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Book Review < Back

Offered vol. 1

Credits: Written by Kazuo Koike and Illustrated by Ryoichi Ikegami
Publisher: ComicsOne


Pulp fiction is alive and well and living overseas. In Hollywood, the OFFERED short-pitch would go a little something like this:

Olympic-bound athlete Boy meets insane biker militia Girl, who is offspring of Hitler (whom we learn was augmented to greatness by some weird alien fetal mummy) and reveals to Boy that Gilgamesh ejaculated into elephant tusks and stored them in glaciers so that his seed would be eternal, Girl cajoles Boy into sex, believing the offspring of Hitler and Gilgamesh would rule the world, Girl is murdered by mysterious paramilitary supernazi treasure-hunting cabal while Boy believes himself to be the heir of Gilgamesh, so Boy and crew team up to unearth Gilgamesh's hidden treasures.

OFFERED is written by Kazuo Koike, the author of Lone Wolf and Cub; and drawn by Ryoichi Ikegami, the artist of Sanctuary. For all of its insanity, this fat little psychopulp has an unbeatable pedigree.

Who knows? Maybe there are hoards of Japanese comics readers absolutely aching for some straightforward, three-act structure, A leads to B leads to C-type of slim Western comics offerings. Maybe there are earnest and learned salarymen bulletraining into Tokyo while dreaming about the kind of shallow and predictable sprint-reads that require little to no engagement of intelligence and, in fact, insists upon the reader's passive consumption of the samo samo contained therein. Maybe these readers (and there could potentially be millions of them) all read OFFERED and now demand the bland, logical, and predictable in a kind of intellectual revolt against manga like OFFERED and god knows how many others of its ilk. As a westerner, however, just beginning to dip his toe in manga's vast waters, OFFERED comes as a bit of a revelation.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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