Manga galore!
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By multa   |   
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My dad is my #1 authority on WWII air warfare. Thanks to him for recommending Clostermann. See, I read good books too.

In the comic review series. I should have posted this a long ago.

:iconribbonhartplz: :iconribbonhartplz: :iconribbonhartplz:

Balzer Militarismus!!111

Nineteenth-century military history fanpeople: Gunka no Balzer by NAKAJIMA Michitsune is relevant to your interests. Not that you will necessarily love it but you can always have fun (or not) spotting historical references. If you ask me, the artwork is being praised for no reason. Sure, there is a lot of detail, but when the lineart is god-awfully stiff, it is not really helping. And please, please find me a mangaka who can draw horses. Indication: Nakajima can't. (Oh, I know one, in Ja Ja Uma Grooming UP! (MASAMI Yuuki), they have some personality. See Chapter 4 for examples.)

The rest goes on to bash some amateur yuri. If you're not interested, quit reading now.

Some More German Yuri

I refer to the first part for introductions.

Lily 4 (November 2011) is a 32-page artbook by Sarah Adomßent (RevolutionX). Go check her dA page and decide for yourself if you like her art. The booklet features mainly illustrations of fantasy characters, about half of them representing couples (huh?). So much about the girls' love aspect. The printing is good as ever.

Moreover, Fireangels made a girls' love calendar for 2012, complete with less known important dates like the World Noodle Day (October 25th). Just click the link to see sample illustrations, some recycled from older publications, some new. The calendar is prettily printed and spiral bound but the cover is unfortunately of the same paper than the interior, implying it probably won't last till 2013. The illustration on page 36 is missing from the print version (see Fireangels' forum for details).

Töchter der Himmel - Band 1: Unschuld (Daughters of Heavens, Volume 1: Innocence, November 2011) is the first part of a multi-volume fantasy story drawn by Nadine Wever and written by Daniel Kaufmann, totalling 150 pages.

The story is set in the pseudo-medieval land of Albion (no, not that Albion). Since the dawn of time, the people of Albion have worshipped the Goddess as the source of all life. However, the pantheon of the Four and its knights, based in cities and castles of the Order, are spreading their religion across the land. Celilia, a peasant's daughter from Albion who harbors a firm faith in the Goddess, is sentenced to death at the stake by a priest of the Four. She is rescued by Nanka, a knight of the Order of the Four. Nanka's existence itself is somewhat perilous: being a woman, she shouldn't be allowed in the Order. Little by little, it becomes clear that the two were destined to meet. However, their respective divinities seem to have plans of their own in store, and trouble is brewing when the Order decides to exterminate the remaining followers of the Goddess...

Töchter der Himmel is published in left-to-right format and labelled "Fireangels Comic" instead of "Fireangels Manga" that is, like the Lily magazine, read from right to left. Even so, the drawing style incontestably borrows from manga, with art varying from sketchy to tolerable. There are a couple of pages with more text than images, and the fight scenes are a pain to follow. Wever makes extensive use of gray, while I would have preferred more contrast. The authors have insisted in adding every little shadow separately, like many Western artists attempting to emulate manga style. This either bothers you or not. The cover is especially awful in every sense.

That said, there are two things in which the authors succeed: storytelling and world building. The first volume leaves the reader with more questions than answers and ends in a major cliffhanger. As for me, I'm dying to read the second part to see what will become of our lead couple. Nanka will undoubtedly have to face the discord between her conscience and sense of duty. Even the innocent Celilia, unaware of her potential, is hardier than she looks. And I haven't even started talking about what their pasts might hide.

There is not much romance to be seen in the first volume. Celilia and Nanka have just met in unlikely circumstances, and both are healthily suspicious of each other. Nanka being a servant of the church that wants Celilia dead, this is no wonder. Speaking of religions, neither the Goddess nor the pantheon of the Four get the label "good" or "evil," which is a decision worth all praise. All the honestly unpleasant characters encountered in Volume 1 seem to worship the Four though.

The authors have put up a website for the series as well, with extra material (in German). If you'd like some heroic fantasy with a GL twist, this might be your thing.

This Is Not German Yuri, So I Need a Heading

Oh yeah, then there is the yuri anthology Liquorice by the Dutch circle OpenMinded, this time in English. I bought both volumes (2009 and 2011) available at the moment and haven't got much to say. Nothing to speak of storyline-wise, the art is variable and does not seek to imitate manga, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your tastes.

Ealynn's ongoing Never Say Never is my favourite story, with fluid if not flawless art and positively annoying characters. High Court by Merenwen (in Volume 2) is about an anthropomorphic bird princess, which was an interesting idea, at least until I read the actual comic. I didn't make it to the end of Setsuna's Weathergirl and Rose comics and don't remember much of the rest. Sample pages of both Volume 1 and Volume 2 can be seen in Archonia in case you're interested.
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VFreie's avatar
Hmm weeeell, after rushing to read the first two scanlated chapters, I can say Gunka no Balzer has officially left me pretty cold too. Pickelhauben and pretty 19th century-esque uniforms and "let's play spot the very obvious historical references!", alright, but aside from that, uncharmed Vicky is uncharmed. And I can see your point about horses. Though I used to draw them perfectly square, looking much like funnily coloured tables with a fluffy tail stuck on the rear. I wish I had some originals scanned and kept in my image folder forever to remind myself that improvement is possible for everyone, but sadly most of them are lost, on the other side of the country or painted over. Because I produced a lot of horse art in the form of bedroom wall graffiti.
multa's avatar
Demanding audience is demanding. There is probably a plot under the deutschploitation frosting, too, but by the end of Chapter 6 I haven't been able to discern it yet. Wanting to look at pretty horses and being able to draw them yourself are two distinct things anyway. Personally I find it easier to draw horses than people, perhaps because I have always preferred the former to the latter.
Kusobae-chan's avatar
Kusobae-chan Traditional Artist
Horses are hard to draw :| One of my main characters loves animals and his house is like a frigging zoo but I can't draw animals at all, especially not horses. Why oh why couldn't people in 300 BC just have cars?

Mom has a habit of going through my belongings and I know she has seen some of the pr0n I've drawn and a magazine but she hasn't said anything...

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multa's avatar
I think horses are easier to draw than people. They are also more interesting, easier to understand and I get along with them so much better.

I hope she enjoyed herself. My mom hasn't ever done that (as far as I know lol) but she used to think all comics, be they western or manga, are thoroughly evil and checked at least some of the books I read. When I and my sister started reading W.i.t.c.h she asked whether the witches were good or evil... Also, I had to defend Ginga a lot, since she found it gratuitously violent.
Kusobae-chan's avatar
Kusobae-chan Traditional Artist
My mom didn't allow me to watch Harry Potter because it's satanic and my family didn't want me to listen to any music that doesn't praise Jesus. Fortunately they do not speak English.