Bani Garu: Hat Trick


I quite like this webcomic, and I look forward to each episode… though there’s a rather large gap between each one, so it’s a tad slow going - it doesn’t move forward very quickly considering each page is months apart. Some sort of meta-commentary on the subject matter, maybe?


I don’t know if it’s meta commentary, but I’m gonna have to let this slip from my mind. As it is, it’s a waste of time to try and check for new Bani Garu every day when it’s released not once in a blue moon, but on random blue moons.


The next will appear in MAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

shrug While I don’t like the seemingly random updates, I do want to know more about this series. This is about the time I started seriously watching anime (late 80s-early 90s)

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Whenever these show up, the general consensus seems to be - I’d like to like this and it seems to have the potential to be interesting but so far this series has been the equivalent of taking a stack of Rex Morgan MD comics, cutting them into individual panels, shuffling them, and reading a single panel every few weeks.


My own problem with this series is that it keeps jumping around in time, seemingly randomly. I understand that some stories work better when told in an order other than chronological, but usually, there’s some logic to the alternate order.

Here, it feels like I just met her, and she’s telling me her life story as the anecdotes randomly occur to her, except I don’t know her, so I have no baseline that I can drop each random event into to make sense of it all.

She tells me about something that happened, and I want to know what happened next, but instead, she tells me about something that happened 20 years later, and doesn’t appear to come back to the story she started.

From the first page, she repeatedly mentions how things are going to blow up later. After the first couple of times, it just gets annoying.

To me, it feels like she should have organized her thoughts a bit more before she started drawing this. The order of the presentation might have emotional resonance for her, but I need a steadier base before it can resonate with me.


She also seems to assume we know all about this Gainax company. I certainly don’t, and I’m willing to bet few people who don’t closely follow anime do. So we have no context. We’ve got no clue why Gainax is “notorious”, and her foreshadowing of bad shit to come falls flat. Googling doesn’t really help much on the subject, you mostly get a neutral wiki page, current production news and this TV Tropes page.

Which certainly makes Gainax sound a bit wonky, but not nearly as ominous as Ms. Hernandez seems to be trying to present them.

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Sorry for the long delay! Bani Garu is a weekly comic, but I was sick and in a deadline trainwreck through the fall and into winter.
Now I’m genki and de-wrecked!

Thanks for the thoughtful comments.


I’m assuming this: was a part of what happened, but I don’t know either.



okay… I have to disagree on the point that in 1989 there was “no place for creator owned comics”. I’m not trying to argue that it wasn’t much harder to market back in the late 80’s (no “world wide web”…but there was compuserv). the late-70’s through the early 90’s were THE boom for creator owned independent titles that completely reshaped the industry. Look no further than Sergio Aragones set up with Pacific Comics on Groo…that later forced Marvels hand to create the EPIC imprint that would allow creator owned titles. Or Eastman and Lairds TMNT, or Dave Stevens Rocketeer, Steve Rudes Nexus, Howard Chakins American Flagg, Mike Richardsons The Mask, or James O’Barr’s “The Crow” all came out of this time period, some self published, some published by smaller “independent” houses, some self published…but ALL creator owned.

the one other thing that was arguably more beneficial at the time was more than one path to distribution (pre-internet) as Diamond had not yet swallowed Friendly Franks, Heroes…etc.

just sayin’

even for those of us that were nonimally “in the loop” back in the day,Gainax’s reputation was mostly a series of rumors, as few people actually dealt with them directly.

thats actually what I’m kind of looking forward to as an old school fan…inside information from someone who was there.

not really… the 109 article is talking more about the last 10-15 years or so. Lea’s story happened prior to that, and are the precursors to what the industry changes 109 is discussing.

(okay I will bow out now…don’t want to spam the forum. )

I think a lot of decent stuff came out then, and I was buying it, but I think only a handful of creators had a sustainable market that allowed people to make books, be able to afford to distribute their books, and have enough food to eat as a result of that work. Praised be to the ones who made books back then, but for a lot of them I think it was more an expensive hobby than a way of paying the bills.

For manga/anime style comic? I think in 1989 era that would be difficult.

TMNT succeeded in that era, but my impression on their success was that it was more based on luck than hard work. Eastman managed to get a distribution, which sold well, some how got attention to the larger animation work which got broadcast into cartoons. TMNT, the early b/w comics were more in the style typical of North America than manga of that time. I think it was after the cartoons where people, not Eastman, started drawing larger eyes, and other styles common in manga for TMNT.

I was a child then, so take that into account. i.e.,didn’t had much money to buy comics and hard to get comics, since closest comic book store had to be driven to get there, Seven-Eleven, grocery stores didn’t had much selection, etc,.

I probably didn’t care much about style of the time either–I still don’t, I understand the subtle differences but care more if it’s cool.

Ah, ok, I was thinking maybe Gainax was just ahead of the curve… I guess I’m completely in the dark, then.

TMNT was a-typical, but was really the first of the self published set from the indy-boom to break out into TV/Film/Toys… but at the time even though some of it was luck, Eastman is a shrewd business person. The fact that TMNT #1 was published in dramatically lower numbers than the 2nd issue, and both issues were “put to bed” at roughly the same time before issue 1 sold through its first printing. So depending on who’s account you believe, its been said it was a deliberate move to push demand and create intentional rarity.
Manga style was slowly making inroads in the mid-late 80’s. Though it was still regarded as more of a niche or specialty “genre”. You wouldn’t see it at the Waldenbooks or Cornerstore comic racks (back when both those things still existed) but by 89, the demand was steadily growing, even though the quality and availability of the manga or manga inspired titles was a really mixed bag. Straight translations of actual manga series lived or died based on the title really… its been 20++ years since I worked at Diamond, but I recall Area88 did really well and Dagger of Kamui started strong…Crying Freeman…not as much IIRC. earlier in the 80’s Comico’s adaptation of “Robotech” did consistent sales…even though the art inside was…er…sometimes harsh. The fact is that Anime/Manga style art was steadily growing through the 80’s, and enough pieces and interest were in place that when AKIRA broke out in 89…things just went gang busters.

to Snig’s point amount what cartooning paid: even the “pro” artists that worked for Marvel and DC were still getting paid per page and not much at that. Often they would be granted their original pages to resell at conventions to help make ends meet. Its part of what led to the revolt of McFarlane, Lee, et al to go form Image…partly creators rights, but mainly about $. ( which brings me back to Kevin Eastman. Eastman took some of his “hollywood money” and in addition to the “Words and Pictures” museum he worked on with Dennis Kitchen, he also started “Tundra” that while short lived paid better than any other publisher in the business while it lasted.

Oh man I almost forgot about those titles. And I’ve read them much later in the late 90s and early 2000s. In that perspective, I guess you’re right. Manga style was steading growing in popularity in that era.

What is your take on Eastman as a business person? Have you met him personally?

Waldenbooks, heh. It is only these ten years that you can get comics in chains like Chapters. The only comics you could get off the shelves was collections of Garfield or if you’re lucky maybe a graphic novel or do a special order.

I hope there’s some information about Secret of Blue Waters. Fan of that.

Cris: no time to be thorough here, but several of the creator-owned titles you cite were not truly creator-owned; American Flagg! or any other First Comics title, for example. Mike Richardson’s The Mask was/is creator-owned, but also published by the company he founded and owns: Dark Horse.
There weren’t as many creator owned-friendly publishers as there were self-publishers.