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Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Abject Lack of Quality That Is... Banzai Girl

If you ever find yourself suddenly consumed with a desire to read the worst, most exploitative comic imaginable, but can't find any back issues of Tarot or Ant, don't worry: Banzai Girl makes a dandy substitute.



Yes, long before Anita Blake redefined the world of softcore supernatural porn comics, there was Banzai Girl, a comic based so heavily around upskirt shots that issues were actually offered bagged and boarded with Official Banzai Girl thongs.

No, seriously. Ask your friendly neighborhood retailer.

The plot, such as it is, is a lot like a paper-cut: thin and surprisingly painful. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to get through it.

Created by beauty pageant winner and schoolgirl unform enthusiast Jinky Coronado, Banzai Girl concerns the adventures of, well, beauty pageant winner and schoolgirl uniform enthusiast Jinky Coronado, thus placing it squarely below the latter works of Chris Claremont in the Grand Heirarchy of Published Fan-Fiction. One can assume, however, that Jinky-the-Artist does not battle as many tentacle monsters as Jinky-the-Character.



Ah yes. Tentacle monsters. Because what else could it be?

These particular octopedian horrors--referred to as the "Shadow Whisperers" for no particular reason--are interdimensional fiends bent on conquering the Earth as part of their sinister plot to acquire... Calcium. Because apparently, obtaining the fifth most abundant element on the planet requires them to brutally murder pretty much everyone they run across and viciously shred Jinky's clothes at every opportunity from their secret headquarters in the basements below the shopping mall.

Of course, due to the refractive properties of Calcite and other sciencey-sounding expository dialogue, Jinky's troubled by dreams about her interdimensional counterparts, who look just like her, except with even more fetishistic outfits. Essentially, it's the late-night Cinemax version of Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld, but starring Space Cheerleader Jinky, who rolls around in a "liquid metal battlesuit" blowing things up with a space-bazooka, which inevitably causes her skirt to blow up and reveal her Liquid Metal Battlethong™.

Amazingly, this is actually less fun to read than it sounds.

Fortunately for Jinky--the character, not the creator, for whom nothing I say in this post can be considered "fortunate"--she's got a standard-issue crew of friends to help her fight the creeping terror of calcium-deprived monstrosities:

First up, we've got Jinky's sidekick, Katie J., who is always referred to by her full name every time she's discussed. With her short, spiky hair, penchant for wearing combat boots and fatigues beneath her party dress, and hatred of--and I quote--"girl clothes," Katie J. could only be more stereotypically leading if she offered to give Jinky a massage while they watched the WNBA.


Next up is the Veronica to Jinky's Betty, Michelle, her good-natured rival in the local beauty pageant. Aside from having parents who get mind-controlled by the evil dairy-craving tentacle beasts, Michelle's only remarkable for reacting to her best friend being abducted by monsters in the mall's dressing rooms by... going and recording herself singing karaoke. Truly, this is the stuff of legends.

Also, as depicted, there's one time where she completely forgets to button up her shirt, which, really, ought to be expected at this point.


Rounding out the cast--so to speak--is geeky horndog Rommel, so named because somebody thought it was a good idea to name a comic relief character after a famous World War II German Tank Commander, and alleged movie star Miss Miko, who contributes absolutely nothing to the plot aside from vaguely resembling a leftover female version of the Scorpion from late-90s issues of Spider-Man. Charming!

Oh, and there's also an "adorable" cartoon character stuffed animal brought to life by an explosion of "life energy" or something, but you know what? I can only take so much. Let's move on to the story itself.

Needless to say, it is not very good. Let's see here: Scene transitions are nonexistant and the dialogue reads like every third word was replaced with a panty shot. The major adversaries that are built up for the first three issues actually aren't the culprits behind the mall-related abductions. That dubious honor belongs to a monster who shows up at random and is later revealed to be the brother of the mall's owner, who hands out a few million dollars after Jinky beats up the monster, thus setting everything right. And the Shadow Whisperers, much like the Horrors of Party Beach, can be defeated with the liberal application of salt.

And then in the last issue, there's an extended musical number.

But that's not the worst of it. No, that's when Jinky gets her new battlesuit from her father, who may or may not be an inventor of some kind, a distinction left ambiguous by the half-formed script. Said battlesuit, like the halloween costumes of my childhood, has her codename written right on the chest, as well as some amazingly creepy extra powers.



Yeah, I think I'm done here. When someone starts battling the forces of darkness with the power of highly inappropriate groping, there's not a whole lot I can add to it.

36 Comments:

Blogger pbares said...

Holy Jeebus.

Jinky's dad must've learned his fatherly "innappropriate touching" from Evangelion's Gendo Ikari.

I need an adult o.O

Although, I suddenly have a newfound respect for "Bazooka Jules."

3/05/2007 1:24 AM

 
Anonymous NBarnes said...

It's enough to send me screaming back to my Gold Digger collections. That was some quality exploitation, that was.

