Untranslated Pick of the Month
The name sounds like a superhero comic, and
the assumption isn't totally wrong. A series by young artist
Akihito Yoshitomi serialized in COMIC GAO, EATMAN's hero is
Bolt Crank, a man with a trenchcoat and strange powers.
Constantly swigging gasoline and eating screws before
battle, Bolt can eat machinery to save it for later,
rematerializing it out of the flesh of his right arm. In
other words, the screw Eatman just swallowed could reappear
a second later as part of a .357 Magnum, a handheld radio or
a tank cannon -- he's the hero who's never unarmed!
Unlike most manga, EATMAN
consists of self-contained short stories, and it's not hard
to imagine them as episodes in the late-night, cult TV show
which the series has spawned in Japan. In each one, there's
a mission, a beautiful girl, and Bolt Crank himself -- shady
explorer, mysterious mercenary and ladies' man. Gleefully
inclusive, the stories draw their influences from
everywhere, including royal intrigue, war, science fiction,
cowboys, dragons and mermaids. EATMAN's mixed-up world is
slightly noir (the anime version is modeled after
European films such as THE THIRD MAN), but at the heart of
the plots is the basic element of superheroes everywhere;
Bolt Crank's ability to get out of any scrape, to accomplish
any task, with a cool smile and his power to have just what
he needs up his sleeve.
Yoshitomi's artwork combines simple character designs with a
complex screentoned backgrounds reminescent of BATTLE ANGEL
ALITA, with an eye for machinery and big guns that's only
appropriate to Bolt's powers. With its American and European
influences, but a style that's distinctly manga, EATMAN
isn't just another hero-wandering-the-wastelands story; it's
got a flavor all its own.