This is THE SPORTS MANGA we’ve been wanting to launch since starting Saturday AM back in 2013 and the fast-paced, thrilling tale is complimented by the INCREDIBLE ART of New York up and comer, JR De Bard!
We 1st met JR at ANIMENYC in 2017 and were incredibly impressed with his talent (his original comic concept was straight shonen awesomeness), professionalism, and authentic positive vibe. In the world of comics, EGO is rampant but JR is truly one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet - which is odd when you consider how gritty and tough his series is. An MMA-based tale regarding a young Puerto Rican fighter, UNDERGROUND is the perfect Saturday PM title.
So, we wanted to know what were his biggest influences to crafting his 1st series?
BAKI THE GRAPPLER
Grappler Baki (Japanese: グラップラー刃牙 Hepburn: Gurappurā Baki), known as Baki the Grappler in North America, is a manga series written and illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki. The story follows teenager Baki Hanma as he trains and tests his fighting skills against a variety of different opponents in deadly, no rules hand-to-hand combat.
Vagabond (Japanese: バガボンド Hepburn: Bagabondo) is a Japanese epic martial arts manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. It portrays a fictionalized account of the life of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, based on Eiji Yoshikawa's novel Musashi.
HAJIME NO IPPO
Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩, lit. "The First Step") is a Japanese boxing manga series written and illustrated by George Morikawa. It follows the story of high school student Makunouchi Ippo, as he begins his career in boxing and over time obtains many titles and defeats various opponents.
Tekken (Japanese: 鉄拳, "Iron Fist") is a Japanese media franchise centered on a series of fighting video and arcade games developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.
The main games in the series follow the events of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, hosted by the Mishima Zaibatsu, where players control a plethora of characters to win the tournament and gain control of the company; the conflict between the Mishima family serves as the main focus of the series' plot, while players explore other characters' motivations in aiming to control the Zaibatsu.