Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Motorcycle Samurai Volume One: A Fiery Demise

The Motorcycle Samurai is a really fun and very cool comic. It originally was published as a guided view native comic, which is a digital format where the reader clicks through panels in a way that makes word balloons and images move. So the story progresses more like a cartoon, in a way, though it still has the unique qualities of being a comic. This tale is one of the best I have seen, and it uses the format to great advantage.
The story is a familiar one to fans of spaghetti westerns, only set in a post-apocalyptic land. It's about a bounty hunter, a mysterious prisoner, a crooked town boss, a washed-up former soldier who's sheriff, hired guns, showdowns in the street, and double crosses galore. But it is very artfully told, with great action flourishes and character designs. The main character is the titular motorcycle samurai, The White Bolt, who never once takes off her helmet, even when she is whupping up on her foes.
Of course, she has a plan to deal with the crazy cast of adversaries she encounters. And she has a hidden agenda of her own, which drives the plot and makes for good suspense for what will come next. And like I said, I was enchanted with the digital version and I think interested readers should seek it out, but the printed version was also very compelling and suited the story just fine.

All of these post-apocalyptic antics are the product of Chris Sheridan. His art style is a bit cartoonish and reminiscent of Jeff Lemire's by way of Chuck Jones and John Kricfalusi. With his background in design and animation, he brings much to the table in terms of telling an interesting and intriguing story that is visually striking. He is currently working on the series Spacebat for Thrillbent Comics, and he speaks more about his work on The Motorcycle Samurai and its transition to print in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Regan Lorie preferred the digital version but concluded, "Motorcycle Samurai in print form is still successful in conveying the gritty, more-fun- than-Mad-Max spirit of its previous incarnation." James Anders II called it "top notch work that deserves praise." Andy Shaw wrote that the book "has a chaotic beauty to it" and "thoroughly recommended" it.

The Motorcycle Samurai, Volume One: A Fiery Demise was published by Top Shelf, and they provide a preview and much more here

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