Thursday, November 17, 2005

Corporate Ninja #1

"Corporate Ninja! #1" is a November 2005 release that has received mixed reviews. Amidst ambivalent reader responses, Ichiban Sensei has decided to take a gander at what looks to be a promising, humorous read. Here's the link to the press release at Silver Bullet Comics (fairly standard hype for any type of promotion); here's the link to mixed reviews at Forums (while negative, a thoughtful review). Slave Labor Graphics Publishing (SLG) is behind this new series.

About the author and artist, Matt Mocarski: Well, there's not much out there on him. I can tell you what his goals are with this story, though: (1) he's going to try to make people laugh, because that's what he loves to do; (2) he's not going to grind readers into purchasing #2, #3, etc., and is committed to making each story self-contained; and (3) he's really telling a story about being frustrated with your career. Okay, Matt, those are some pretty noble aspirations, and I dig that, let's see how you did...

My first impression: The artwork is amazing! But wait a sec........Did he really decapitate that baby?..........Yep, I guess he did?!.......How do I feel about that?...........Anyhow, here's my review.

For those jaded souls of the business world, there are a few themes that you will feel comfortable with, so I'll just throw out some concepts that are touched on in #1. Tireless loyalty to worthless memos. The good old boy network and leaders (CEOs) that have no expertise in the core business. Momentary heroes that can't stay standing up for a cause that they promised to stand up for. Companies endlessly pushing products that don't have the consumer in mind. Illogical solutions to common business problems. The list goes on and on.

The humor is subtle in places so some of you just won't get it. For instance, one of the board members criticizes the intern submitting a memo saying, "The man has a striped tie for christsakes!!" Get it? Striped ties don't fly in old school business. Okay, here's another. In order to understand the female consumer, the board goes shopping for girl stuff. While holding a dinky tank-top, one says to the other, "Don't you just love this top?" "Oh my God! It'll look great on you." "I know and it's on sale for only $200!" Get it? Females think anything with "sale" on it is a good price. These jokes are pretty standard, nothing new and exciting.

Basically, the humor doesn't really go that far with me, but I think there are people out there that will like it. Going on in the story, the Blue Fish company is having a hard time marketing blue fish to the female consumer. Unexpectedly, Corporate Ninja joins the story by slicing the intern in half. In short, after a major battle royale with the female consumer, he forces her to buy the blue fish. (Query: why didn't he decapitate her, too?) Anyway, there's good ninja artwork in these scenes, and the issue ends with Corporate Ninja saving the day for the big business.

My recommendation: Probably won't buy #2. Why? I must admit that I loved the art. Point blank, Matt's a real talent, but I really didn't get into the humor and story that much. I might give the next issue a shot to see if my taste has changed a little bit, but if my budget is stretched, I'm moving on to some other series.


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