pretending to be married and then ending up in an “affair”? So do I have the Manga…Webtoon….COMIC for you. Created by Akiko Higashimura, of “Princess Jellyfish”, “Blank Canvas” and “Tokyo Tarareba Girls” fame, “A Fake Affair” is a simple girl meets boy story, only the girl is a hot 30-year-old mess unemployed and the boy is a 25-year-old Korean photographer who suspected he was having an affair with the woman he met on a plane flight to Seoul. Fans of Higashimura’s other works will find themselves at home with “A Fake Affair.”
My first thought reading these opening chapters was how similar Shoko was to Rinko from “Tokyo Tarareba Girls”. She has all the characteristics: an exaggerated personality, insecurities manifesting in her mind as puny objects in their lives, a romantic tension based not on want-they-won’t-they but on “who’s hiding what and when it come to a head,” and a terrible understanding of how to start or be in a relationship. However, that’s only because Higashimura works with a similar archetype to explore a different form of love struggle. The intrigue and drama comes from Shoko’s lie, and the deeper and deeper hole she has to dig to sell it, but also from the questions Higashimura sows about Jobanni and the desire we have to see Shoko grow up. and reckon with his lie.
New readers may at first be put off by the scarcity of Higashimura panels. I even thought at first that she originally drew this for a traditional black and white manga page which was then colored and cut out. However, that was how it was meant to be and it clearly took a few episodes for Higashimura to really grasp the format. The prologue and first episode suffer the most, with its characters floating in empty blue or off-white voids while pale, flat colors hint at the visuals of everything else. By episode six, however, I no longer felt the tension between format and story.
It’s not quite perfect, that’s for sure. The pacing feels icy due to the distance between the panels and the decompression of the story and the backgrounds still seem empty whenever solid colors are used, but the world feels full and the character work has done more enough to keep me going. Higashimura has always excelled in this aspect, imbuing all of his characters with an interiority that manifests through his art and writing, even when we see little or learn little.
While all we get in these first six chapters of Jobanni are his smooth advances on Shoko and his amusing banter between him and his sister, it’s clear he’s full of secrets and motives beyond the “leaf”. romantic in Shoko”. His poses, his looks and even his questions give us a glimpse but never more than that. It’s tempting and puts us in the same position as our protagonist, but hopefully with a less freaky brain. Did I also mention that the series is funny? Maybe not as jaw-dropping as his other series, but it got me a good laugh more than once during these chapters.
Note however that any chapter after 5 is only available through the app and you are limited to a new chapter each day only when using the previous chapter. You can also buy them with coins. I think you can read it on the site via your account if you buy the chapters? I haven’t checked. Anyway, anyone looking for a Josei Romance shows that aren’t TOO serious should definitely read “A Fake Affair.” It’s funny, has a great hook, and is one of the leading creators of modern rom-com comics. What’s not to like?
By Dan Schkade (writing and art), Jenn Manley Lee (color)
Reviewed by Michael Mazzzacane
And so, the first act of this third season, “The Last of the Bastrops”, ends satisfactorily. After all this time apart, our main cast is reunited, with Shark’s most adorable appearance yet, as Dan Schkade and Jenn Manley Lee perform an escape from an old adventure series. This moment of convergence is suddenly inevitable and yet I did not see it coming.
When I first started reviewing this comic, I was often surprised by two features. The first was Schkade’s composition in terms of using the vertical strip format to perform the action and choreography (specifically just heavy use of angles). Second, his character designs and their emotive capacity, his designs are often not minimalistic but not super worked and textured. That was then, this and Captain Coster are now. Coster looks positively Gary Frank-esque with his square jawline — how square — he is and all those scars. Frank tends to use a lot of vertical and hash lines in his work, Schkade, even for all the blocks, still creates lines in the captains graying face. Coster probably won’t be that important. (Watch him become Faux-Jack.) But his design makes him more than a nothing character. There’s a sense of history, is he one of those ‘happy killer’ reprobates who occupy this fort at Gallery’s Elbow? He’s just a great example of how cool character design can make a functional character want more.
The breakout is animated with a fun use of playing gender stereotypes in this kind of storyline for Ducky, all according to her plan, as she acquires what will hopefully be the new Lavender Jack mobile after a bet in focus and a paint job. The whole escape sequence had an Indiana Jones vibe to it, but what if he was actually as in control and as mean as fans think.
Catspaw Keep’s frame is very drab, lots of grays and beiges. The uniforms are all dark blue and brown. Which makes the moment of all-out shots and subsequent explosions just POP when Manley Lee hammers orange, yellows and reds for their panels. It breaks the visual dynamic of the strip and wakes things up. It’s a small but very effective moment in an overall solid ending to this opening act.
lens flare tiger
Updates every other Wednesday
Reviewed by Mel Lake
Switch from Canvas to Webtoon Original, lens flare tiger introduces us to a world where humans can either use magic, shapeshift into animals, or be, well, regular humans. It’s like a mix between Beastars and magic madoka with one side of tron. The prologue introduces us to the conflict between the three races, with shapeshifters called simply “shifters”, magicians called “enduring” and mortals who wield “illuminite” weapons against the magical races and have locked themselves in their own city. to protect himself. There are a lot of complicated world-buildings in this series and while the inconsistency of the “enduring” verb form used as a label really bothers me, having the shapeshifters and mortals called shapeshifters and mortals makes it easy to understand.
We’re thrust into the world with Angeline as our POV character, and of course, she’s a new recruit at Cryptopia University. And of course, this is her first time visiting the city. And of course, her big brother, whom she literally calls “big brother” worries about her and gives her some symbolic objects to protect her from the dangers of the city. Dangers of which Angeline is the immediate prey, of course. I say sure because all of these are so predictable and rote that they basically tick the “character intro 101” boxes. The dialogue is as flat as the dialogue you click on at the start of a video game tutorial. But what makes lens flare tiger the excellent artwork is worth watching for future story development. The cityscapes are really cool and I love the design of the train that takes Angeline around town. The artist also features a ton of action sequences, and while it can sometimes be hard to tell what’s going on, the bright colors and detailed character designs are a lot of fun to browse.
At the end of episode five, our protagonist just had some type of power awakened within her, but it’s unclear if she’s a shifter or some kind of hybrid between the three races. It’s too early to tell where the story might go, but the clever anime-inspired designs and intricate yet interesting world make lens flare tiger worth watching as it develops.