The Monkey King Volume 1 (v. 1)

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9781593073046: The Monkey King Volume 1 (v. 1)
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Based on the 16th century Chinese fantasy adventure classic, Journey to the West (also the inspiration for Dragon Ball!) Katsuya Terada's take on the legend of the Monkey King in a savage, lusty saga that The Portland Tribune calls "a Buddhist version of Conan the Barbarian." He raised holy hell as the baddest ape in Ancient China... until the Lord Buddha himself dropped a mountain on him! Now the Monkey King will get his parole with one condition - he must escort a Buddhist nun through the demon-haunted wastes of the Silk Road on an impossible quest: reach India and bring back a collection of sacred scrolls!

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In his editor-adaptor's afterword, Carl Gustav Horn notes the huge, continuing influence of the anonymous Chinese novel Journey to the West (1590), a fantasy based in the seventh--century renewal of Buddhism through one Chinese monk's pilgrimage to India. He cites several recent appropriations, of which Terada's 1995 work, to be complete in English in three volumes, is the most considerable. In the Journey, a warrior monkey or ape, a bound and gagged Buddhist nun, a pig, and the severed head of a cannibal relentlessly press forward to India, beset at every turn by demons the monkey invariably defeats. Yet the ape seems eager to combat the Buddha himself, though why and how remain unclear as this volume ends. Terada presents one violent encounter per chapter, and transitions be damned. His artwork--every page is painted--explodes with energy, overflows with baroque lineation and voluptuous figuration, exploits color like a chameleon with multiple personality disorder. He doesn't shrink from creating panels that demand scrutiny, nor from injecting sex, never gratuitously, into the spectacular proceedings. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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