Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #6 - March 1995


Scud: the Disposable Assassin

Publisher:	Fireman Press
Story & Art:	Rob Schrab
Cvr Price:	$2.95  (32 pgs)
Frequency:	Bi-monthly

Storyline:

In the (not-too-distant?) future, when you need a problem eliminated, you can go to a vending machine and buy a Scud - a disposable robot assassin who self-destructs once his target is dead, thus leaving no clues. But Scud robots are not stupid - and this one particular Scud catches sight of the warning label on his back one day and figures it out... so when he reaches his target, he only critically wounds it and puts it in the hospital. Now, though, the Scud has to freelance to earn money to pay the hospital to keep that target alive. 'Cause once his target's dead, he's dead.

Which explains why he hires on with a Mafia don as a hired gun...

Writing Review:

A wickedly funny book in a subtle fashion, Scud is teeming with in-jokes. One issue is a nice homage to Chuck Jones' Road Runner cartoons. Another is a great tense action-filled shootout reminiscent of John Woo or Quentin Tarantino - Rob is a Tarantino fan.

Rob has a knack for writing absurd situations and solid action scenes - Scud is a book which sucks you right in and doesn't let you go. It's rewarding when read many issues at a time, yet it still delivers a solid entertainment on an issue-by-issue basis. Scud was picked as one of Hero's top 49 books of 1994, and rightfully so - watch for rising sales!

Art Review:

The story pacing is frenetic, and the art has a feel to match. Rob's art reminds me of Evan Dorkin using a thick brush - hyperkinetic, full of wild angles and speed lines. Occasionally, it's hard to determine what is happening in a panel, it's so full, but usually the storytelling is fluid and easy to follow. Rob has a nice feel for people (and robots) and panel sizes, too and uses all sorts of sizes and shapes with confidence and flair, adding to the overall "hipper than hip" feel of the book.

Audience:

Trust me on this one - give Scud to your Milk & Cheese customers and Dorkin fans and see what they say. Scud is a sort of "situational action comedy" book - the humor arises from the absurdity of the situations rather than witty dialogue or goofy sight gags. Meanwhile, it's chock full of violent action, with fantastic moves and cool guns - so give it a shot with your more violence-oriented customers as well, those who like Punisher or Faust.

If you like Scud: the Disposable Assassin , take a look at:


Oh My Goddess!

Publisher:	Dark Horse Comics	
Art/Story:	Kosuke Fujishima	
Cover Price:	$2.50	
Frequency:	Monthly.  Originally a six-issue miniseries for "Part 1".
		Now an 8-issue miniseries for "Part 2".

Storyline:

Keiichi Morisato is a typical college student in a typical college. Not much luck with women or friends, and one night while studying late, he misdials while trying to call out for pizza, and gets the "Goddess Technical Help Line". The beautiful goddess Belldandy then shows up and Keiichi, convinced it's all a joke at his expense since he doesn't have much luck with women, wishes for a beautiful goddess like her to stay with him forever.

Unfortunately, he gets his wish. Along with loads of trouble, when her sisters arrive to try to get her back, and evil demons start walking the Earth. It turns out, see, that most of Earth is run like a computer program from Heaven, and Belldandy is a pretty decent programmer. So in the Part 2 miniseries, which just started this month, "bugs" have started cropping up which cause people to be shunted between time and space and even parallel universes.

Writing Review:

It's a college-age "I Dream of Jeannie" and reads like it - it's a lot of fun! This is translated from the manga series "Ah! Megamisama!", a long-running and popular manga in Japan. The six issues of Part 1 were hand-picked from the various manga volumes, including the origin and a couple other stories. Part 2 goes back and picks another few tales from the manga - who knows? Eventually, we may get to see it all!

Art Review:

Fujishima's art improved enormously over the first year of the manga, and you can tell looking at the art in issue 1 versus even the art in issue 5 that he can really handle a brush now - some of the current art is simply amazing with angel-thin linework that rivals the best here in the US.

Sales Overview:

Oh My Goddess Part 2 #1 achieved the seemingly-impossible: it beat out Ranma 1/2 for the slot as the top-selling manga title in February 1995 (according to Capital City's figures). This is absolutely amazing, as Ranma has been a steady best-seller for Viz for literally years. What does this mean for you?

Check your numbers - you should be ordering OMG at roughly the same level as you are ordering Ranma (orders will vary from store to store, of course, so a little less or more is to be expected). If you're ordering too few, you'll be able to tell - do you have any copies of OMG left from part 1?

If you don't have any OMG from part 1 left at all, you are ordering too few and need to think about restocking while you can. Eventually, I would expect Dark Horse to issue a trade paperback of Part 1, but given their past history, I wouldn't expect it until Spring 1996, which leaves you a full year to be filling manga fans' needs.

Meanwhile, the storyline is catchy enough to capture the heart of non-manga fans (and the art is gorgeous enough, as well). Try it with fans of other light fantasy books (Thieves & Kings, A Distant Soil) and see what happens.

If you like Oh My Goddess, take a look at:


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