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Babes and Monsters

Locally produced online comic goes to print.

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In the comic book world, hot anime babes sell. And so do monsters. So local cartoonists Lin Workman and Dave Beaty had an inspired idea: create a comic series where hot babes fight monsters.

Thus the premise for online comic Bushi Tales was born. The cartoonists began posting pages online about a year ago, and last month, they released their first self-published print edition.

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"This is the first one we've put out on our own," said Workman. "Before, we both worked on a comic called Star Guides. Dave's done a lot of ghost-working with other artists. I've done some other comics here and there, helping friends meet deadlines."

While Workman and Beaty were working on Star Guides, a short-lived comic put out by Conquest Studios, they would share rides to work and talk comics. That's when they had the idea for Bushi Tales.

Bushi Tales is set in a future land called New Edo. It follows four girls who have been sent on a quest by Hachiman, the Japanese god of war, to stop Chozen, a man granted the powers of a god in order to create a utopian society. But once Chozen got a taste of power, he became corrupt and considered himself a god.

"About a week or two after we came up with the concept, Dave came up with this whole back story on the universe and got really serious on me," said Workman.

Shortly after they'd outlined a few issues, Beaty moved to Prescott Valley, Arizona, which made working together more difficult. But once the collaborators got cable Internet connections, they were able to share sketches and painted files through e-mail.

"Dave does the writing, drawing, and layouts," said Workman. "I come back in and do the colors and letters in the word balloons. Then he pencils the covers, and I paint and finish them up."

The pair originally posted the comic online in hopes of gaining a following before releasing their print edition. The print version will be released quarterly and is available at local comic book stores in Memphis and Arizona and on the Bushi Tales Web site (BushiTales.com).

"Comics have always been on a kind of roller coaster, and we're hoping it's on the way back up again," said Workman. "It's amazing how many comics and comic book artists have come and gone through Memphis. We're hoping to follow in their footsteps."

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