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‘Motorcycle Samurai: Volume 1’ – TPB Review

Life is expositions hurled at sunsets.

Chris Sheridan has decided to take one cool thing (motorcycles) and marry them to another cool thing (samurai), making a third slightly more cool thing than both separately could be.  Landing his creations somewhere between the worlds of Kirasowa, Samurai Jack, and Aeon Flux, he makes an art form of the long, slow draws that classic westerns and samurai flicks from the ’70s excelled at.

The best thing about those older movies was the tension.  In any film, it seemed that there were thousands of ways to end up dead, and our hero often ignored the danger through sheer grit and determination.  That mix has been captured here brilliantly and makes for the moments when the stillness tips into action all the more satisfying.  There’s a lot of instant gratification in today’s world, especially in all the ways we intake media, so to see someone willing to draw on that taut vibration that precedes action is pretty cool and, unfortunately, unique among some of today’s writers.  Sheridan has found the zen-like balance that Genndy Tartakovsky was able to resurrect, however briefly, years ago and bring it to the fore once again.  There’s incredible humor and passion tucked into the long, brooding wonderings of the characters within, and it allows any change in pace to spectacularly land a punch or punchline.  Comedy is an unexpected shift in tempo, and Sheridan is very, very skilled at it.

The artwork in his work is really good, mimicking old-school, wide long shots mixed with extreme close ups interspersed with rapid and violent action.  This is a creator who has full intention behind every line on the page.  The atmosphere is the selling point here, and if you buy in, you’ll be in for a helluva ride.

Anybody who loves a tale full of wit and betrayal laced with great, classic stylings in a modern format will get a satisfying read out of this volume over and over again.  From hooded captives to town bosses, this has everything a slow-paced fan could hope for.

Share the stories that move you.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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