Tuesday, December 07, 2004

'Beyond the Bird': Badminton, a love story

The Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram profiles Cal State Long Beach student Jimmy Vann, one of the runners-up in Tokyopop's fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition. His 17-page badminton/love story, "Beyond the Bird," appears in the Rising Stars of Manga 4 anthology, which comes out this week. Here's Tokyopop editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl:

"Sports manga is an underappreciated genre. Baseball, tennis, even manga about lgo and shogi (Japanese board games) are wildly popular in Japan. It's a challenge to make an interesting series about something so potentially repetitive, but 'Beyond the Bird' rose to the occasion.

"Jimmy skillfully captured the essence of a good sports manga. The underdog defeats the cocky opponent through lots of hard work and perseverance.

"From the pacing, with flashbacks to explain motivations, to the delightful training sequence, to the over-the-top finishing move complete with flames, it's clear that Jimmy was familiar with the genre. Of course, centering the story around badminton only makes it funnier, too."

The Press-Telegram also provides a glossary of manga.