Quick Rating: Fantastic
Title: Super Mega Ultrakiko Action Figure
Writer/Artist: Mark Crilley
Because of its sporadic release schedule, Mark Crilley continues to fill Akiko’s pages with short tales and humorous sketches. The original Akiko storylines (prior to Crilley’s explosion of wild experimenting) followed the intergalactic adventures of an American girl of Japanese heritage. Crilley points out that the current tales do not automatically fall within Akiko’s continuity- they may only serve to illustrate unexplored aspects of the main characters. Anyone unfamiliar with Akiko may find the issue a difficult entry point. The bits and pieces provide innumerable delights, but that often comes from a baseline knowledge of the characters. New readers should definitely pick up the trade paperback reprints of the initial run. On the other hand, everyone should buy this issue to support one of the more original voices in the comics field- just read the trades first to get the all the jokes.
This issue contains:
Super Mega Ultrakiko vs. Beebzilla – the first part of a giant monster battle.
The Portrait – an optical illusion short.
Private Beeba and the Secret Message
What’s Going on in Akiko’s Head?
Good Days, Bad Days
Cap’n Spuck and his trusty first mate, beebs
24 Ways to Draw Akiko – exactly what it says.
All of these are accessible on a purely humorous level. In many ways, reading Akiko lately inspires that same sensation that I used to get when reading Mad magazine as a youth. It’s the thrill of recognition- the pleasure of not being insulted (perhaps being subtly complimented). Ultimately, I think Akiko is about not being alone in the universe and that’s a pretty good theme.