Makeshift Miracle: An Experiment in Digital Manga Publishing / by Spandexless


by Sam Kusek

Makeshift Miracle is a familiar feeling story, with a modern day twist. Colby Reynolds is a young man who just feels like he doesn’t fit in with the world around him. He isn’t interested in broadcasting his thoughts via Tumblr, or posting pictures of a night out on Facebook. Colby would rather take his face (and life) away from the screen and venture out into the bigger world, to see whats in store. Well, Colby be careful what you wished for…

Makeshift Miracle is a story that has a lot of potential and is already off to an interesting start, although it is a hard to make a really accurate decision based on the two plus that are currently out. Udon Entertainment, the publisher of Megaman Gigamix and the various Street Fighter and Capcom art books, is experimenting with digital publishing. Makeshift Miracle, written by their own Jim Zub, a longtime employee, and illustrated by Shun Hong Chan, is being released on a weekly basis, with two new pages every week, allowing the company to gain some viable information about whose interested in the book.

I personally have mixed feelings about the classic direction the story has taken, where a lonely younger person, struggling to find their way in the world, is intervened by some extraordinary force, that ultimately teaches them a lesson about life. While it is relatable to a fault and a tried & true method that consistently works on a number of levels, I think for some, and I am one of them, this concept has been beaten to death. There are so many stories like this out there already that what I fear most for this book is that it will become predictable and uninteresting. So far, based on the first two chapters, it is easy to anticipate what the rest of the story is going to be like but I hope that Makeshift Miracle proves me wrong.

While I wasn’t too keen on the concept behind the story thus far, this is an amazing piece of artistic talent. Shun Hong Chan shows us a wondrous, very colorful world in Makeshift Miracle and does a fantastic job at bringing the reader, deep into the inner most depths of Colby. Our lonesome narrator is literally the most focused part of the story, seemingly waltzing through beautiful pastel backgrounds. Chan's artwork is really the greatest aspect of the story thus far.

TL:DR Makeshift Miracle has a lot of potential to either soar high and take our breath away or come and fade into obscurity, never standing out the way it intends to. I would encourage you to check it out and make your own assumptions, but I would personally recommend it to a younger and less well-read audience.

Makeshift Miracle is written by Jim Zub with art by Shun Hong Chan. A project of Udon Entertainment, you can read the series thus far in its entirety online. A print collection is planned for this year.

Thank you for author Jim Zub for bringing this project to our attention.

Samuel “Self Confidence Skeleton” “Big Ol’ Robot” Kusek has always been an advocate for the comic book format and specifically a big fan of Manga. He previously wrote for Popcultureshock’s Manga Recon, is an aspiring cartoonist himself and enjoys a good bowtie. You can find his tweets at @SamKusek.