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posted August 18, 2005
www.kamiartstudio.com, email@example.com, 16 pages, at Isotope and Giant Robot
The remarkable thing about the story of the protagonist in Heru
is that having a nickname that means "Helmet" didn't ruin her life, as I've seen similarly accurate nicknames run wildfire-like through entire reserves of young people self-esteem. The secret, one supposes, is an orientation that admits there's something to the description and that concentrates on that accuracy rather than winces at the casual cruelty of one's classmates making it verbal. Toshiko Kamiyama's Heru
feels authentic, not just for the clever use of photographic evidence but in a great, kids-logic digression where "Heru" sounds close enough to hell that fiery damnation soaks up an entire spread and a page or so on each side. The mini features really simple line-art and just-as-basic first person narration as its structural gimmick. Reading Heru with an eye on the future is like watching a young actress belt out a song from Annie
-- it's fun enough for a first go-round but who knows if there's a foundation for future work there? Tricks of storytelling economy say there could be, although I can't imagine sitting through too many stories of a similar nature and tone. My guess is that fans of first-person anecdote mini won't really care, at least not for now.