I work on a couple of indie comics; I’d say each is a little piece of me, each with its own life. This is sort of a dark reflection of my love of anime and bastardised Japanese/Asian culture.
3 Ring Samurai is a diesel-punk clown samurai revenge story. It’s basically like Caine in Kung Fu if he was a clown and… err a samurai and not a Buddhist monk… or bald..or a clown??
Pookie is left for dead and discovered on a pile of trash by some scavenger kids who with the help of their creepy grandpa nurse him back to health so he can begin his long road to revenge and trying to find some shoes that fit.
It’s based in a world a kin to fallout, but instead of the brotherhood of steel, an order out of the military applying Knightly codes to a post apocalyptic world to bring order out of chaos, the focus is on a group applying a circus code on the wastelands bringing entertainment and blood to the wastes.
The circus is like a travelling Show-gunate (get it? Right yeah killing myself, I’ll stop, just unsee that) bringing justice, a literal bread and circus circus, where criminals are put to death by the code of the circus entertainers trained to murder in really interesting ways.
But teh’applecart has been upset and Pookie has been cast out, accused of a heinous crime and now he’s to be hunted by his ex-brothers in arms for a crime he may or may not have committed.
Terrible overview over, this comic came about when I was trawling those hapless comic sites on facebook, where people huddle around the digital equivalent of a trashcan fire trying to keep their creativity warm while working for a living as a barista giving out double mocha handjobs or whatever.
So I squeezed my way around the garbage fire and threw out a few of my short stories and some of them hit home and I caught the attention of Mike (Now Ike, there was already a Mike Golden) with a weird clown story of my own about sexy killer clowns and electric kitchen knives and menstrual blood and that’s enough of that.
We bumped into each other again in a grindhouse style facebook group talking about commissioning some little grindhouse stories that never got off the ground (as is the case with most indie shorts) and in a few other debilitatingly depressing comic groups where people try to rub their creative spark between their fat middle age thighs hoping it’ll catch fire and pimply teens with ‘gender issues’ write the most banal tripe that would turn a donkey to Braille.
So of course as in love with me as Mike was (;)) he jumped at the chance to work with me again at which point, I was like, ‘Why don’t we just do our own thing?’ since we were both tired of being let down by the flakes of facebook. We connected over a similar work ethic and a love of all things martial arts. Him being into those fancy named Filipino arts with sticks and sharp sticks flailing about and me with my taekwondo and kung fu and fencing for all those years.
We thought we could put something together that would blend post apocalyptic punk tongue in cheek fun and classic kung fu movies and samurai flicks into one odd package.
So I set forth on a journey of rediscovery, I’d done kung fu for a number of years (4 to be exact) and taekwondo since I was about 12 but oddly I was never that into martial arts movies. The only one at the time I watched more than once was Romeo must die and that’s only because it came with our first dvd player so it was the only one we had.
But maybe a year or two ago, I started getting into obscure 90’s rap for some reason and I find a nice niche in the Wu Tang Clan which lead to a fascination with the RZA, being a fan of some of his scores from movies like ‘Ghost Dog’. I felt obliged to watch his attempt at a classic kung fu movie ‘The man with the iron fists’.
Needless to say it was fucking atrocious, and I never want to see a movie with Russell Crowe in it ever again. But I fell in love with the style and I wanted to explore that more. So I started watching movies like ‘Fist of the white lotus’ and ‘Five Deadly Venoms’ and my personal favourite ’36th Chamber of Shaolin’ (Or anything thing with Gordon Liu in it tbf) and I couldn’t get enough. The style, the fights, the minimal yet effective stories.
Then I watched ‘Kung Fu’ the tv show with David Carradine playing Caine the stoic shaolin monk and it was sealed. That’s not to say that I don’t see why it was cancelled, the last two seasons are awful but I don’t blame the show for that. It was made in the wrong time I think, each episode was designed to be easily consumable on its own, like a mini movie for the purpose of reruns, so you could just watch a random episode and enjoy it without having to know the context leading up to that point (Whereas today you have the internet and netflix so you can have a flowing story and watch the episodes in order to keep up with a consistent plot). And because of that it lost its grasp on a main plot and then when it tried to rekindle that, it fumbled it horrible.
But the first season I found spellbinding and I realise if I keep going on about it, this blog is going to be three times as long as it has to be. So I’ll wrap it up by just saying, I found every episode of the first season emblematic of everything I want to do with 3 Ring; Punchy and fun and enigmatic, with a strong mysterious story that clings to a tight back story slowly unfolding episode to episode filling out the character of the hero and propelling the story forward in a way that keeps the reader/watcher coming back for more.
that keeps readers wanting more and more.