Japanese comic craze comes to GW

“Sailor Moon” is one of the Cartoon Network’s top-rated shows, no one can ignore the presence of Pok?mon, and circulating rumors suggest Final Fantasy VIII will become the Furby of this year’s holiday season.

“New Vision,” an online Japanese manga, or comic book, is bringing the Asian animation craze to GW.

Junior Ling Taylor and her roommate, third-year senior Andrea Bobick, are responsible for the new Internet comic. Bobick oversees the layout and artwork, while Taylor writes the dialogue and story line.

“The idea for the comic book actually began in our freshman year,” Taylor said.

Taylor is also president of the recently revived Project 2501, GW’s official animation club.

“It was Andrea’s idea, and she approached several people on the floor we lived on about starting a comic club,” Taylor said. “We were a pretty creative bunch, so we jumped on the idea.”

Some things are easier said than done, though. The comic made its debut last week.

The idea of a comic book may seem immature to some college students, but manga is far from child’s play. Japanese manga is completely different from what Americans know as comics, Taylor said.

“In the United States, comics are basically kids’ fare, the literary equivalent of s’mores, but in Japan, everyone reads manga, adults and children alike,” Taylor said.

To the Japanese, manga is a legitimate means of storytelling. In fact, many of Japan’s most renowned authors are producing their stories in manga format.

Stories ranging from romance to war drama to pornography are published widely.

“I really think comic books are an underrated medium,” Taylor said. “They are a perfect synthesis of art, creative writing and graphic design. It was our hope to create an organization where people with different strengths and interests could come together and produce something incredible.”

“New Vision” is an original science-fiction fantasy, which tries to encompass many animation themes as well as some American themes. The creators focus on the nature of love and friendship as well as destiny.

Project 2501 plans to make “New Vision” a two-year project, and readers can expect two issues every month. Other club activities include animation viewings. The first viewing will be in about two weeks.

“New Vision” can be viewed at http://gwu.edu/~batgirl. The next issue will be published within the next two weeks.

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