Monday, January 16, 2012

Furrlough #47

Published by: Antarctic Press
Publication date: November, 1996

Story: Dean Clarrain
Art: Chris Allan

“Ninjara, Part 1”


In the post apocalyptic ruins of a city, a shrouded figure wanders the rubble with her infant daughter in a carriage. She considers that there was a time when all she wanted was to be alone; wanted it so much that she wished all of mankind would disappear. Later, she learned the value of companionship. And from one of her companions, she bore a child. Now, they are all gone and she wishes she had more.

Suddenly, a bright light appears and skeletal, demonic creatures stand before her. The monsters demand the woman’s daughter. The mother unsheathes her sword and a fight breaks out. In the fight, the monsters tear off her bandages, exposing her as Ninjara. Grabbing the baby, the monsters taunt Ninjara that the little girl will be joining her father in Hell. The monsters disappear with the baby as Ninjara screams and cries in futile horror.

Ninjara wakes up from her bad dream to find her elementary school-aged daughter at her side. Her daughter asks her if she had another dream about their father. Ninjara tells her that it was merely a dream about being alone. Leaving the junked car they spent the night in and donning their shrouds, the two walk stealthily into a futuristic city populated by humans.

Turtle Tips:

*Ninjara last appeared in TMNT Adventures #70. This story continues in Furrlough #48.

*This story takes place after Year of the Turtle #3 but prior to the future first explored in TMNT Adventures #42.

*For legal reasons, no mention could be made of the Ninja Turtles in this story. An advertisement published in Furrlough #45 and #46, however, features the character stating, “I’m not hanging with teenagers anymore!” Incidentally, that ad mistakenly used Steve Murphy’s real name rather than his pseudonym, “Dean Clarrain”.


I think a piece of me died, paying money for a furry stroke mag. This eBay transaction is probably logged into my FBI record or something. Oh, the things I do for the Ninja Turtles…

Anyway, I’ve talked about how Ninjara is not one of my favorite characters. As a matter of fact, I used to straight up detest her. My opinion has mellowed over time and I’ve found her to be a decent supporting cast member. One thing I actually liked about this 7 page short was her monologue at the beginning, where she reflects on her behavior in her very first appearance as a villain (where she tried to exterminate all humanity). In the past, I mentioned that her transition from “genocidal maniac” to “good guy” was really rushed and sloppy and her previous deeds were never again addressed in TMNT Adventures. Well, brief though it was, she DOES address them in this issue. So that’s cool and all.

But yeah, this is a furry stroke mag. It is NOT crafted to be in the same tone as TMNT Adventures. “Fuck” is used freely by the title character and, yes, Ninjara gets her shirt torn off, exposing her breasts for all the furries of the world to see. Ugh.

I’m sorry, but I don’t get my rocks off on animals, so furry sex appeal has never done anything for me. But even barring my personal disgust with the fetish, I found the gratuitous swearing and nudity to be detrimental to what is otherwise a decent solo story following a supporting character from TMNT Adventures. The swearing seems to have been included as a means of proving “we aren’t a KIDS comic, anymore!” while the nudity seemed to only have been included so the comic could fit in with the other raunchy tales published in Furrlough.

As for the other stories in Furrlough and the rest of Antarctic Press’s line-up, my response can be summed up thusly:

There is NOTHING more hideous than Americans trying to draw “anime style”. Look at that shit. It's like Deviant Art just threw up.


Anonymous said...

"There is NOTHING more hideous than white people trying to draw “anime style”. Good freakin’ God."

That's rather unfair what about
Genndy Tartakovsky his work as an anime style and his a great artist. And Michael Dante DiMartino co-creator of Avatar the Last Airbender. I know this probably a joke taken too seriously. But I don't like the stigma that Americans or "white" people shouldn't dare to draw (or be inspired by anime style).

E. Wilson said...

"But I don't like the stigma that Americans or "white" people shouldn't dare to draw (or be inspired by anime style)."

And I'm not particularly found of a whole generation of potentially-good artists hamstringing themselves by all copying a particular style of animation rather than innovate and create something visually distinctive. But different strokes for different folks. Just...I don't think I'd have taken this particular bullet for the team, Mark. Way to suffer for your art. Hats off.

Adam Winters said...

I noticed that the story is still credited to "Dean Clarrain" in spite of Murph's name showing up in the ad. So was this the first public slip of Murphy's pen-name facade? I guess you can't blame any TMNT fans for not recognizing considering how few people are even familiar with this... "publication."

I was actually in a used book store flipping through 25-cent back-issue boxes when I noticed they had a sizable run of this title. I admit to being tempted to see if any of those issues contained the Ninjara shorts, but I felt so guilty and embarrassed looking at it in public that I tried to open it back cover first to try and conceal my research. I think I need a shower.

John Pannozzi said...

A lot of issues of TMNT Adventures mentioned Murphy by his real name in the legal indicia when it came to characters he co-created (and at the time co-owned). Andrew Modeen mentioned this in his TMNTA marathon thread on the Technodrome forums.

I'd add Adam Warren and that god among comic creators Bryan Lee O'Malley as examples as good manga/anime inspired Western cartoonists.

And I think Mark is being just a bit harsh by calling Furrlough furry stroke material, considering that I've glanced at some actual furry porn.

The use of profanity does sound forced, as from what I know, not even the most intense TMNT-related stories published by Mirage and Image used such language, apart from the clever usasage of "shit" in a Savage Dragon/TMNT crossover arc. Makes ya wonder if Nickelodeon would be comfortable with having this reprinted?

guille said...

when the anime and manga boom caught up, a lot of people (as always) tried to make proffit copying their style. THAT brought up the horrible "i'm not japanese and i draw horrible manga". but i'm sure, as others point out, there are people not japanese who can draw as japanese comic artists can. on the other hand its true that people should find their own personal style, i enjoy a lot hugo pratt and mark schultz to name a few; not leaving aside the personal styles inside an overall style as the manga industry, kurumada has his own style (wich at the beginning was rather awful, but had his charm), toriyama also, this to talk about some of the big-ones. whereas today they all look pretty the same, as in gantz, death note and others, but there are exceptions, always. and that's my point, in general (specially in the 90s) the people drawing "manga-style" did it horribly, and that stuck to a lot of people, living the exceptions mostly forgotten. to sum up, people is people, they are just good or bad at what they do and you can't like it or not.

Anonymous said...

"And I'm not particularly found of a whole generation of potentially-good artists hamstringing themselves by all copying a particular style of animation rather than innovate and create something visually distinctive. But different strokes for different folks."

But to be fair it's unrealistic to think that every artist will have style that is completely new and distinctive. Regardless on whether or not it's anime influenced. I'm perfectly fine with talented artists adapting already established visual styles. As long they bring something new to it or make it their own somehow.

Jason Canty said...

Uhhh Fred Pery Creator of Gold Digger is African American and was influenced by late 70's early 80's and even got his start working on re-inking Macross/Robotech Manga (and then the American origonls).

His origonal style is much closer to 80's style then it was in this poster and has been evolving it into his own since.

Ben Dunn Creator of Ninja High School and origonal founder/Publisher of Antartic Press is Asian (Chinese/Tiwanies I belive) and moved to America when he was young.

snowkatt said...

damn jason beat me too it
but yes not only is fred perry the creator of gold digger african american he has been drawing manga since 1985

as well as writing and drawing the longest single series by 1 writer artist or single series period behind sims cerebus (192 issues and counting ) and slightly before larsens savage dragon

if anybody has a pedigree in american manga its perry dunn and the rest of antartic press founded in 1985