Pages from my short comic story 'Peace Cloud', which will be included in the next issue of the comics anthology 'Decadence', issue #8- Futures Weapons.
Look out for the Decadence stand at the MCM Expo in London, the end of this month.
For the scenes of physical struggle, depicted in my 'Peace Cloud' comic strip, I looked at Utagawa Kuniyoshi'd print illustrations for the fourteenth century Chinese Novel 'Stories of the Water Margin'.
The novel tells the story of a legendary criminal organisation that fought against corrupt officials and, who's members were seen as a kind of peoples' heroes. The 108 'honorable outlaws' that made up the gang were from all walks of life and, often, once respected officials that had been banished out of the rigid feudal society of the time. Talented individuals are sometimes persuaded to join the gang by blackmail or by the members eliminating obstacles to them joining- including family members and lovers.
Kuniyoshi began the prints series in the 1820's. The illustrations depict some of the 108 outlaws written about in the novel. Each villain had a special talent or was capable of super human abilities.
I particularly like the expressive way in which the gesture of the figures in Kunyoshi's prints seems to impose on the anatomy of the characters; like the force of the action distorts the physical. The general composition often reflects the tension of the movement.
The character depicted in this print is Kojoso Jisen, also known as "flea on a drum"; a common thief of dogs and chikens, but who has the super human ability to jump amazing heights.
*You can now view the whole 'Peace Cloud' Strip on my flickr.