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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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01/24/2005 Archived Entry: "Manga review: Wild Com."

Wild Com.
By Yumi Tamura
Published by: VIZ
Visit: http://www.viz.com

Yumi Tamura presents Shojo offering an insightful and heartfelt viewpoint on the ethereal side of life's possibilities and probabilities.

Yumi proves through wild com. that her awards, 1983 Shogakukan Grand Prize for new artist and 1993 Shogakukan Manga Award for Best Female-Oriented Managa, announced her place in Manga heritage.

Wild Com. contains three short graphic stories. "Psychic Squad Wild Com" tells of a heroine struggling with the denial of her psychic abilities, powers that could spell life or death for those around her. She is faced not only with the challenge to accept and embrace the idea of being different, but what to do with the powers that make her different: good or evil, waste or profit, hide or step out for the betterment of man. Our young heroine has serious decisions at a young age.

"The Beasts of June" tells the tale of urban violence, of two souls lost in the grip of corruption and greed. How does one, after selling their soul to the devil for short term escape, find a way to release their soul over the long term? Two people facing the same struggle but not in concert. They each have their own reasons for staying and leaving, yet they must join together to find the one path that would lead them out of the grips of evil. Yumi offers the insightful visuals of an ancient story of the dragon and the dragonfly to open the view into our lead characters' struggles as well as characteristics. In so much as nature has it's cycles, struggles, and natural outcomes dictated by instinct, so too, do humans.

"The Eye of the Needle" offers a macabre thriller wrapped in the age old story of fame and fortune. Yumi offers art that sustains the heavy pace and edginess throughout the piece. Finally tuned, the end is not what you expected. I found myself thinking that this particular storyline could easily be a feature in The Twilight Zone. Very well done.

There is a quiet sweetness to Yumi's work. She expresses the weight of personal struggles with beauty and care. Her visual and verbal abilities have a wide range of strength, Yumi is able to offer love, hate, murder, and romance with a simple and powerful stroke of pen and ink.

Her art is expressive and completely balanced with textual additions. The reader does not so much "read" her stories but travels through them visually.

At the end of the book of three stories we are given an inside view of Yumi herself. She scribbles quick drawings with personal writings. It is a journal of the artist and I found these pages to be an insightful and personal gift from the artist.

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