Lee : First off I have to throw Kudos at the members
of this studio for their unique marketing plan!
First off I have to throw Kudos at the members of this
studio for their unique marketing plan! I bought my
copy of Doujisoup at this year's Animethon. How could I resist?
The people selling copies had paperboy-esque shoulder
bags and signs attached to them advertising the book!
Their slogan. "Got Soup?" It was very cute and very
personal! However, this style of sales works only if
you have a very durable comic.
I'm not sure where Doujisoup printed their book but I'd love to have the
number of the printers! This book has style! It is approximately 5" x 8"
and 182 pages with either perfect or glue binding! It fits easily into your
hand and the colour cover is printed on what feels like a thicker cardstock,
but more flexible than cardstock.
The cover itself is reminiscent of the 70's with its orange colour and
stylized vegetables, each drawn by a different artist. As cute as the cover
is, I feel there could have been more done with it. I do know how
hard it can be to make a composite cover/image and especially with a first
book out it can be hard to decide who gets to do the cover. However, as
unfortunate as it may seem, many people do judge a book by its cover and
quite often the cover is what will sell your book for you. They might have
been better off choosing one person to do the cover the first time, and have
someone else do the cover the next etc. However, after having said
that I do have to point out that many of the stories DID get a colour insert
page to introduce them. That was a very happy surprise for me!
The interior layouts are very consistent and professional looking and I
really like how they did the pagination! (001 - 182) The borders around
the comics themselves are consistent as well, which is pretty impressive if
you consider that meant getting seven artists to all agree to a size of page
to work with.
"Isobel Caramel and Pancakes" - Kim Hoang
Very cute and very shoujo! Isobel and Kai's parents have gone out of town
and Isobel must do the cooking. However, her cooking is so bad her poor
brother gets sick! Their neighbor, Miss Milady, takes pity on Kai and the
two of them concoct a scheme to convince Isobel she shouldn't be cooking.
The idea of a manga female being bad at cooking isn't anything new (see
Akane Tendo from Ranma 1/2 and various others) but this is so cute and has a
twist ending that I find myself rather amused! The art is cute and somewhat
stylized, but I can't help but feel tones would have been nicer than some of the hatching. However, the artist did a good job with using hand drawn
patterns in the place of tones. I thought Kim's style was super cute and
her story was paced very well. She also includes a pancake recipe in her
bio at the end of her story! YUM! I do love pancakes!
"Cold Night" - Jaclyn Harmon
Tall, skinny dude finds short, skinny dude collapsed in the 'Deathsnow' and
brings him to a tent for shelter and recovery. After all the layers are
removed we find out they are elves and possibly the last of their kind!
This story really feels like it is a lead-in to something bigger and it did
leave me wanting more. Painfully so. There almost wasn't enough
story to keep my attention! I feel this story would have been better if it
were the introduction to a larger manga instead of just standing on its own
in a collection. The art was very good and highly individualistic. It was
consistent throughout and I found the skinny bodies with big eyes to be
appealing and very aesthetic. The toning looks like it was done with watercolour or a computer and my only caution is that sometimes toning in
such a manner doesn't reproduce well. In this instance, it reproduced
excellent well so I have no complaints!
"-ningen- Human" - Fernando Perez Pena
Can a cyborg have a soul? This story is about two cyborgs with different
views on the matter. The first destroys the American continent and flees to
another dimension. The second follows after him on a mission to destroy
him, and discovers an essential truth for himself. The story was
self-contained and a little rushed in places but overall good. The fight
sequences were very well done, something that sometimes suffers in
doujinshi! This story had a real 'shonen' feel to it and the art style is a
little reminiscent of Dragon Ball. I understand why the artist chose the
font they did, but it would have been nice if ALL the letters weren't
capitalized. It made reading the story a little difficult. The little girl
was obviously a prop and seemed really disconnected from the rest of the
story. It would have been nice if she connected better with the main
character. All in all, this was a good shonen story with great fighting!
As a note, the picture Fernando includes with his bio is amazing! I really
"Nice to Meet Yaseppochi!" - Joseph Dagsaan
Nooo! Evil bread! They're after my magic carrot! I shall steal a
watermelon and live in a mushroom and make friends with an Earth girl!
HOW else can I possibly explain the amusing-ness that is Yaseppochi?
The language in this story is very childish and appropriate for someone like
Yaseppochi and at first I was a little annoyed by it. However, it really
grew on me and I found myself laughing out loud at some of Yaseppochi's
exploits! The art is very primitive but somehow appropriate to the story.
I have to say, I find myself rereading this story often!
"The Adventures of Eli" - Jordyn Bochon
"I eat potatoes... Potatoes do not talk." A young man finds himself in a
realm with an endless red carpet. He follows the carpet for ages then
suddenly decides to make his own path and step off of the carpet. Thus
begins a journey of self-discovery...only Eli doesn't really want to know.
Would you? The story starts slow but hits it stride mid-way and becomes
rather silly and funny and a nice read! The art is very stylized and I love
the varying line widths, so heavy and black, that are used! A little more
focus for a tighter story would have been great, but it was still a good
read! Her bio talks about a 'mental blockage' and hoo-boy I know about
that, so my sympathies!
"my heart belongs to roman shobu" - An Nguyen
Pure, undiluted shoujo! A girl's fannish obsession with a movie star leads
her and a friend to an out of the way theatre for the opening night of his
new movie. But wait! This isn't just a movie is it, because suddenly she's
inside the movie and is one of the characters! Is this a fan-girl's dream
come true? Or a nightmare? The story borders on horror and is very well
written! The art style reminds me of late eighties shoujo manga and while
still rough has the potential to become very, very pretty!
"Thistledown" - Alaina Harmon
An exiled lord seeks the help of a mysterious and elusive tribe to help him
find one of his lost wards. The premise is very simple and quite elegant.
This story impressed me greatly with the storytelling ability, art,
layout...everything! The world shown to us is distinctive and by the end of
the comic you have a good feeling of who the characters are and what they
are like. I really empathize with Master Hunter who is not having a good
day at all! The toning looks like it is water colour or CG grayscale, the
same as in "Cold Night" and the use of the word 'betweener' to refer to a
person in both stories makes me wonder if these sisters also share a world
as well as artistic ability? The colour title page for this story was beautiful! I am not one to be swayed only by pretty pictures. If the story
isn't there I usually don't buy the book, but I would love to read any
further stories by this doujinshika! Especially if they further the tale of
Parable of Thistledown Keep.
Overall this book was very enjoyable and well worth the money to buy!
IF there are any left to buy!