Qwan

    (Tokyopop, 2005-2007)
™ and © 2003 Aki Shimizu
graphic novel; read right to left; b&w

In ancient China, Chikei, a wandering scoundrel so lowdown he steals food offerings from roadside shrines, has the dubious fortune of meeting Qwan. He’s a strange and powerful boy who’s suffering from amnesia but claims he comes from heaven. Though they don’t get along, Chikei sees easy money when he learns the boy can literally devour demons. Shaga—a practical, warm–hearted prostitute who knows more than she’s saying about Qwan’s origins—sends them on a quest to find the Essential Arts of Peace scroll which can answer all his questions. The only trouble is that it’s hidden in the palace of the Emperor. Convention demands that Qwan have a animal familiar, so he has Teikou, a flying pig the size of a hamster that has no head (hands–down winning it the title of most disturbing magical pet of the year). Shelves are groaning under the weight of dozens of historical Asia fantasies, but, with stunning art, likable characters, and unexpected twists, this one stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

— S.A. Bennett

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#1

  3/1/2005
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#2

  7/1/2005
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#3

  12/1/2005
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#4

  5/1/2007
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