Behind the Scenes!! Volume 3
The wacky adventures of the group of special effects artists in college continue with just as much entertaining escapism in volume three. This time, they’ve taken over a house to film a horror story starring a creepy young boy. The problem is that the child actor is spoiled and demanding.
While he’s ordering everyone around, Art Squad leader Goda is hiding from him, because he doesn’t like kids. This makes for a difficult film camp experience, but I enjoyed the combination of technical tips, personality conflicts, and bratty behavior. The character observations and the way someone learns a lesson that make them a better person teeters close to being a cliché, but the appeal of formula is how comforting it can be to see those messages reinforced. There might really be a positive reason that someone’s acting out, and understanding their fears might build better teamwork. It’s reassuring to see that portrayed.
Another chapter provides a little more insight into Tomu, a superhero fan, as he works to keep interruptions out of a guerrilla film shoot in the park. Next, as a fundraiser, the squad brings kids into the studio to make arts and crafts. Learn how to make shrinky-dinks out of plastic bottles!
The most detailed chapter (both in plot and art) is the last, when the team gets together to build a haunted house in an abandoned doctor’s office. It’s fun to see all the ideas and techniques they come up with, although the reader knows that they’re going overboard all along. The key to a successful effect is clear direction.
A set of eight one-page strips with the crew wrap up the book on a high note, making fun of how determined the characters are and reminding us of their unique quirks. I remain inspired by the artistic life and creativity on display here.