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Soul of a Samurai
(Will Dixon, 2003-2004)
™ and © Will Dixon
When mourning the lack of samurai manga, who would have thought that the slack would be taken up by an American artist-writer — or that he would do so well emulating the genre’s storytelling style and setting.
This seems like an honest attempt at a samurai story that avoids both the out-and-out fantasy martial arts of role-playing games and existential hack ’n’ slash of Blade of the Immortal. Dixon takes great pains to distinguish Soul of the Samurai, from its compact-sized format to its admittedly minimalist art (short on backgrounds, big on contemplative faces and subtle shifts in mood) and innovative coloring, which makes the most of less.
The bulk of the art is rendered in restrained earth tones, which allows the moments of violence to explode off the page. OK, it’s no Lone Wolf and Cub, but it’s not Samurai Penguin, either.
— S.A. Bennett
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