|Possible cover for Part 2, vol 1|
This is the basic historical back-drop story for L.R.S, Kerwin Kendell Williamson's comic mini-series. In 3 villages on the island of Kyushu a strange sickness begins killing all males between the ages of 16-40, with signs of it spreading throughout the area. Advised by Shinto priests that the sickness is unnatural Lord Shimazu Mitsuhisa (Satsuma province) dispatches his two best agents, Imisu and Hidesato to investigate.
The two soon realize an underground cult is behind the sickness, but this is only a part of something beyond the both of them. "At various times the bakufu has had to call upon strange and extraordinary individuals, to come to it's defense" (Hattori Hanzo). The 2nd part picks up as Imisu (female character, from Iga) goes to meet Hidesato at the dead tree path. From there they both travel to Kyodo village to start the investigating.
I wanted to create a story based in reality with strong elements of magic, science, and dramatic action. A more adult story-line not unlike Blade of the Immortal, Lucifer, Hellboy, or "City of walls". Even as a kid the world of feudal Japan was exciting. Something about the Samurai and their shadowy counter-part (The men &women of Iga), the Martial arts philosophy, it struck a cord in me like many others. Before I took up Painting and film photography, the comic book medium and illustration was my life. Having grown up reading them and various other kinds of stories - Macbeth, Bram stokers Dracula, The picture of Dorian Gray - I've always had the urge to create worlds and characters doing extraordinary things. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got to it.
Having a natural love of history made the research aspect fun, but I tried not to get too deep into it. Historically the Ninja("men & women of Iga")did exist, but there is very little info to be found. They kept their secrets well, and almost never failed to complete their mission. The Samurai of course, was much easier to research. I started with the Basics, drawing as much of their world a possible, deciding on the amount of main characters, and then the way the story would be told. After that, drawing the characters as much as possible, creating variations of their faces, clothes, etc.
When I started all this I had little training in creating comic books, but I was inspired by my good friend Abede Lovelace(www.cityofwalls.com). So I began constructing what would be the story while beefing up my skills and doing as much research as possible on comics, writing, laying out of panels, inking, etc. It was hell, but oddly enough "...hell doesn't always look like hell, on a good day hell can look a lot like L.A..." (from the movie "Playing God"), N.Y.C, Tokyo, Skopje.
Despite training, part one had problems. However not in artistic terms, but in spelling mistakes, having to hand write the word balloons, the cover lay-out should have been better. Doing the work of 5 different people by yourself, limited budget, etc. Still it was well received and some money was made, but more importantly, readers liked the look of the art, subject matter and the way the story was told. Great feed back to make the second part better. Look for it this fall everywhere where it can be. "Art is the reason, art is the way". Article by K.K.W
|Page #1 L.R.S-vol 1|
|Page #2 L.R.S, vol 1|
|Page #3 L.R.S, vol 1|
|Fujiwara Hidesato, ronin for|
hire. The name Hidesato comes
from a mythical warrior who killed a monster
and was rewarded with a bag of rice
that was always filled.
|Momochi Imisu, a ninja from Iga|
province. Most women were trained
for only seduction and spying, only a few
were ever trained for combat & spiritual investigation.
Trained by the Koga Ninja's, one of the most
feared clans in their time.