Monday, May 17, 2010

Tekkon Kinkreet = Black & White by Taiyo Matsumoto FIC MATSUMOT

Black and White, two wild street kids that are beyond rules and law (even the Law of Gravity) rule Treasure Town and the Yakuza and police better not forget it. When Chinese criminals start buying up land and trying to change Treasure Town forever Black decides to declare war, but when White gets caught in the crossfire they may be split apart for good. What will happen to Black without White. Without the balance all Treasure Town could be destroyed.

This is maybe my favorite stand alone manga of all time. Black and White are tough and hilarious and take on hardened criminals and cops without batting an eye. The action and adventure are absolutely topnotch but the real prize is the excellent characters. Black is fearless and hides an inner rage while White is a hopelessly innocent space case. Their relationship is the core of the book and ends up being genuinely touching (a rare feat in comics). Even the supporting characters are great. Rat an aging Yakuza, Gramps a drunken homeless philosopher, the deliciously evil Serpent, and several more all have their own motivations and inner world that keep it from being just an adventure story. The lat part of the book when Black and White are separated gets more abstract and symbolic, but I think careful readers will enjoy that. The art is perfect and is as hip and edgy as Black and White themselves. Matsumoto uses detailed backgrounds but with rough lines and odd angles and perspective. The whole effect is dizzying and totally unique. This is a must for older comics readers that like deep and challenging graphic novels.

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