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Book Review < Back

The Complete Geisha

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Andi Watson
Publisher: Oni Press

Note: The Complete Geisha contains the original Geisha graphic novel plus the follow-up special and short stories all in one nifty volume.

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I thought Andi Watson was a girl and GEISHA was about, well, geishas: Japanese hostesses of the painted variety. I'm kind of an idiot sometimes but it IS called "Geisha" and there IS a feminine quality to the illustration.

Well, it turns out I am in fact an idiot. Andi Watson is a guy and GEISHA has nothing to do with geishas in the classic sense. The title is a reference to the literal interpretation of the term, "art person."

GEISHA is the story of Jomi Sohodo, an artistic android living in a society that treats her kind as second-class citizens at best. When critics pan her paintings, Jomi gets her revenge by passing off one of her own as a Vermeer -- which is great, except that now she's involved herself in a forgery ring. She takes a legit job working for her Dad as a bodyguard; only she ends up having to protect her brother from drug dealers WHILE she's guarding this moderately insane supermodel chick. Hijinx ensue. It's fun, it's funny and I was particularly taken with the charming supporting players: I'm thinking of Jomi's brothers and the supermodel in particular. They're unconventional and sweet, and if you can make me like a supermodel -- well, that's good writing.

Also, the lovely and talented Mr. Matt Wagner wrote the introduction. It turns out he's an idiot, too.

-- Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.


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