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Bombos vs. Everything: Volume 1    by Maximo V. Lorenzo order for
Bombos vs. Everything
by Maximo V. Lorenzo
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Andy Helms's manga short, Bombos vs. Everything, was a winner a few years ago in Tokyopop's 4th Rising Stars of Manga competition. Now Maximo V. Lorenzo, a runner-up in the same competition, has taken his short story and expanded it into a full manga series of the same name.

Bombos's life-long dream is to get out of his small town and to the city of Bokonon. It looks like his dream might come true when his boss, a former fighting student in Bokonon, decides to train Bombos and the other paperboy, Veng, for the upcoming battle against the Qualifier. Bombos's desire is enough to give him the strength he needs to pass both his and Veng's test and to meet the Qualifier. However, if he moves to Bokonon, he will be leaving behind Addy, his best friend who seems to feel more for him than he does for her. Bombos though, only has his eyes on the prize and is not too aware of those around him. Will he make it as a fighter in Bokonon? Whether he does or not, Bombos is going to fight everything along the way.

The style of Bombos vs. Everything is not for everyone. Everything about it has a rough look. The artwork has a lot of unpolished lines, and at spots does not even look fully finished, despite the rough style. It also has a very non-manga (neither Japanese nor American) look with all the characters having big bodies but little legs and feet. The dialogue however, is what hurts it the most. The amount of old-school slang that abounds in almost every speech bubble makes all the characters sound like a cross between skaters and valley girls, making it almost impossible to read and follow. Maybe this is funny to some readers, but I found it just plain annoying.

I like to see Western manga succeed, but I am afraid that Bombos vs. Everything is at a disadvantage since it is aimed at too much of a niche audience. Obviously though, some manga fans must love it if it placed in the Rising Stars of Manga competition and then went on to get its own series. I wish Maximo V. Lorenzo the best of luck, but Bombos vs. Everything is just not for me.

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