I think I first met Kata Kane, the creator of Altar Girl, a few years ago at InterventionCon. I remember looking at Kata’s art, then looking at her and saying “Do you draw in Manga Studio?” (The answer was “yes”, by the way.) I didn’t get the chance to pick up her book then, or read her comic, but this past February at Katsucon we met up and did a book trade and I was able to read the first three chapters of this manga series.
Altar Girl is a shoujo style manga, very reminiscent of genre classics like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. It is both an addition to the shoujo genre and something of a parody, as it starts off with the main character, Ashley Altars, talking about how she isn’t like other heroines of the genre. She isn’t going to introduce herself while running with a piece of toast in her mouth because she’s late to school!
Ashley Altars is starting her sophomore year of high school and trying to get up the courage to talk to her crush. But she’s too shy and unsure of herself to talk to the boy of her dreams. It looks like all hope might be lost and she’ll never talk to the handsome Adam Evenine.
Which is when a boy who died in the 1920’s and two angels show up to help her tell her crush how she feels. But it looks like their plan might completely backfire if Ashley can’t get them back on track!
The art in Altar Girl is pretty good, especially if you like the shoujo manga aesthetic. Anime fans will be happy to see classic anime and manga tropes included, like going chibi when a character is flustered. One of the things I really like about Altar Girl though is the panel layouts. They’re interesting to look at and definitely capture the classic shoujo feel. I did have an issue with a few pages where I read the word bubbles out of order because of strange placement, but it wasn’t anything that a quick re-read didn’t fix and it wasn’t too confusing. This may be an issue fixed in later chapters, I can’t really say because I only read the first book. However, I definitely plan on reading the rest, and hopefully getting some more of the books!
When Liz Staley isn’t writing books about Manga Studio 5, or recording tutorial videos about Manga Studio 5, then she can probably be found drawing something in Manga Studio 5. A certified MS5 junkie, she’s written two books about the software: “Mastering Manga Studio 5” and “The Manga Studio EX 5 Cookbook.”
Her current comic project is a love letter to 70’s and 80’s giant robot anime called “Adrastus“, which she has been working on since 2010.
And because every group needs a Weird Horse Girl, she fills that role as well.