COYOTE RAGTIME SHOW ?????????????? • ufotable (original story), Tartan Check (art), Haruo Sotozaki (manga design) • Broccoli Books (2007) • Jive (Comic Rush, 2006-2007) • 2 volumes, cancelled (3 volumes in Japan) • Shônen Science Fiction Action • 13+ (mild language, violence)
Adaptation of the anime TV series, which shares a similar title, but little else, with Cowboy Bebop. “Mister,” a fatherly, sentimental old space pirate, breaks out of jail to find a buried treasure left by his old mate on Planet Graceland, which is slated for demolition in a seven days. Along with his old mate’s daughter Franca and his crew of “coyotes,” he must find the treasure before the planet explodes, pursued by the cops and by the evil Madame Marciano and her 12 Loli-Goth assassin-robots. The manga follows the same bland plot as the anime, but looks like terrible fan art, mixing flat, sketchy character artwork (the first chapter is the worst) with a few obtrusive CG images. It’s a miracle it even got published. The layout is very stiff and un-manga-like, with in some cases as many as 12 tiny panels on a page.
1/2 (half a star)
This is truly one of the worst manga I’ve ever read. I’m surprised it didn’t get more attention. The truth is, though, that a manga like this is at least more interesting to read than many of the bland, generic manga that would rate 1.5 or 2 stars. Often, the commercial nature of manga, the studio system and the publishers’ oversight, means that even a lousy manga has fairly slick production values and lots of screentone. But Coyote Ragtime Show looks like they just gave the job to someone with no resources or experience. Does the existence of this manga indicate a breakdown in the manga studio system itself? I am however impressed that such a lousy artist has a pen name. “Tartan Check”?
Today’s winner is Kelly P. of New Jersey! Congratulations, Kelly! More manga, and more photos of winners, is on the way!