Do you have an itch to check out some great hip-hop infused Manga? In a market saturated with many Manga titles boasting a vast and deep library, it is often challenging to find something that is accessible and provides a story that readers can jump right into. Well, you are in luck if you decide to pick up Kung Fu Skratch #1, as this one- two punch is just what the Dojo master ordered. This is the first title released by series creator Adrian Engmann and showcases some truly great talent in the form of the production team (Erwin Prasetya: Co-Artist (Pages 1-21), Variant Cover, Dong "Don" Zhang: Co-Artist (Pages 22-24), Steve Mack: Variant Cover, Andres Blanco: Issue 1 Cover and Layout (Pages 5-13) , Andrew Poole: Colors for Issue 1 Cover, Frank Cvetkovic: Letterer, Andeh Pinkard: Logo and Design) Kung Fu Skratch embodies one of the best examples of what pop cultural diversity in comics can create as it takes elements of the hip-hop culture and infuses the art form of Manga to achieve a story that rings with familiar touchstones that make it both comfortable and fun to read. The series tells the story of Jason Stonewall, a teenage martial artist who has returned to the United States after training in the East for a year. Back in his hometown of Brickhaven, Jason's about to start his first freshman day of high school, but is unfortunate enough to cross paths with the school's reigning tyrant, Fa'Sho! and his gang of flunkies Sho’Gunns. Forced to use his martial art form, the battle threatens to open a can of worms that extend well beyond the initial confrontation. Visually, the book boast incredible line work, rich deep inks that make this black and white presentation pop, and bold action that manages to capture the fun and dynamic energy of a Kung Fu film. Stylistically, the presentation possesses many of the signature markers that many associate with Manga (visual gags, character design, action sequences) and is a fitting tribute to the style of storytelling that the creators very obviously love. Much like the main character in the 80’s classic movie The Last Dragon, Mr. Engman and his team’s efforts have infused this title with "The Glow" and is a must for those looking for something fresh and new to add to their pull list. With issue #1currently available in digital format on Comixology, the gifted crew is hard at work putting plans together to bring readers the much anticipated second issue with a Kickstarter campaign. If issue #1 and early peeks at issue #2 are any indication, Mr. Engman and crew plan on maintaining a standard of excellence that can only help this title to become a fan favorite. Check it out, it’s a read that’s well worth it!
September 23, 2013