Fans of Hip Hop and Anime, rejoice!
What you see above is the title image from a new manga called Tephlon Funk by New York based writer and artist Stephane Metayer.
Metayer says that some of his biggest artistic influences are Akira Toriyama, Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Otomo, Bengus, Akiman, Kentaro Miura & Hayao Miyazaki. However, he also says that Tephlon Funk is inspired specifically by rapper Nas' album Illmatic.
Metayer's newest endeavor has been featured on MoviePilot.com, where he gave a small statement about the work:
This is my 1st project which I hope to help inspire and influence others. I'm a true fan of both Hip Hop and Anime. Over 10 years later, I'm now ready to take the next step. Tephlon Funk is a series that I came up with over 11 years ago while I was still in High School. It's an incredible story about a troubled teenage girl who runs into someone that changes her life forever. The events that take place not only changes her outlook on life but also gives her the inner strength she never knew she had.
I always felt that there weren't enough stories out there that were able to successfully mix the two mediums seamlessly. Bring the best of both worlds into one dope project. I wanted the story to take place in New York City. Specifically Queensbridge since this was heavily inspired by "Illmatic." I've never seen an NYC based cartoon that really captured the true essence of living in this big city.
As an anime fan and native New Yorker myself, I'm stoked for this project. There hasn't really been any manga that I can think of that try to capture the splendor and shittiness of New York before, and I think it's about time to see it.
It's also awesome because of the representation it offers. There's a significant dearth of people of color in manga and anime, and when they do appear it can come across as heavily stereotyped images. To have a young man of color creating this narrative signals a big step forward in the game.
The art is dope, the setting is dope. I don't know much about the story, but I'm hoping that it's as dope as all the rest of it.
If you want to learn more about the project, or lend support, you can check out their Kickstarter page here.
Here's a roster of characters provided by Metayer. I'm assuming that Inez is the main character, with the rest being her friends around her.
There's Gabriel Ainsley, apparently a stellar athlete and brainy guy. Also, Cameron Phoenix as the headstrong detective type. There's also Giselle Rodriguez, a Dominicana from uptown and childhood friend to Cameron.
All together it seems like an interesting cast, and I definitely dig the style the characters are presented in here. Kind of like RPG stats.
I'll definitely be checking this out when I can!