Story: Satoko Kiyuzuki
Art: Satoko Kiyuzuki
Volume Count: 2+ (still in production)
Version reviewed: English Translated
Date of Review: 29 Nov 2009
Art lessons in 4-koma format.
Follow the lives of five girls in the art department of their high school.
Ah, the 4-koma. It makes for easy and entertaining reading, since the strips are only four panels apiece, each with their own self-contained jokes. But GA is a little different. It’s a comic by an artist for artists. Of course anyone can enjoy it, but for the first volume especially, the jokes are so technical in nature that only those familiar with the art and design making process will be able to fully appreciate them. Being a former design student myself is what drew me to GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class in the first place, so I thought it was great. Luckily for those who have never taken art or design classes, the technical nature of the jokes drops off significantly by the end of the first volume and into the second, to the point where many of the strips have nothing to do with art at all. There are still a share of technical jokes, but nowhere near as many as what are found at the beginning.
GA takes place at an arts high school and follows a group of five first-year (10th grade) girls. Left to right in the picture above, they are:
Kisaragi Yamaguchi – The determined and sometimes clumsy one.
Tomokane – The overenthusiastic loose cannon.
Namiko Nozaki – The group’s onee-san who tries to keep everyone in line.
Miki Noda – Nicknamed “The Princess”. The energetic spazzball.
Miyabi Oomichi – Nicknamed “The Professor”. The quiet and enigmatic one.
The art style of GA is very unique. The characters are all in high school, but they look younger. The lines are also very sketchy and free, giving an almost chaotic feel to the strips, as if they are always in motion. Another nice touch is the inclusion of full-color pages at regular intervals in the volumes. When you consider that many of the jokes in GA are based on color, this makes perfect sense.
Overall, GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class is a fun read for anyone who’s ever been an art or design student. During the first volume especially, you’ll be able to geek out at the jokes, since much of what is covered are the kinds of things that you probably did in class. Even after the technical jokes are relaxed, the comedy remains solid due to the characters themselves being so varied and having great personalities. GA is perfect for art students and those who want to know a little bit more about what goes on in the world of creating art.