Designer Jason Thompson is currently running a Kickstarter for his tabletop game Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics, where players draw a comic through the course of the game. It's a fascinating idea that combines two interests that often overlap; comics and tabletop gaming. The description makes it seem like the game moves at a breakneck pace, and is more about creative storytelling based on the cards you pull than on displaying impressive art skills, which means I might actually be able to play.

The Kickstarter page says:

Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics is a new experience in drawing games, featuring beautiful card artwork by great artists from America and Japan!

Mangaka is a fast-paced card game where you draw and write comics in five-minute bursts. While this is a game about drawing, you can still win even if you’ve never drawn a stick figure in your life. Cleverness, silliness, quick wit and storytelling ability matter much more than your ability to draw.

Challenge your friends and your creativity in a battle against time! The core of the game are two card decks: Themes and Trends. Start by drawing three Theme Cards to determine the subject of your comic. With over 180,000 possible combinations, you'll never run out of ideas. Then, you and the other players must draw comics and express your Themes before time runs out. Fleeting Trend Cards add another dimension of strategy: your fickle readers this round may demand Science Fiction, Fantasy, Shojo Manga, Sports, Destruction or any one of 52 Trends. Each round brings more Panels to draw and Trends to chase than the round before. When the final round ends, the winner is the one with the most Fame Tokens…but every player ends the game with a comic of their own creation.


It would be interesting to put some comics writers and artists in a room together to play this game --- in fact, I bet a convention could get some butts in seats if they offered it as a panel that people could watch.

For those who have nightmarish flashbacks to family games of Pictionary, the game may sound less entertaining. It seems like it favors those who are creative, quick-thinking storytellers, rather than detail-oriented artists. The game has offers really interesting possibilies, though, as a storytelling exercise for comic creators who are trying to hone their craft. Even if you're not playing with friends, you could run through the game much like writers use writing prompts.

The Kickstarter ends Monday Mayy 25th, and has a goal of $25,000, and is more than halfway there at the time of this writing. There are some interesting stretch goals, and a ton of art-related rewards, including stickers, posters, and original comics.

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