Blame!

 B4I8   (Tokyopop, 2005-2006)

ô and © 1998 Tsutomu Nihei
Black and white graphic novel series; read right to left.

The appropriately named Killy passes through a seemingly never-ending series of underground tunnels fighting the machines that have inherited the Earth. Heís searching for someone with Net Terminal Genes (whatever those are), saying little, allowing his great big gun do his talking for him.

And thatís pretty much all there is to Blame! Itís almost entirely lacking in both characterization and plot, not to mention dialogue. Page after page is silent except for less-than-helpful Japanese sound effects, until the reader almost become convinced heís looking at a collection of storyboards, not reading a manga. And, of course, readers are given no clue as to what the title might mean.

But what makes it so much more than a comics version of a Doom-style first-person shooter is the sheer artistic virtuosity of Tsutomu Nihei, best known in America for his Marvel mini-series Wolverine: Snikt. Which, not surprisingly, is a great deal like Blame!óboth involving characters with interesting hair who are immersed in nightmarish but utterly believably environments. Hereís another manga unlike anything else out there.

ó S.A. Bennett

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#1

  8/1/2005
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  11/1/2005
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  2/1/2006
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