April 5, 2011

A Modern Take on Medieval Times

One of  great things about my escapades at C2E2 was getting to play catchup with Onrie Konpan, who writes Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender. Although I had already bought issue # 3 (which was conveniently gathering dust in the to-be-read pile), I purchased another (which he graciously signed), and promised to write a review once I read it.

And quite frankly, like the previous two issues, it's a well-written, quite enjoyable read.
The centerpiece of issue #3 is a naval battle, and quite frankly, it's one of the better, more action-filled issues that I've read in awhile. (Are you reading this, Mr. Chris Sims? You should be). To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any other comics dealing with a 13th century Korean general fighting off Japanese invaders. And to make a relatively esoteric subject not only come alive, but be rather riveting and impatient for the next issue? Credit goes to Konpan's scripting - yes, it can be a little jarring to read contemporary dialogue in a medieval setting, but after three issues, it becomes much easier to take.

And as always, Giovanni Timpano's art and Adrianna De Los Santos' coloring make this book one of the most pleasant to look at as well. It straddles the line between being overly reverential towards the period and being too modern to break the spell. Kompan's use of actual journal entries from the period actually gets accented by the art - in short, this is one comic that is really worth hunting down and finding.

I also have to say that I want to take back my comments wishing that an independent would pick this up - mostly because, given the franchise-driven nature of modern comics, a tale as unique as this would get watered down. (I can only imagine Dynamite Entertainment thinking this would make some really unusual time travel mashup crossover with the Green Hornet. And I hate myself for typing that last sentence).

By going the strictly indie route, this unique book has a chance to breathe. There's no gimmick, no multiversal crossover, no big events....save for those that have already happened. It's the kind of book that makes me glad I'm a comics fan, and also has me the first in line to buy the trade to see how the story hangs together.

Do whatever you have to in order to buy and read this book. You will definitely thank me for the privilege.

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