Friday, June 7, 2013
Lei Li: The Rage of the Tiger #1 and #2
By Ertito Montana
I'm generally a pretty big fan of "fighting fiction" as I call it. I've read a lot of super hero comics, played a lot of video games where I shoot (or otherwise fight) other people/things, and enjoy watching action films. One style of action film I enjoy quite a bit are the ones that come out of Hong Kong and China. I've enjoyed these for years, and have watched a bunch in the last month. (Also, Vampire Warriors is kind of hilariously terrible.)
Even when they're terrible I kind of enjoy them for existing in a world completely unlike reality. The only people who exist are people who can fight, and they fight all the time! And they're so serious about it, as though who is the better fighter is the only thing that's important in the world.
I've also read all 28 volumes of Lone Wolf and Cub (someday I want to go back and find out exactly how many people Ogami Ittō kills throughout the series), a lot of fighting manga, and even some manhua from China. (You can see some of the art from Chinese language manhua I've cut up in the ATCs I've made.)
Anyway, I dug this comic by Montana that is apparently an adaptation of a screenplay by Ni Kuang (I couldn't figure out if it was based on an actual movie). It features people getting chopped in half, all out fighting action, people who feel the need to fight just upon meeting someone they've heard is good at fighting, and all the ridiculous miscommunications and misunderstandings that mean that they _have_ to fight. Plus the dialogue uses words like "pusillanimous".
I liked the stylized perspectives and askew proportions of the characters that feature in Montana's art quite a bit. The hand drawn borders (none of which are completely straight), and the awesome sound effects really add to the style of art that's used. In fact, the only real problem I have with this comic is that it was printed so small! I wish the art was bigger so that I could appreciate it more.
If you're a fan of Hong Kong action films and samurai comics you'll probably get a kick out of Lei Li: The Rage of the Tiger. I want to know what happens next!