May 13, 2017
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 808: Midnight Panther #5, August 1997
Midnight Panther is a strange comic. I can't quite put my finger on its genre, or its audience. It's almost like its an adult comic written for children. Or a sitcom porn. With fantasy elements.
The art is really lovely. Asagiri is a gifted draftsperson, and the page and panel constructions are really fun to look at. I don't know if it's the translation that makes the story kind of stilted, or if the story is actually that way, but the dialogue is choppy, which definitely cuts into one's enjoyment of the piece. I've been thinking a lot lately about the hybridity evinced by comics. You can, occasionally, have a comics story with no words that still tells a good story. See something like Gon, or Morrison's "'Nuff Said" issue of New X-Men. I was about to say you obviously can't have a comic without pictures and with only words, but what would the story look like if it were just caption boxes, thoughts, and dialogue? Could we piece a story together? In the instance of this comic, the problem is that the words detract from the excellent art. I'd be curious to see it in the original Japanese and then have someone else perform a translation, just to see how close the one I'm reading is.
Which I will get to when I win that lottery that gives you infinite time to pursue everything that runs through your head.