Published by TokyoPop
Slugline: Sibling rivalry turns into uncertainty when Leah discovers a love letter directed to her sister that was apparently written by another girl.
The creator of Steady Beat is a pretty well known internet presence on the various manga/creator boards, with a website (www.rivkah.com) that features an earlier version of the first chapter of this story, if you are interested in a sample. As for rivkah, her reputation is well-earned, though I may have bias from briefly meeting her at the New York ComicCon.
Steady Beat is the story of Leah, who discovers a love letter written to her sister, Sarai, and immediately freaks out. Uncertain whether to confront her sister and learn the truth, she agonizes over it instead, especially aware that her mother, a Texas state senator, would not take this revelation well. As she tries to figure out what to do, she receives a call to go to a mysterious meeting at the park. She fails to make it, instead getting into an accident and meeting Elijah, a young man who seems to have two dads (hmm, I wonder what that could mean). By the end of the volume she is not certain who made the phone call or to what purpose, but she has decided, in her own mind at least, that her sister is having a gay relationship.
Yes, women in a gay relationship. Sorry, no drawings of girls kissing, so if that is all you are looking for, look elsewhere.
I like the art here, nice and clean with lots of little side bits that show that rivkah has internalized all of the manga norms and styles, such as characters going chibi at the right moments and snarky little comments on the side in non-normal lettering. I would have given this story a 4, but the ending just seemed off. Almost as if it wasn?t the ending of the volume and was altered at the last minute to make it so. But other than that, very good.