(I.C., 2003)
™ and © I.C. Entertainment

The best part of AmeriManga #1 is the diverse amount of material involved. None of it is high art, but all the stories are fun, ranging from the deadly serious in “Kouseki” to the weird and funny in “Magical Pageant.”

The best story is Jen Quick’s “Soul Union,” which features the story of a family trying to bring itself back to its noble roots. The characters are fascinating, and the plot is involving. If it has a flaw, it’s that the reader occasionally has trouble distinguishing among cast members.

But the other stories in the anthology also have their plusses and minuses. In Insomniac Machine’s “Kouseki,” the art looks as if it hadn’t been finished before it was sent to press; the story is hard to follow (I actually had to look to be sure that I was reading the story the right way, fearing that it might be in a right-to-left format), but there is promise. “Without Darkness” by Beth Westmoreland is the story of a female assassin taking a break from the profession by drowning her sorrows in liquor. Christopher Seaton’s “Last Ditch” is the story of the last human being, stranded in space. And the anthology ends with Corin Wentworth’s “Magical Pageant,” which features a witch, a princess, and an anthropomorphic cat.

I.C. Entertainment should take a page from Viz’ Shonen Jump, which may cater to a younger audience but provides 200 more pages of story for $3 less and offers some color.

Stories in AmeriManga #1 are good, but it will be hard to get readers to pay $7.99 for 112 pages. I.C. should consider adding more content or lowering the price.

— Nathan Melby

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