Like anyone else that is interested in the slow but constantly changing winds of the American comic book industry, I’m interested in Manga. How/Why it is so popular in Japan and when will/can that success be replicated here? So, I often check out the Manga side of my local store. Every so often, one of the concepts or a title really catches my eye, and this time, it was Biomega. The first book is a fascinating piece of art with fine lines expressing travel in an amazing way and oh, it has a talking bear. As soon as I opened Biomega #1, I was sold. I could not stop looking at the book and it was immediately added to my pull list at my local comic book store.
The creator, Tsutomu Nihei carves some of the most amazing lines in the coming book industry and I was excited to research him to see what else he’s done: Noise, Blame! and his major American work, Wolverine: Snikt!. It was nice to see that Nihei got some American work but it left me wishing that he’d gotten more. After reading Biomega, I wondered if it wasn’t his writing that kept him from doing more work in the United States. Not that it was bad, it was just different.
I’ve already raved a good bit about Nihei’s art in Biomega – it’s amazing. But as I’ve already said, the story is not straightforward, it’s trippy and more about metaphor or allegory than about reality. My concern is that western readers that want a concrete beginning, middle and end might not make it through all 6 books even though the art alone is well worth it. I also want to mention that the price point on the book is a perk as well – just $13 per book for incredible art and an interesting story. In the end, I rate this entire series of books, “Where comics should be.”