billy bats

Don’t ever talk to me or my 52 sons ever again.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

If you want to read a manga with superb art, characters, and storytelling, please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD read Billy Bat

Billy Bat starts with a Japanese American comic artist named Kevin Yamagata who has a hit detective series called Billy Bat. When he discovers he subconsciously copied the titular character, a cartoon bat, from something he saw while translating for the allies in Japan, he drops everything to ask the original author permission to use the character. But the origins of Billy Bat goes much further than anyone thought, and becomes much more mysterious as the series goes on.

Especially when Billy starts talking to him.

Drawn and written by Naoki Urasawa, Billy Bat is a mystery bordering on meta fiction that covers historical events such as Jesus’ crucifixion, WWII, the shimoyama incident, JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, 9/11, and the urban legend of the Disney company [re branded as Chuck Culkin enterprise] killing artists who copy their characters. The series then gives all of these a twist of fantasy with the mysterious Billy Bat being the center of it all.

Naoki Urasawa’s art is wonderful for avoiding your typical “moe” anime art style and pulverizing the concept of Same Face Syndrome, and the story has a theme of inspiring up and coming comic artists. It has moments relatable to all artists, humorous and dramatic, and you can feel Urasawa speaking to you throughout the comic, saying, “KEEP DRAWING!!”