Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 2019 Pass or Pages Entry #2

Time for the Pass Or Pages feedback reveals! We're so thankful to our agent panel for taking the time to critique these entries. Shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week. You are awesome!



Yusei Yamada just turned seventeen and he’s started seeing some really odd things. A woman walking down the street with her mouth slit open from ear to ear, and a man dressed like a crow that seems to be following him. His fears that the Birdman is following him are confirmed when the creature attacks him after he comes home from celebrating his birthday with his boyfriend. After that things just keep getting weirder when he finds a Gollum-like little creature licking the walls of his bathroom while he’s in the hospital recovering from the attack. He’s also pretty sure that there’s someone else following him now and it’s not the birdman [KP1].

Kei Takamura is the one watching Yusei. He has some crazy news for his fellow teen [KP2]. When Yusei’s boyfriend Josue is kidnapped by the birds, Kei has no choice but to reveal the truth to Yusei. That he’s [KP3] an onmiyoji, a human with the powers of a yokai. That’s why the monsters are hunting him. They sense the magic in him [KP4] and now they want revenge on Yusei for the member of their bird-like flock that Yusei killed by accident.  He has no other choice but to trust Kei who claims he’s also onmiyoji. The birdmen are about to sacrifice Josue [KP5] to an angry ghost whose scream can kill and Yusei knows that he can’t do this without back-up [KP6][CR1].

Yokai Hunters is an 85 page, 9,000-word horror/adventure graphic novel set in modern-day Oregon.  It features creatures from Japanese folklore and features an interracial LGBTQ couple. This is the first in a series of graphic novels featuring Japanese monsters and hopefully some creatures from Central American folklore as well. I hope to try and introduce readers to the hundreds of fascinating Japanese monsters out there. Everything from shrieking ghosts to vampire trees and spider women. The story is Grimm meets Supernatural with a Japanese twist [KP7][CR2].


Kelly's Notes:
[KP1] This is a lot of people following him and threatening him. Can we condense this to a few shorter sentences so that we get the point that he’s in trouble, but we don’t have to go into so much specific explanation?
[KP2] “Crazy” probably isn’t the best word to use here. Is it news that will turn his life upside down? Kill him? End him? Why is this news considered so “crazy” that it has to get to a fellow teen through stalking?
[KP3] That Kei is a onmiyoji or that Yusei is?
[KP4] Who is “him?”

[KP5] Who is Josue?
[KP6] The POV’s in this paragraph keep switch back and forth, so it’s very confusing to read. I’m not sure who is what and what is whom at this point. Try to stick to one POV per paragraph.
[KP7] These are interesting comps and should be placed up front! 

Cortney's Notes:
[CR1] A lot of world-specific terms I don’t understand. It’s not making me interested, but confused, since I don’t have any context for what these words mean and what impact they really have on the MC.
[CR2] Here for the comparisons!!! Love SUPERNATURAL and Grimm fairytales, especially with a different culture’s twist. Great, short way to pique interest.

First 250 words:

Panel 1:
YUSEI YAMATO, a 17-year-old Japanese boy walks down the street. He’s wearing a long sleeve red and white plaid shirt over a white undershirt and black trousers. He carries a heavy backpack and has his face buried in his phone, smiling as he walks. The neighborhood he walks through is well maintained with small, well-kept houses.

Panel 2:
Yusei runs into a JAPANESE WOMAN who is standing in the middle of the sidewalk and looks up from his phone.

YUSEI: Sorry, I didn’t…

Panel 3:
The woman turns to look at him and Yusei recoils.
YUSEI: Holy s&$%!

Panel 4:
The woman’s face is split open at the corner of her mouth from ear to ear. She smiles creepily at him. She wears a black kimono and blood still drips from the terrible wounds.
WOMAN: Onmiyoji.

Panel 5:
A car behind them backfires and Yusei whips around to look.

Panel 6:
When Yusei looks back, the woman is gone.

Panel 1:
Yusei continues down the street, looking back at his phone. A CREATURE wearing a red robe who appears to be wearing a mask that looks like a crow with black feathers and beady eyes watches Yusei from behind a nearby tree [KP1].

PAGE 3: Portland, Oregon
Panel 1:
In a plain white hallway lined with dim, plain wall sconces, a JAPANESE WOMAN in a pink floral kimono holds a stack of golden plates in her arms. Her face is streaked with tears [CR1].


Kelly's Notes: 
[KP1] I don’t represent graphic novels, so I don’t feel competent enough to give feedback on the manuscript itself. I will also have to unfortunately pass because of this.

Cortney's Notes: 
[CR1] I’m not super well versed in graphic novels, but to me this feels like it starts WAY too soon in the story. We don’t see Yusei before the inciting incident and that makes it very difficult to care about him seeing monsters.



Kelly: PASS
Cortney: PASS [Between feeling like the story starts in the wrong place and feeling iffy about the query: Pass]

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