Oh, Mai

Oh, Mai
or: The Comics Cultural Exchange Program

Mai, the Psychic Girl, traveled from Japan to America via Eclipse Comics in the late 80’s. My awareness of manga was pretty vague at the time. The  few manga I had were all by an artist named Ryoichi Ikegami who is, as luck and a good story would have it, the artist on Mai as well.

A girl and her dog, her burgeoning psychic powers, monsters, samurai, motorcycles, men in black... what’s not to like?

Because the Japanese read right to left, all the pages were mirrored to make it easier on American readers. What you may not know is that reversing the image, with light board or mirror, is the classic way artists use to check for mistakes in drawing, where they jump off the page and bite you right in the eye. Outside the occasional appearance of English or cars on the right side of the road, you’d never know these pages were flopped.

I don’t know how he’s viewed back home but I can tell you this, that Ikegami guy can flat out draw.

Happy Trails
Smitty

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