Another story connected to my favorite publishing company, the folks responsible for making sure enough copies of Fast Majicke remain in print so that future potential transformees can come into contact with it. This time, we're looking at a subdivision of the company marketing translated Japanese comics (a.k.a. manga) - our publishers are nuthin' if not au current - though longtime readers may recognize a cameo appearance by one of the characters in "Carla's Cookbook."
For those unfamiliar with manga - and foodee manga, in particular - let me assure you that the comic series our free-lancer Myrna is assigned has its real-life counterparts (though none of the manga series I've read has a heroine like Tsuki, unfortunately). Two series that provides inspiration for this tale are the long-running Iron Wok Jan and Yakitate!! Japan. The first concerns an obnoxiously competitive young chef who engages in fierce cooking contests; the second revolves around a sweet-tempered young breadmaker who wants to crate a style of bread that'll exemplify his country. With Happy Chef Han, I basically took the personality of the latter character and grafted it onto the world of the former. Two of the female characters in Iron Wok Jan, I should note, are improbably breasted slender chefs - though one of 'em, we learn through the course of the series, has a fat mother.
"Fat Manga" initially appeared in an issue of the Wilson Barbers Newsletter in the summer of 2007. I've since revised parts of the story to clarify a few plot points, but the changes have been minimal. Since newsletter sales have been paltry, I feel fairly certain that this li'l tale will be new to most of you . . .