Comic Review: Masamune Shirow’s Orion

Masamune Shirow’s Orion
Trade Paperback | Kindle Edition
Story and Illustrations by Masamune Shirow
Translation by Frederick Schodt and Toren Smith (Studio Proteus)
Lettering by Tom Orzechowski, Molly Kiely, Susie Lee (Studio Proteus)
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 2008 (4th Edition)
Cover Price: $17.95

Picture in your mind a universe in which magic and science are one and the same, in which interstellar travel is accomplished with incantations through the art of “psycho-science;” where power is measured in terms of “psychs.” In the Yamata People’s Empire, a strange mix of Tantric Buddhism, Shinto mythology, Cthulhu mythos and varied Eastern philosophies combine into one.

The empire, an offshoot of the Greater Galactic Empire in the Orion galaxy, is about to embark upon its greatest feat: Collecting, gathering, and destroying all of the negative karma in the galaxy. Welcome to the wacky, mind-blowing narrative that is Masamune Shirow‘s Orion.

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Manga Review: Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind
Story and Illustrations by Hayao Miyazaki
Translation by David Lewis & Toren Smith
Lettering & Retouch by Tom Orzechowski
Viz Media
Release Date: November 6, 2012 (Hardcover, Box Set)

Tackling a review of the manga version of Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind is an ambitious undertaking for any writer, but especially this one, given my love of Hayao Miyazaki‘s entire catalogue, especially his lesser-known efforts as a mangaka. The manga’s storyline is a lot more complex than that presented in the feature-length film version. The characters are deeper and Miyazaki is allowed to give full rein to the themes that are a constant in all of his films.

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