25th Manga Division New Face Award
Lost Lad London
The mayor of London is found dead on the subway. Two days later, Al ADLEY, a South Asian university student who happens to be on the same train, finds a bloody knife in his coat pocket. Detective ELLIS, who regrets failing to save an innocent man in a past case, decides to team up with Al, believing his claim of innocence. This is a fresh crime suspense in which the suspect and the detective work together. Without flashy effects or elaborate mystery solving, the simple storyline accentuates the appeal of its Hardboiled, witty dialogues between the characters. In addition to the main two, it also features a few different perspectives including those of the man ELLIS failed to prove innocent and resulted in suicide, the owners of a Chinese takeaway where Al works part-time, and ELLIS’s POC coworkers. Drawn in a modern, highly contrasted style, it shows an aspect of London, a culturally diverse city.
Reason for Award
The artist beautifully elevated the bande dessinée style to more “manga-like” drawings. The dialogues are exquisitely arranged utilizing large void spaces and wide line spacing. With a mature tempo narrative, the work is so finely depicted that you newly discover different details every time you re-read it. The artist keeps the racial issues restrained as basso continuo while integrating them in the background, a technical attention unexpected from a newcomer. The artist’s style might be already almost perfected, but this work is considered worthy of the New Face Award, taking into account the jury’s high expectation to read a full-length series by this artist. (SAITO Tamaki)