Sunday, March 6

Book For Barter

Hai's and Jason DeAngelis' Blade for Barter.

I woke up today with a pleasant surprise- a package arrived from ol' Hai. I opened it to find a brand-spankin' new copy of Blade for Barter, one of the first wave of new manga from Seven Seas Publishing.
The book is about the adventures of Ryunosuke Washington, a samurai-for-hire living in New Edo, a city which appears to be a mix of New York and Ancient Japan. We follow Ryu as he tries to walk the straight-and-narrow path in a world gone crazy, clashing with baddies like the corrupt Samurai Union, the Mafuza (Mafia-Yakuza?) and a Mad Overlord named Lord Hoseki. The series is written by Jason DeAngelis with art by Hai.

The book looks like a load of fun, with Hai's clean lines resulting in pages that are light and cartoony, but at times maddeningly detailed and full like something you'd see from Larry Alcala's Slice of Life cartoons. It kinda gives me the impression of how Sergio Aragones' Groo would look done in manga. Cool stuff.

It's a really slick first-release from Seven Seas, and it shows how this new publisher has their act together. They're ready to take on the biggie Tokyo Pop. I'm pretty excited to see what they come up with next. Good work, Hai!

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