More of an all-round art/design house than solely a manga studio, VK-UK is the base of independent artist Niki Hunter. VK-UK, short for Visual Kei (meaning "visual style") in the UK, was a concept spawned from the influence of Japanese music and street fashion trends on Niki's own creative work. In 2004 she started creating a premise and a range of characters which sum up the ethos of VK-UK, with the intent of developing the idea into a whole design 'brand', along the lines of Sanrio's 'Hello Kitty' and the Korean 'Pucca'. VK-UK is still a growing entity but to date the VK-UK name has been put to a range of merchandise like T-shirts, badges and art prints as well as a developing comic series - the first 'teaser' strip of which featured in Sweatdrop Studios' 'Sugardrops' anthology.
Niki's partner-in-crime on VK-UK is her husband Chris - while not an artist as such he is an ideas man with a good creative eye for detail (his day job being a technical design office manager). His mind is an abundant source of off-the-wall story ideas and he also caters for VK-UK's current website needs, being self-taught in the ways of HTML.
Niki Hunter has been working in commercial art fields for around 15 years at the time of writing. She has always been something of a specialist in manga/anime style artwork, having been hooked on Japanese animation even as a child of the 80's. Having said that she is also a highly versatile artist able to adapt to virtually any style required of her. Taking on paid art commisssions as young as the age of 14, her professional client list includes UK games developer giant Climax Group, Microsoft, Codotech/Namco, ADV and J-rock artists JO:YA and Duel Jewel.
Prior to the founding of VK-UK, in around 2001 Niki worked on a web-manga called 'Honou To Hyoushou' (roughly translating as 'fire and ice'), about a budding group of indie J-rockers who are not all they seem. Due to heavy work commitments the HTH comic remains unfinished, yet it still manages to bring in new fans even to this day. What there is of Honou To Hyoushou is currently still available to view at Psychommunity.co.uk
Until recently Niki was also a member of Sweatdrop Studios, having contributed to two of their anthologies - Sugardrops and Pink is for Girls.
Another outlet for Niki's manga work has been with US-based yaoi/slash fiction label Juxtapose Fantasy - http://www.juxtaposefantasy.net
All images and artwork are copyright of their respective owners, UKMANGAXL and all written reviews and are © Wayne Hallows 2006 - 2018