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Blacktip Island Weather

s46

Sunday, January 24, 2021
Temperature: 78
Humidity 66%
Precipitation – Incoming

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Blacktip Island Artist Creates Scuba-Themed Underwater Manga

manga

One of the opening panels of Blacktip artist Jackie Wrasse’s just-released, island-themed manga, Manga, B.I. (image courtesy of Niabot)


 

A Blacktip Island artist this week announced the publication of a scuba-themed manga graphic novel set on the Caribbean island and its reefs.

“I wanted to take the manga concept somewhere it had never been,” resident Jackie Wrasse said. “It’s styled on the classic Japanese graphic novels, but set largely underwater in the tropics. Think Magnum, P.I.  meets a cynical seinen storyline. I’m calling it ‘Manga, B.I.’

“It riffs a little on Lone Wolf and Cub—it’s about an older divemaster and her young protégé seeking revenge on the resort owners who unfairly fired them,” Wrasse said. “They’re basically divemaster-ronins running around attacking dive staffs, frightening tourists and sabotaging dive boats in an effort to get at their enemies.”

Criticism has been largely positive.

“It’s a fresh take on the manga genre, with great narrative and artwork, and some Hawaiian shirts thrown in,” Tiperon University-Blacktip literature professor Christina Tome said. “Most of the action’s either underwater or on dive boats and docks. Like any seinen, it has some pretty graphic violence, with underwater knife fights and speargun shootouts and flying machetes.

“It’s also a big-time revenge drama, with the person seeking revenge getting harmed far more than the people they’re seeking revenge on,” Tome said. “The tension builds with the pair hiding out, trying to get close to the owners, the owners hiring security to keep them at bay, and so on. It’s a great addition to Blacktip’s literary tradition. That’s not saying much, but still.”

Local retailers are eagerly awaiting the book’s release.

“I’ve got people lined up asking about when they can get a copy,” island store owner Peachy Bottoms said. “And Doris Blenny at the Heritage House says the same thing’s happening over there. You wouldn’t think folks on this island would be so excited about a book. This one is mostly pictures, though.”

Wrasse said she is working on the book’s next edition.

“Mangas can go on for 70, 80 volumes, so I have plenty of room to expand the story,” she said. “I may even have the plot branch out to other islands as the divemaster duo hunts down all the members of the owner’s family. I have plans for a scratch-and-sniff version, too.”

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It’s Wednesday, right? Right?

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Blacktip Island weather

s46

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Temperature: 79

Humidity 67%

Precipitation – Soon come

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Blacktip Island Sports Enthusiasts Form Kendo Club

kendo club

Gage Hoase, left, and Angela Fisher square off during the first meeting of the newly-formed Blacktip Island kendo club Wednesday afternoon (photo courtesy of Harald Hofer)


 

A group of sporting enthusiasts Wednesday announced they have created Blacktip Island’s first kendo club, hoping the Japanese sword-based martial art will give islanders a safe way to vent their frustrations.

“It started with James Conlee and Dermott Bottoms, drunk as skunks, whacking each other with broomsticks outside the Ballyhoo,” club president Angela Fisher said. “We figured there’s no way to stop this kind of thing, so we might as well make it safer and offer training.

“Got the basics off internet videos, and Eagle Ray Cove’s letting us use their deck, which is handy, since their bar’s right there for post-practice drinks,” Fisher said. “We tell everybody to bring their own broomsticks, plus bicycle helmets, leather gloves and whatever body armor they can scrape together and we walk ‘em through the basics.”

Participants say the first class was a success.

“People on the island are wound pretty tight, being confined for so long, so this is a great way to let off steam safely,” Gage Hoase said. “It was pretty straightforward—they showed us some stances and attacks and parries, then let us go at it.

“At first, Joey Pompano went all Luke Skywalker and whacked me hard,” Hoase said. “Good thing I had that plastic garbage can lid strapped to my chest. I got him back, though, with a katsugi-waza upside the head that laid him out flat. It was great fun!”

Some questioned the benefits of the club.

“All I know is we got a broom shortage now, with everyone sawing off the handles to use as samurai swords,” Chrissy Graysby said. “Lots of places going unswept lately, and dust and leaves are piling up everywhere. I got my broom locked up inside where nobody can get at it.

