At PAX 2012 I managed to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of video games to stop by the Udon Entertainment booth. For those of you who don’t know, Udon is both a publisher and a source of original content when it comes to anime and video game related art projects. These people have published and localized some pretty amazing art books as well as published and contributed to numerous other projects within the industry. Hit the jump for a preview of some of their offerings as well as some of their plans for the future.
Despite having an outstanding reputation in the publishing and localization aspects of the comics industry, Udon is really starting to focus on some original content. Titles like Makeshift Miracle written by Jim Zub and illustrated by Shun Hong Chan as well as Randomveus from the team of Jeffrey Cruz and Leonard Bermingham illustrate this push. Both of these titles represent what Udon is all about in that they are very western takes on the eastern influences that they work with.
Starting with Makeshift Miracle, about a teenager who wanders off on his own only to be struck down by a meteor. Only this isn’t a large hunk of space rock, but a naked girl with some pretty unusual powers instead. It’s a premise one would find in a manga and the art style itself is very manga-esque but this is definitely a western comic and one that is fairly beautiful at that. There’s an ethereal quality of the art style and while a weaker written protagonist would come off as stereotypical cutout, ours seems very much human, though one prone to long philosophical monologues. The first volume is only a hint of what’s to come in the future and I’m interested in following this story and where it will lead.
Alternately the Randomveus is an epic space adventure involving odd-jobs everyman Raimundo and his team of One-Dimensional Couriers as they traverse intergalactic planes dodging pirates (space pirates!) and inter-dimensional beasties. Imagine Ace Ventura who looks like Johnny Bravo but without all the abrasiveness of either characters meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The art style is more western as opposed to Makeshift Miracle‘s eastern influenced style but it makes for a more dynamic punch. They’re both stories that take very interesting protagonists and throws them into situations and lands unfamiliar to them. I’ve only had a chance to look at the first volumes of each, but the adventures are certainly worth following.
The next two aren’t comics but rather art books, which as a man who imports many, is a breath of fresh air. The first, Vent is the big collective art book in which Udon artists give tutorials and insight into their process. It’s a big hulking book loaded with text and art and how-to’s that if you’re a fan of Udon’s you won’t want to pass up having. Essentially an encyclopedia on all that is Udon it’s a trove of information and tips for you aspiring artists.
The second is Omar Dogan’s Girl Seven which is a…collection of images involving females in various activities showing off how sexy they can be. It’s really pretty self-explanatory but the real thing of interest here is Dogan’s commentary throughout the book. I mean it was a pretty great way to get to know the character’s as well as the artist through this.
Udon Entertainment will always remain one of my favorite publishers and art collectives as they bring content to the west that no one else does. Be sure to check out these and more from Udon Entertainment.