Friday, October 05, 2012

15-Love by Andi Watson & Tommy Ohtsuka

Watson is a great maker of comics, from this early work in the rough but charming Samurai Jam through a series of mostly romantic slice-of-life stories like Slow News Day and Breakfast After Noon, and possibly best known for the sweet multiversal coming-of-age story Skeleton Key. However, he appears to have turned to writing more workaday comics to pay the bills recently -- not that I'm complaining, since I do quite boring things to pay my own bills -- and one of them is this tennis soap opera.

15-Love is deeply manga-flavored, from the sports milieu to the sad-sack heroine who rapidly gets better under the correct training to the art by Tommy Ohtsuka. But this three-issue series was
too short to develop the depth, character, and idiosyncrasies of the best manga, which means it focused entirely on the main story: how Mill Collins, the worst student at Wayde Tennis Academy, found a new coach (who is large, loud, and drunk, naturally), and saved herself from expulsion. That's not a bad story, and Watson and Ohtsuka tell it with flair, but it is a predictable story, and a very, very old one, which they don't do much to mitigate.

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