Jinky Coronado writer, artist, and (yes) FHM lingerie model-turned-comics-creator/writer/artist. of the webcomic Banzai Girl is coming to print in a full-color graphic novel. That’s right, Coronado has been all of those things (a lingerie model multiple times in FHM Philippines magazine, and a featured as an artist, creator, and model in Mirror, Play, ImagineFX, Wizard, and other magazines). As an artist, she drew the three-volume graphic novel series Avalon High with best-selling author Meg Cabot. She has also illustrated the upcoming Exposure graphic novel; and is currently drawing the series Pandora’s Blogs for Red Giant Entertainment.
About a dozen years ago — around the time she moved to the USA — she created, wrote, was cover model for, and drew (along with the assistance of colorist Mike Kelleher and co-artist Wilson Tortosa) a series entitled Banzai Girl for Sirius Comics and then later, its sequel series Banzai Girls for Arcana Studio. More recently, she resurrected Banzai Girl online at Keenspot.com as a serialized webcomic. All the while, she promoted the series at several conventions cosplaying her character. These days she is trying to collect her first Banzai Girl series into a big, beautiful, 160-page full-color graphic novel.
By now you must be asking what the series is all about. Well Banzai Girl stars Jinky Coronado (yes, she named the main character after herself) who is a girl of three worlds, only she doesn’t quite know it at the beginning of her tale. Apparently, she is both a Princess as well as a future freedom fighter, both of which collide with her real life as an Asian schoolgirl. In school, Jinky’s biggest problem should be homework, boys, and her dad’s new girlfriend; however, she is thrust into a world of monsters and madness as an invasion of alien begins possessing her town’s parents. These include strange creatures known as the Duwende, the Kapre, the Tikbalang, and the Manananggal, as well as a schoolgirl-eating snake creature hidden beneath a shopping mall. Not to mention Jinky becoming a model and recording star, and much, much more.
Best of all, it’s apparently based on bits and pieces of Coronado’s own life as an Asian schoolgirl (or so she says). Coronado has attempted to create a unique style for the series that would be interesting to both anime and manga as well, everything from the little schoolgirl uniforms to the oddball mascot character — however she made it very much about the myths and mysteries of her native Philippines and stocked it with people from her real life. So far, Banzai Girl has been pretty popular in its pockets of fandom. There have been photo calendars, posters, prints, watches, T-shirts, a lunchbox, a calculator, even a full-fledged Official Fan Club with membership card, fanzine, membership certificate, and loads of other things. Coronado’s sister, Michelle and her were even lucky enough to get a recording deal in the Philippines for a Banzai GirlS: Breathless Schoolgirls CD!
Her Banzai Girl artwork has even show up in the background of movies — including a spoof superhero movie. Still the important thing is always the story itself. It’s loaded with things about her real-life growing up, so it is deeply embedded with Filipino culture, including the myths, settings, and situations all of which are things that were part of Coronado growing up. Coronado told us that one of the many thrilling things about producing this book was working with all of the great superstar artists that she got to meet and be friends with — such as Will Conrad, Mike Deodato, Jr., Al Rio, Cliff Richards, Adriana Melo, and Playboy’s Dean Yeagle.
Supporters of the Kickstarter will be able to receive quite a few very cool perks including a photo album, a sketchbook of behind-the-scenes art, and so much more. If she exceeds her $10,000 goal and makes it to $15,000 she will to go to press with Volume 2 and perhaps even allow here to create special editions. If they hit $25,000 or more, she will be able to finance continuing Banzai Girl. Plus, it will mean she will be able to create new merchandise — — including a brand-new photo calendar. She has tried to make the incentives pretty nice — regular books, autographed books, personalized books, hard-to-find original editions, original art, custom sketches, and even full-fledged finished cover-quality custom original pieces drawn specifically for backers.
This project will only be funded if at least $3,500 is pledged by Tuesday, August 5 2014.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comic books for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comic book articles and reviews.