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Hollowspine

I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Sumi

The Art of Vagabond: Sumi - Takehiko Inoue

In the beginning there was blackness, then there was blood. 

 

If I were writing a story to accompany this art book, that's how it would start.

 

Of course there is no story here, the occasional exploding word bubble remains empty.  However, the art speaks for itself.  Peaceful green scenes are rare in this world of black and white ink splattered here and there with bright red blood, but interspersed between desperate struggles, battlefields empty except for the dead and frightening oni are scenes of fishing, laughing, characters smiling (without blood on their faces even!) and playing in the snow.

 

Some pages concentrate on the intricate crosshatched details of scenery.  Others focus on faces, crying, screaming, smiling, laughing.  Despair, coy, fear and frustration, from the very young to the incredibly old, fresh faced or beaten and bloody.   This would be a great resource for those studying art in any form.

 

The author of the Vagabond series, where these characters originate.  The series itself is based on the (fictionalized) life of famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi.  If you liked Lone Wolf and Cub, you'll probably like Vagabond.