In the meantime, a much more faithful adaptation has been put out by Dark Horse Comics.
The tale of the forty-seven ronin is based on a real-life incident, and considered one of the classic examples of samurai honor and sacrifice. If you have not read or seen one of the adaptaions before, SPOILERS follow.
Two lords from the countryside were summoned up to visit the shogun's court in Edo in 1701. They were to work with an etiquette master, Lord Kira, to learn the proper behavior. Unfortunately, Kira was a jerk, and instead of teaching them, spent his time insulting and provoking the visitors. One lord's head retainer did some digging, found out Lord Kira was greedy, and successfully bribed him. But Lord Asano's head retainer was incompetent, so his abuse continued. Finally, Asano snapped and struck Kira.
Although this was not fatal, drawing a weapon at all in Edo Castle was a death penalty offense. Asano was ordered to commit ritual suicide, and his holdings were confiscated. His warriors were immediately made ronin (masterless samurai) and ordered by the shogun not to seek revenge.
Forty-seven of the ronin decided to seek revenge for their lord's death despite the order, led by a man named Oishi. Knowing that Kira would be expecting this, and that he had in fact requested extra bodyguards from a powerful relative, the ronin decided to lay low for a while. They went about their lives as though they had lost the will to fight back, and Oishi in particular managed to simulate a descent into shameful alcoholism.
A man from Satsuma went so far as to berate Oishi in the street and spit on him for conduct unbecoming a samurai. When Lord Kira heard that Oishi had just taken this abuse, he began to relax and sent back many of the bodyguards.
After a year, Oishi figured that Kira was off-guard, and summoned the rest of the ronin.
( Four pages from the final issue )
The book giveaway at my blog ends tomorrow, 9/30/13! http://www.skjam.com
Your thoughts and comments?
I would recommend checking out this series! Unless perhaps you're rather squeamish; then don't. As the title would imply, there are corpses--and while it doesn't deliver grossness or gore for its own sake, it doesn't shy away from showing the various things that can happen to a body. There's not much of that in the scans below, but I'm gonna put not safe for work tags on here anyway.
But what is a corpse delivery service, you ask, impatient rhetorical voice that only I can hear? Also, I should burn things, you say? Well, first things first.
( Mysteries await you below this cut )
( Read more... )
Another pick for Outside the Big Two Week is this title, from Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case. Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is a non-fiction graphic novel that deals with the serial killer Gary Ridgeway, who was convicted of killing at least 49 women in Washington during the 1980s and 90s and confessed to killing over double that number.
Usually this wouldn't be a book I would have rushed to pick up. However, good word of mouth in my local comic store and a number of recommendations led me to buy the graphic novel. I was expecting a police procedural, sensationalized for comic form, but in fact, the graphic novel is some way from that. The book focuses on detective Tom Jensen, who worked on the case for over twenty years, and happens to be the author's father.
It is not a direct story about the hunt or the actual killings but a more psychological study of his father's experiences, both during the hunt for the killer and the interrogations that took place once Ridgeway had been caught. In a plea bargain, Ridgeway avoided the death sentence by agreeing to cooperate with police to locate all the bodies of his victims and Jensen was involved in these interviews, as well as the investigation. Its this personal connection that ensures that the book doesn't have a ghoulish obsession with what's one of most horrific cases of our times. Instead it's a thoughtful, compelling and deeply chilling case study of the banality of evil and how that evil can pervade through the lives of everyone it touches.
( Read more... )
Some pages from the latest stand alone tale, issue #2, as the investigative team finds something worse than smart vampires in the Picken County backwood hills.
Question: what do you get when you mix Lovercraftian mushrooms spores and let them grow in the fertile and never dying flesh of a vampire?
( Sploosh. )