3/05/2007 2:11 AM

 
Blogger LaRue said...

Okay, I...um. Yeah.

You know, that's kind of funny. I just watched "Last House on the Left" the other night, and the creepiest bit reminds me of that last panel. A girl's getting ready to go out, and her dad asks her..."What, no bra?" and later comments..."You can see her nipples and everything."

To which I ask..."Why, dude, why are you checking out your daughter's rack so intently?"

I think the "Banzai Girl" panel's a little worse, though.

Okay, this isn't a real comic, is it? You're just screwing with us, right? Please?

3/05/2007 3:03 AM

 
Anonymous maidstragedy said...

Now that is just plain disturbing.

3/05/2007 3:10 AM

 
Anonymous Christopher said...

This is making me long for the polished art and complex scripts of a Jim Balent comic.

3/05/2007 3:22 AM

 
Blogger SallyP said...

I...I...I have no words.

3/05/2007 9:02 AM

 
Anonymous Mike Skel said...

I saw Jinky at the Mid-Ohio Comicon one year. She was with her toadish manager, who I think she is married to. They were selling pictures of Jinky in schoolgirl outfits on swingsets. It was great because it was EXACTLY what all my non-comic friends thought goes on at comic conventions.

3/05/2007 9:22 AM

 
Blogger Greg said...

To be fair (yeah, I know), I went to school with a Filipino kid named Rommel, so if Jinky is from the Philippines, as you imply, it's perfectly reasonable that she would call a character that. He pronounced it with the accent on the second syllable, so it didn't sound like a German tank commander.

I can't believe I defended even a tiny bit of this comic book.

3/05/2007 10:01 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Gah! My eyes!

3/05/2007 11:55 AM

 
Anonymous mrh said...

Sodium! Man, I loved that MST3K episode.

3/05/2007 12:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That's more than kind of squicky.

Though now I'm wondering what the extra powers were.

3/05/2007 12:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered a TPB today (seriously). If we can't enjoy exploitation in comic books, what are we reading the damn things for, anyway?

3/05/2007 1:43 PM

 
Blogger Erin Palette said...

Clearly, the Shadow Whisperers suffered from hypertension, and needed the calcium to help regulate it:
Calcium-Sodium Interaction

3/05/2007 1:57 PM

 
Blogger Jeff Rients said...

Created by beauty pageant winner and schoolgirl unform enthusiast Jinky Coronado, Banzai Girl concerns the adventures of, well, beauty pageant winner and schoolgirl uniform enthusiast Jinky Coronado

When I read that line I immediately thought of an old Church Lady skit from SNL:

Jessica Hahn: Alright, people can make fun of me all they want, I don't care! Okay? But these pictures say something! They say that Jessica Hahn is nobody's robot, alright! That she's not gonna be used and thrown out! Now, being used and degraded in a hotel rom in Florida was not my decision! But being used and degraded on the pages of this magazine, that was my decision! Yeah! And I'm telling you, that for the first time in my life, I am in control of being used and degraded!

3/05/2007 4:27 PM

 
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

I think I got this cheap once.

I'm pretty sure, as Mike Skel said, that Coronado's manager David Campiti is also her husband. Campiti also reps Mike Deodato and Will Conrad.

Reading Banzai Girl is a lot like watching Donnie Darko- you see stuff coming out of its creator's head and yet it's so wacked, so out there, that you can't imagine anyone BUT the creator understanding and enjoying it. It's the kind of thing where you actively wonder who the hell it's for.

3/05/2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Mike P said...

"These particular octopedian horrors--referred to as the "Shadow Whisperers" for no particular reason--are interdimensional fiends bent on conquering the Earth as part of their sinister plot to acquire... Calcium. Because apparently, obtaining the fifth most abundant element on the planet requires them to brutally murder pretty much everyone they run across and viciously shred Jinky's clothes at every opportunity from their secret headquarters in the basements below the shopping mall."

I'm willing to give the monsters the benefit of the doubt here and assume they had faulty intelligence of how abundant calcium is in today's world. I'm sure if they knew they could pop down to the corner drug store and pick up a whole bottle of calcium supplements they would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

3/05/2007 4:49 PM

 
Blogger Matt Brady said...

I'm with anonymous; you kind of left us in the lurch by mentioning the existence of extra creepy powers and then declining to inform us what they are. Is this a diabolical plan to force us to imagine the kinkiest stuff possible? You bastard, Sims!

3/05/2007 5:14 PM

 
Blogger Mark Hale said...

Calcium, won't you?

3/05/2007 5:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I figured was the creepy extra power was the power of groping:

"When someone starts battling the forces of darkness with the power of highly inappropriate groping"

But hey, what do I know.

3/05/2007 6:02 PM

 
Blogger Evan Waters said...

larue: You think THAT was the creepiest bit of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT?

