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(Words and art by Andi Watson, Trade Paperback Published Oni Press)

It's hard not to like the artwork here. Simple, yet stylish, Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic-writer Andi Watson's distinctive style is instantly recognisable, with strong manga influences. And in Geisha, it's a treat.

Struggling to make it as a successful artist, Jomi is marginalised because she is a "synth", a synthetic: an android. She is barred from clubs and restaurants, and forced to travel in segregation on the subway. Looming poverty forces her to take a job with her father's security company to pay the rent. Babysitting a supermodel with a stalker, she finds herself dragged into the mob world of her patron Mr Peck, a dubious character if ever there was one. By the time you reach Chapter Four, the plot has become quite convoluted, but it all works out in the end.

Geisha is predominantly a lightweight read that pleasurably passes the time, although Matt (Judge Dredd) Wagner's patronising introduction would have you believe otherwise. Ignore that, and just appreciate it for the simple, unpretentious, stylish little number that it is.

Website: http://ism.opal.de/comics/awatson/awatson0.html Good comics site featuring lots of independent creators. Has a list of Watson's recommendations and some of his strips online.

[Load time rating: ***** for directory, obviously pictures take longer, but they tell you the file size]

Anna Jellinek

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