“Not sure about the wisdom of it, either, big-picture wise,” Graysby said. “Folks get riled up and drunk, and you’re gonna give ‘em sticks to whack each other with? Me, I’m steering clear of that nonsense.”

Others saw the activity as a business opportunity.

“I’m completely sold out of brooms and helmets,” Blacktip Island store owner Peachy Bottoms said. “I have two cases of each coming tomorrow to meet the demand. Plastic rubbish bins are flying off the shelves, too, but I had a ton of those in the back room.”

Some participants experienced unexpected secondary benefits.

“Angela said to wear baggy clothes, and the only thing I had was the SpongeBob jammies my mom sent me for Christmas,” Dermott Bottoms said. “I don’t wear pajamas, and was gonna throw ‘em out, but now I got a use for ‘em.

“Lee Helm made fun of ‘em, so I whacked him good,” Bottoms said. “He won’t do that again, laughing at something my mamma gave me.”

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Wednesday! Dolphin time!

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Blacktip Island Weather

Sunday, January 10

Sunday, January 10, 2021
Temperature: 81
Humidity 68%
Precipitation – None

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Wednesday!

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Blacktip Island Weather

Sunday, January 3

Sunday, January 3, 2021
Temperature: 79
Humidity 66%
Precipitation – Not today

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Blacktip Island Plans ‘Torch 2020’ New Year’s Day Bonfire

2020 community bonfire

Diddley’s Landing public pier will be the site of Blacktip Island’s New Year’s ‘Torch 2020’ bonfire celebrating the arrival of 2021 Friday night. (photo courtesy of Whitey Bottoms)


 

Blacktip Island community organizers are prepping for Friday night’s ‘Torch 2020’ bonfire at Diddley’s Landing to celebrate the end of the previous year.

“We talked about burning sage to chase off 2020’s negative energy, but there’s not enough sage on this island for that,” mayor Jack Cobia said. “Instead, we’re asking everybody on the island to bring anything 2020-related and chuck it on the biggest bonfire in Blacktip history.

“We went around and collected all the 2020 phone books to use as fire starter,” Cobia said. “We’re gonna do everything we can to burn away the ugliness of last year, literally and figuratively. It’s our way, as a community, to say, ‘F-U’ to that damn 2020 and make sure there’s no residual negativity in 2021.”

Organizers emphasized the all-inclusive nature of the event.

“We’ll light the fire right after sundown so kiddos can join in before they have to go to bed,” chamber of commerce president Whitey Bottoms said. “The fire’s open for everyone, and anything flammable is welcome. Have something that reminds you of 2020? Bring it. Burn it. We’ll all cheer.”

Others stressed the event’s festive nature.

“This isn’t some end-of-the-year bitch fest,” Catalina Luxfer said. “It’s a celebration of bad things going away and good things looming on the horizon. There’ll be music and food, and all the island bars have donated booze, so there’s free drinks for everyone who attends.

“The idea’s to get the psyches of the entire island focused on this,” Luxfer said. “The more people who participate, the better chance we have to generate positive vibes for 2021.”

Officials noted the safety measures in place.

“Sure, having a giant bonfire and free alcohol seems like a recipe for disaster,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “But they’ve set it up on the public pier, with water on three sides, so there’s low risk of it spreading to vegetation, and there’s plenty of room for spectators without crowding. We’ll try to keep folks upwind if anything plastic gets thrown on. And when it’s over, we’ll bulldoze the ashes into the sea.

“We’ve also stipulated the drink tables be set up far from the fire itself, especially the ones with the high-proof spirits,” Marquette said. “Open-container laws will be suspended at the pier for the duration of the fire. Booze was the only thing that’s kept this 2020 shit-show together, so, really, there was no way to exclude it.”

Officials were unsure how large the fire will be or how long it will burn.

“With the way this year’s gone, if everyone brings everything that sparks bad memories, this could be a multi-day affair,” Cobia said. “Folks are welcome to bring sleeping bags and tents and what have you.

“At dusk, Jerrod’ll say a few appropriate words before he’s had too much to drink,” Cobia said. “And Rafe’s promised to turn a blind eye to any interpersonal shenanigans going on. It’s a celebration, after all.”

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