cover image Once Upon a Glashma

Once Upon a Glashma

Kumiko Suekane, . . ADV Manga, $10.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-4139-0363-8

In this stand-alone fantasy comedy, all girls have disappeared, and the boys are becoming wizards. While this sounds like an intriguing counterpoint to Y: The Last Man, Suekane goes for a mundane manga starring two government functionaries. In a standard chapter, they’re just trying to do their jobs when something explodes. There’s yelling and panic, and the reader is dumped into the middle of the action without explanation. The younger agent complains about having to clean up the mess while the older one orders him around, over and over. The premise pales rapidly. Since there’s widespread magic, things appear and disappear without reason. The clean art line is fine and precise, which makes the destruction all the more ridiculous when shown against a detailed house or city background. Of course, there’s a section where a young wizard tries turning boys into girls—who are dressed like maids. That’s typical of the lowest common denominator–style humor. Female roles are quite literal: a bunny girl, an evil witch. The second half becomes more dramatic, with an incestuous relationship responsible for the disappearance of the girls. The implication that without females in the world, males would be able to do amazing things is bizarre at best and unpleasant at worst. (Oct.)