3/05/2007 8:33 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Mike Skel said...
I saw Jinky at the Mid-Ohio Comicon one year. She was with her toadish manager, who I think she is married to.


Sir, please, if there's one thing I won't tolerate here on the ISB, it's that kind of language concerning a comics creator.

It's "to whom I think she is married."

3/05/2007 11:13 PM

 
Blogger Michael said...

Aren't people clamoring for more female creators for the Minx line?

Seriously though, Mr. Sims, the back issue long boxes in your shop are clearly the stuff of nightmares.

3/06/2007 12:45 AM

 
Blogger Evan Waters said...

Strunk & White disagree, Chris. After all, which sounds better, "the fist Batman punched him with" or "the fist with which Batman punched him"?

3/06/2007 2:59 AM

 
Anonymous Martin Allen said...

Re: the dangling participle issue between C. Sims and E. Waters, I do side with Sims. However, we would be well to remember Winston Churchill's response to similar criticism, to whit:

"This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put."

3/06/2007 4:41 AM

 
Blogger Intruder_W said...

David Campiti? Please tell me that's the same guy responsible for Lost in Space's nearly naked Penny Robinson and white-slaver of the stars Migel Farrar.
All of this will make sense then.

3/06/2007 10:30 AM

 
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Yes, that's the same David Campiti.

3/06/2007 1:37 PM

 
Anonymous Alexx Kay said...

The plot, such as it is, is a lot like a paper-cut: thin and surprisingly painful.

Mind if I steal that line for my quote file?

3/06/2007 6:13 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Dan Coyle: Do you mean the truly atrocious, quasi-erotic Lost In Space Fan-Fiction that Innovation published all those years ago? Because that would be fantastic.

Alexx: Sure, so long as you attribute it to me.

3/06/2007 9:50 PM

 
Blogger Jeff Rients said...

Maybe I'm misremembering, but didn't that series start with a birthday party for Penny, clearly establishing she's eighteen years old? And then she was in her underwear before the end of issue 1?

3/07/2007 12:58 PM

 
Blogger Richv1 said...

Well I have read all the issues of this comic book and this write up does seem unfair to me. It is as if you condemned the book before even giving it a chance.
Jinky Coronado is a very talented youing woman looking at the art it is easy to see that, yes there is some cheesecake but it is tastefully done. In no way does this comic book compare to Tarot which is about the wirst one I have read for exploiting women.
The story is based loosely on her real life family and friends and it is very entertaining. The comic has gathered a small following of loyal fans.
And obviously as this comic was just listed in Previews for ordering Banzai Girls # 1 the continuing adventures of Banzai Girl from Arcana they must think it will sell and have people show enough of an interest in it to purchase it.

3/10/2007 4:27 PM

 
Blogger R.Nav said...

The story is based loosely on her real life family and friends and it is very entertaining.

I need to move to the Phillipines

3/11/2007 11:39 PM

 
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3/12/2007 10:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jinky's an artist? She can draw??
Yeah right!

7/05/2007 4:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

richv1 is a shill from Jinky's site, he's full of shit just like Banzai Girls...

7/12/2007 7:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw her draw on the spot, MY 5 YR OLD DRAWS BETTER THAN HER!

So she's lying through her teeth claiming someone else's art to be hers so what? just keep showing us tits and we won't care

hey she opened a DeviantArt account barely a month ago. Sagging sales much?

Campiti found a smalltown homecoming queen in a third world country who'd marry him for a greencard, why not package her as a bootleg of a japanese schoolgirl?

Bravo my man, bravo.

9/15/2009 10:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jinky Coronado is not the artist. That's just a front. I knew who the artist for this garbage and I used to work with Campiti before. He screws artists over here in Asia, he takes out drawings and never payed for it. He poses as a "comic book agent" but never gets decent jobs for artists. Only jobs which involves pornography.

He binds artists with a 4 year contract with stipulations that will get an artist in trouble if he/she leaves him. Those who will get employed under him, will get 4 years in limbo. No money coming in.

He now has a bad reputation in the Philippines, unwelcomed by the local comic scene, and he's now planning on screwing artists in Indonesia and the rest of Asia.

If you come over a comic seminar by Campiti, don't believe in anything he says, the only creative school of comics he knows is the tits and ass thing, and porn, those kind of art, not Tin Tin, or Nimona type styles, not even good storytelling, and what he's doing brings down the quality of comics below books.

He's a get rich schemer which is why he makes slaves out of artists, not "representing them". He stole the bonus of one of his artists for his good work on Avengers and threatened one local artist for his work on DC's Fables. And if an artist complains to him he threatens anyone that he will blacklist him among the American indie and mainstream industry (and this is one reason that no one in Asia wants to take him on because courts are expensive).

Right now he's trying to faking promote himself like a sleazy guy in Hollywood to tell the world that he's still legit. He's running out of money and is now desperate because a lot of people have wised up to what he's doing.

2/18/2014 5:54 AM

 

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