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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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08/12/2005 Archived Entry: "Manga review: MBQ, vol. 1"

MBQ, Volume 1
Art and story: Felipe Smith
Published by TOKYOPOP

Review by Kathy LaFollett

"Omario is a struggling artist who's got quite the chip on his shoulder - but he better get over himself before he ends up flipping burgers at MBQ, the local fast-food restaurant. When the hopes and absurdities of trying to make it in this world clash, Omario just might melt down like a cheeseburger under a blazing heat lamp..."

Filipe Smith presents: Life, real...or "What no one tells you REALLY happens in REAL life".

Felipe Smith defines Manga Action/Comedy with the American sickness that is capitalism. What a read!

His art is as hard, edgy, and straightforward as his writing. Slow down while taking this manga in, you'll miss some understated sarcasm, cynicism or barbs at society if you don't take the time to really appreciate his ink work. That's half the fun of Felipe's work. Finding the hidden jabs at all that is considered sacred in this Country.

He deftly exposes the hypocrisy and thin humanity by creating an inner-city fast food joint (take THAT McDonalds, you and your filthy clown). What a read!

Each character carries the task of defining expected stereotypes and then crushing those definitions under the weight of the story.

A few characters make you cringe. They force you to see the ugly side of desperation. "Dee" will stop you in your mental tracks. Dee will make you think, "God! Could there BE somebody this sick?"

Felipe Smith says, "Hell ya, be thankful you don't know him...", as his shoves Dee down your throat in an all out ultra violent scene of anger and hate and arrogant disinterest toward humanity. Their ain't no WE in Team..."beeyotch".

Enter Jeff, he's a big guy, bigger than anyone in his life. Jeff has a heart just a big, bigger than anyone else's. He works at MBQ serving food, but more importantly, humanity.

MBQ does this, it offers a jarring roller coaster ride of human emotion. The lowest and highest points on the same rail.

Felipe Smith takes the time to shatter our stereotypical beliefs in law enforcement; you know, the group of people that keep us safe from Dee, and dole out justice fairly. Or maybe not. Rookie Officer, Aiden O'Malley offers nothing but extreme manic emotional justice that is scarier than Dee's extreme manic arrogance. As stereotypical middleclass citizens, we're screwed in Felipe's world.

Felipe Smith takes the description of Action/Comedy to heart and explores every square mile of same thoroughly.

This is fresh Manga served up hot and cold.

Replies: 1 Comment

I couldn't agree with you more. MBQ is one of the best manga's I have ever read. Everyone needs to buy this book!!!

Posted by MangaSkunk @ 08/27/2005 04:22 PM PST

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