Becki (beckielric) wrote,
Becki
beckielric

As an aspiring comic artist and X Japan fan, I feel obligated to post my thoughts on Yoshiki's comic project, "Blood Red Dragon". He's collaborating with Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane on it. Sounds incredibly promising, right?

Unfortunately, there are some serious, serious issues from what I've seen so far. I will admit, I haven't read the actual comic yet, so maybe it's better than it sounds, but I've seen enough to gather some initial impressions.

First of all, the plot sounds incredibly generic. Here is the actual summary from the press release:

Blood Red Dragon focuses on the origin of an ancient and benevolent force, locked in an epic battle with the dark armies of Oblivion.  Creative expression and destiny collide, as once in a generation, an individual is born with the potential to unlock the awesome might of the Blood Red Dragon, thus channeling a power beyond comprehension and assuming the mantel of Earth's protector.  When agents of Oblivion discover that the key to accessing the Blood Red Dragon's energy lays in music - the melodic heart of the human spirit - they launch a series of violent attacks on musicians across the globe. As he performs in front of a large crowd during the opening show of a massive world tour, drummer and keyboardist Yoshiki comes face-to-face with his destiny, experiencing a transformation that will forever change his life - and possibly the face of the world.

Oh boy, comic #31323435385934734572394725923749237498217491042341 about a big obviously-evil force that must be stopped by some Chosen One. Cue eye roll.

Second, there's the art. The cover, particularly the front (the part with Yoshiki and the logo) actually looks pretty awesome, but after that, there's wonky anatomy and generic faces everywhere. I already posted a crit of the character design images here on my Tumblr page. Here is a sample page of the comic from the inside. Notice the panel in the bottom-left with Yoshiki? His torso looks seriously messed up. Also not related to the art or anything, but where are the other members of X Japan? =\ And then there's this. His face looks too short, and the random chick's head looks all wrong (I get that the artist was trying to make her looking upwards, but still, I don't think that much of her face would be showing, plus her expression is kinda weird).

Speaking of the random chick/female lead (apparently named Tracy), check out her character design sheet. There's more art issues, including way-too-skinny legs in the picture on the left (which are at least proportionate in the other two pictures somehow, but still), almost no hips (which is especially problematic given the size of her boobs), and a misshapen torso (WHY DO WOMEN IN COMICS ALMOST NEVER HAVE FREAKING RIBCAGES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD).

And to emphasize how utterly ridiculous her costume is, here is the woman she's presumably based on dressed up as her. What bugs me the most is her top, or near lack thereof. Seriously, it's 2011. The whole "rule" about how apparently female superheroes have to wear the most impractical and skimpy shit ever should have been obsolete decades ago.

The worst part? It sounds like her entire existence revolves around Yoshiki. Here is her character profile from the website:

Tracy is Yoshiki's biggest fan and head of the International Yoshiki Fan Club (IYFC). Her passion for Yoshiki includes traveling the globe to see his many shows and charitable performances, running the IYFC's website and chatrooms, publishing an online Yoshiki newsletter, and knowing the words to all of his songs - even those that haven't been released.

However, in a world that has become a battleground for forces beyond comprehension, there may be more to Tracy's devotion than simple fandom. Whether she is an ally, an agent of Oblivion, or just anther groupie remains to be seen. But with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Tracy's true purpose will shift the balance of power for either good or evil.


Ugh, it hurt to type all that (it isn't possible to copypaste text from that site, argh). And yeah they say there could be "more to her" but I'm still under the impression that she doesn't exist as an actual person outside of the story. Why can't she have other hobbies or interests or a personality of her own? I can't imagine a relationship between her and Yoshiki would realistically work out if he's the only thing she cares about.

And then there's the official website. Most of it looks ok, but the use of the background twice in two different sized frames makes it look a bit crowded (granted the smaller one is overlayed with a transparent black screen, which was a smart move, but it might look better if they just left it completely black). What bugs me more though is all the pixels around the characters on each of the pages (namely around Yoshiki on the "Characters" page and his superhero alter-ego on the "Story" page). It would only take like five minutes to erase those in Photoshop, but leaving them in looks extremely unprofessional. =\ The "official" trailer on the main page also looks like something pretty much anyone could have put together on Youtube. Plus my lament earlier about not being able to copypaste text from there still stands.

So basically, this looks like a hot mess that I can't believe it took three people to come up with, particularly people like Stan Lee, Yoshiki and Todd McFarlane, who are all generally well-respected and talented people. Seriously guys, what happened? D=
Tags: comics, fail, rant, reviews, yoshiki
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