JUST JOSHING: Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender

History comics are a mixed bag usually. Sometimes they tend to be dry, as we’re recounting events over say telling a story of events. Sometimes we tell stories about the events. Classic Literature like the Illiad or something like George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman novels do this. Usually, I find the latter the best kind of stories. People can relate to the people involved in these kinds of stories, and you can convey the information you need without. Movies like 300 and Braveheart thrive on this kind of storytelling. And it’s speaking of 300 that I focus on the book I’m talking about.

The Book

Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender
Writer: Onrie Kompan and Anthony Kraft
Illustrator: Giovanni Timpano
Colorist: Adriana De Los Santos
Letterer: Joel Saavedra
Editors: Mort Castle, Len Strazewski, and Chuck Pineau

Yi Soon Shin: Warrior and Defender begin with the Japanese invading. Toyotami Hidoshi has plans for the conquest of Asia and is given a promise from one of his generals, Todo Tokotora, that Korea cannot withstand the might of the Japanese army.

And for a long while, Todo is right. They decimate the Korean army quite a bit, as the credits introduce the readers to what exactly has gone on to get to this point. Afterward, we see the Japanese army do terrible things in Korea, seeming to be invincible. For the first half of the book, we see what happens when there are victors and what they do to losers.

And then, the good guys arrive. Using tactics and strategy, Yi Soon Shin decimates the opposing Japanese forces with superior sea tactics. He wipes them out. The second half of the book introduces us to Yi Soon Shin and his forces. We get a sense of who he is and the people he is surrounded by. The issue ends with them looking for refugees and survivors on the islands in the sea. It’s not a pretty sight they find, and you get a sense that their battles are only just beginning.

The storytelling is incredibly simple, elegant, and genius. Kompan and Kraft establish who the bad guys are and build them up for the first ten or twelve pages. Then the good guys arrive and kick butt. It’s classic storytelling that works. On top of that, there are lots of neat little historical facts and scenes playing out on the pages. It’s an incredibly good background and adds context to the story you are witnessing. This book’s execution comes down to the details in it, and a credit to the writers and editors both, they did a great job of incorporating the information here.

This book is so pretty as well. Giovanni Timpano did a marvelous job with the issue, from the battle scenes to the ships and Yi Soon Shin himself. This book is pretty, detailed, and wonderful. The colors of De Los Santos need to be given credit. It is the perfect tone for this kind of story. All in all this book is an amazing package that combines history, drama, and amazing feats. This is a great book. You can support it right now on their Kickstarter right now. Click the link and participate.

The Business

I need to thank First Comics for their part in making my podcast grow. My podcast has hit 8 years and is approaching 1000 episodes. I want to take just a brief second to thank Rik and the rest of the first comics for their part in making my podcast a hit. If you want to listen to it, click the player below for the recent episode. Or if you want to listen to Onrie, you can click the link.

I got some big plans for the next year as I count down to 1000. I hope to be able to review more great comics in the days and weeks to come.

On top of that, I make videos for projects, brands, and people. If you’re interested in that, click here, and we can talk about making the best impression for your project possible.

Next week we’ll find do that demon review. I can’t wait as I’m excited about finally covering that book. Until then guys, keep being inspired out there.

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