More than a decade ago, back in the 2006, there was a splendid comic art adaptation of Wizard of Oz, drawn by young Spanish artist Enrique Fernandez, featuring chibi characters in a beautifully saturated color settings which earned him high status among new “european manga” artists at the time.
Three years after that, another Wizard of Oz came out, this time made by American young artist Skottie Young for Marvel, with not so chibi characters, but equally expressive in movements and having heroine with similar
facial features as Spanish version - and earned four Eisners awards, American 'Oscar for comics'.
- Skottie Young told me that my books of Oz where on his desk during the version he made of the classic - Fernandez confirmed when we asked him about it.
The waltz between two “brothers in art” continued.
Girls with Axes
Fernandez carried forward with settings having cute damsel in a center of his fables with L'ile sans Surire (2009) and after creators Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa invited him to collaborate on 'Italian manga' Skydoll: Lacrima Christi (2010), Fernandez designed Aurore (2011) - a little girl who is trying to fight her circumstances with an axe . Probably unaware of it, Skottie Young responded by introducing his version of a chibi girl with an axe, in his megapopular I Hate Fairyland (2015).
CHIBI: In English-speaking anime and manga fandom (otaku), the term has mostly been conflated with the super deformed style of drawing characters with oversized heads, or it can be used to describe child versions of characters.
So let say Marvel's audience was already well introduced to basic style and themes of a comic artist from Barcelona, via Skottie Young's highly praised work. Only time will tell which one will be remembered as a “better one”, as “being first” doesn't hold a promise of greatness:
Just recall how nobody remembers cubists forerunners, but everybody knows Picasso. Maybe you can decide for yourself already, by watching their creative process in videos.
Until then – let's see what the audience is missing unless it reaches for newer comics by Enrique Fernandez. For a start, as an independent author, Fernandez didn't do baby-versions of Marvel superheroes as Young did in 2012,
but successfully crowdfunded album Brigada, where he features 'baby' dark elves and dwarves.
Frenandez Tales From the Age of Cobra (2015), which comes to America in January next year via IDW Publishing, is humorous and sexy action oriental story, with a view on Islamic world contrasting from Marvel's offer on the same bet.
Instead of 'modest' super-heroine created in Marvel, which looks like she is to end up in arranged marriage any day now – the Spanish artist's vision of leading lady points out on all the pleasures and beauty we used to relate with Islamic civilization before late 'Wahhabi invasion' on the West and Islamic world overall, as his country was a part of that world during it's Golden Age and this is the fingerprint Orient has left on Spanish culture.
It appears that Nima is carefully digitized for print, so the line doesn't lose it's spontaneity neither. Nymph's hesitiation to exercise ruthless 'praying mantis' ways, in which her society treats men after they are done with them, further distinguishes erotic Nima from Young's angry Gertrude who is still slaying anthropomorphic mushrooms and other species in fairy tales she hates so much...
Without questioning Gertrude's charm , Nima is surely appealing to public who has had enough violence in the real world, and is ready to embrace a juicy erotic thriller in mythical lands.