Semantic Lace

    (Image, 2003)
™ and © Image Comics, Inc.

The back cover copy oddly claims Ghost in The Shell as a major influence when Hellhounds seems a better fit for this military action/soap opera/romance mock manga, but instead of a Japan where the Axis won, it’s set in an Israel where the Palestinian conflict is fought using mobile battle suits.

Sadly, the author doesn’t show he knows enough about the current Middle East conflict to convincingly extrapolate it in SF terms (his Israelis don’t seem much like Israelis and his Palestinians, who are mostly absent, are cyphers drawn like “people of color” in manga). Which is a real shame, since it’s this unconvincing background that keeps Semantic Lace from really flying.

Jackson, who, it should be noted, draws in a raw style that’s all his own, excels at creating naturalistic characters and situations that’s most helpful when the book turns to romance and even (gasp) sex (and, let’s face it, he draws one cool-looking mobile battle suit). He’s a real talent and I look forward to seeing his next work.

— S.A. Bennett
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July, 2003
Cover Price: $9.95
1 copy available for $7.99
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