ERA: Ibuki, the second installment in the ERA universe by Irene Y. Lee focuses a girl caught in the strife of war between Prometheus and a group of rebels.
Format: Print graphic novel
Forum: The ERA Universe
ERA: Ibuki is the second printed graphic novel by Irene Y. Lee Both Ibuki and ERA: Convergence, her first graphic novel, were funded using Kickstarter. It uses a slightly different style from Convergence. For one thing, Ibuki is in a webtoon format while Convergence is in a standard comic book format. Honestly, I found the webtoon format to read a lot faster and more easily than the comic format. That may just be my own preference in style however. It is important to note that ERA: Ibuki takes place before ERA: Convergence.
About the Author
Irene Y. Lee is a graphic designer working for Marvel Comics out of New York City. Interestingly she describes herself as a “wanna-be artist”. From her work it’s apparent that she’s no “wanna-be artist.” She’s simply an artist. You can check out some of her work on Deviant Art. More than just being a great artist, she’s also quite skilled at running a Kickstarter campaign. She knows how to use her skills to maximize support. Throughout her last campaign, updates were given by her characters. It was the perfect way to have her product sell itself.
ERA: Ibuki centers around a world torn by war and a girl who tries to stand up to the strife. Lee describes Ibuki as “[a] story about a girl with a kind heart who’s faced against a world that’s too strong to fight. But it doesn’t stop her from trying.” Interestingly, both Ibuki and Fairy Quest, another graphic novel that I recently finished reviewing have rather pronounced political themes.
It certainly makes it difficult to repress my political alter ego, but it does make for a good read. That’s not to say that you need to be interested in politics in any way, I think the current state of our world has pushed all of us to think about some questions raised by these graphic novels now and then.
In terms of character development, while there isn’t a lot of time to really build up all of the characters, Lee does a fair job with Ibuki herself. At the beginning of the story, Ibuki is more or less a naive child. However, through the painful events that take place during the story, Ibuki is forced to question her own ideals and in so doing is able to grow as a person.
One aspect of the story to point out is that Lee does not pull any punches when it comes to depicting the horrors of war. If you can’t handle the sight of blood, I might suggest that you stick to Convergence, which only has a few scenes with blood.
Much of ERA: Ibuki is available on MangaMagazine. Copies of the novels can also be ordered through them. Right now Convergence is only available in digital format, but a print on demand version will be available soon.