Friday, June 20, 2008

Gimmick, vol. 1

Story by Youzaburou Kanari with Art by Kuroko Yabuguchi
Released in the US by Viz

Slugline: FX that are not fake, really.

Kohei Nagase is a FX artist working under the name Studio Gimmick, specializing in make-up. He is one of the most talented make up artists in the world, using a silver spatula that was given to him by a Hollywood master to apply his makeup. But despite his skills, he very rarely actually works in the movies, spending more time helping people. Episodes in this volumes have him and his friends helping a film star escape an abusive manager, a horror theme park under threat from a mad bomber, a model who needs to hide scars from an accident and retrieving movie monster animatronics that is being used in jewel thefts.

There is actually a sub-genre of adventure fiction that focuses on FX and makeup artists using their skills to mislead others and help people outside of the movies. Maybe it started because TV and movie creators wanted to make stories that made people like them heroes. Once some of those were made, the inspiration spread out from there. The stories seem to be grounded in the real world, but are then gee whiz factor is pushed too far with the FX for it to be the turning point of the story. Since it is drawn you don't even get to see FX work, since it is too easy to show anything without having to worry about real world limitations. It is a silly, fun and light story, but it is feels more pure fantasy than something along the lines of the Lord of the Rings.

Gimmick, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga


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