Sunday, July 3, 2022

Brendan McGinley:


Following in the tradition of other super-hero reality TV shows, Jason Martin brings to print the Survivor-styled Super Real. Then, Brendan reviews Junko Mizuno’s grotesquely cute Pure Trance, the story of a future filled with drugs, bondage, beatings and bare bodies.


Super Real

Super-powered augmentation caught on reality TV.

This book lays it out plain: it’s the action of Survivor coupled with the sexy young cast of The Real World.

Unfortunately, we don’t get any of that in the first issue.

Super-Real burns a lot of page space introducing us to the cast, phoning them to offer the gig, giving them farewells with their parents, and embarking them on planes. If this is essential set-up for what’s to come, fine, but it doesn’t seem to have any significance beyond establishing some relationships that probably won’t re-enter the picture anytime soon.

That’s a mighty slow pace for an indie book in the most glutted genre of a glutted market to take.

While there’s nothing wrong with the art style, its undertaking is a little hard on the eyes; it appears to have been colored directly from some none-too-tight pencils. Super-Real could be going somewhere great, but it better undertake the journey a little faster.



Pure Trance

There may well come a day when some psychiatrist and mathematician chart the most quantifiable shapes pleasant to the human brain, and Junko Mizuno’s soft shapes will surely chart high on the cute meter. This is probably how she gets away with so much grotesquerie without losing the reader.

Pure Trance takes place in the future, when another World War has sent humans underground. Since farming is hard, an artificial food pill called “Pure Trance” has been developed, but brings with it a sort of pharmaceutical bulimia.

Our story centers on a hospital run by a tyrannically evil director, more concerned with sex toys and her next fix than doing her job, despite great skill as a surgeon. Thrust in the middle of this is Nurse Aiko, a newcomer who makes friends and enemies among the other caretakers.

A remarkably durable innocence permeates this Yellow Submarine fugue, despite all the bondage, beatings and bare bodies. Oh yes, and chainsawed limbs. Mizuno seasons the broth with Pure Trance Trivia, which supplements the material nicely, and actually presents a few ideas worth implementing in real society.

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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