Lyn Jensen's Blog: Manga, Music, and Politics

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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: Modern Prometheus

BOOK REVIEW: The Modern Prometheus by Yayoi Neko

For those who haven’t yet savored Yayoi Neko’s graphic art, her latest work, The Modern Prometheus, makes a splendid introduction. She’s an American artist (of museum-gallery quality) who creates beautiful graphic novels of male-male relationships. She’s inspired by both Japanese yaoi (male-male art and stories created for a female audience) and bara (for male audiences). Yaoi tends to feature young, slender, and beautiful effeminate-looking men, while bara tends to depict more muscular and mature-looking men.

Neko previously gave us her self-published The Adventure of the Concussoris Magnus, a liberal reinterpretation in graphic form of a Sherlock Holmes short story. Members of the GLBT community who fancied Guy Ritchie’s twisted takes on the Holmes universe, starring Robert Downey, Jr. are advised to seek out Neko’s graphic novels, which are like comic books for mature audiences.

Prometheus is Neko's liberal re-interpretation of an excerpt from Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic, Frankenstein, illustrating the narrative of a young sea captain who rescues Frankenstein from his monster and finds the “friend” he always wanted. Despite all the previous interpretations of the story, this telling provides a fresh perspective. There’s nothing resembling porn but the art definitely conveys the homoerotic implications of the words. It’s a slim volume, only about forty pages, but both the black-and-white art and the presentation are of superior quality. Neko calls this Issue #1 to indicate she plans a sequel.

Neko’s older work includes Incubus, a multi-volume series inspired by Japanese yaoi manga and currently published by Media Blasters. To purchase Prometheus, the Holmes work, and Lilin (an art book) e-mail the artist at or check her DeviantArt site. Her Incubus series is available from Amazon, Rare Flix eBay store, or from in a digital version.

Links to Neko artwork and order form(s):