Comic Kitchen is a segment that brings together delicious food and a comic character for a three course menu. A starter, a main course and a dessert are chosen, with a description of why the character would eat the food and why it reminds me of them. Today, the menu I’m putting together is for Wolverine, who loves eating as much as he does drinking. Given Wolverine’s connection to Japan, I can see him eating food that brings together the best flavours of the west and the east.
When it comes to decorative statues, good craftsmanship is essential, which is why I enjoy collecting them. A type of figure I’ve appreciated for some time is jizai okimono, a Japanese design that was started in the 17th century by makers of samurai armour. The words roughly translate as ‘move freely decorative object,’ and the way to describe jizai okimono is a type of highly-detailed articulated statue that has moving parts. The most common designs are animals, which is why I was excited to purchase a jizai okimono dragon created by Kaiyodo.
One of my favourite things about comics is the wealth of art that’s produced on a regular basis. Cover art is an essential part of a comic that can often be overlooked, which is why I write a feature called Comic Cover Corner that puts the spotlight on a single issue. The cover I’m looking at today is Scarlet Witch #10, drawn by David Aja. The art depicts the Scarlet Witch in Japan and there’s so much to appreciate about the colours, mood and the story that it tells.
When reading about a comic character you’re interested in, it can be hard to keep up with all the stories they’ve appeared in. That’s where The Essential Reading List comes in. I’m compiling all the important appearances of characters that I appreciate and this edition is focusing on Daken. As the son of Wolverine, Daken has done plenty to establish himself within the X-Men mythos, but he’s also become one of the most intriguing characters in the wider Marvel Universe. Here’s a look into the major stories that he’s been a part of.
In case it wasn’t obvious by now, I have a fascination with Japan and the history of the samurai. It’s partly why Wolverine is one of my favourite characters and why I always jump at the chance to read any Japan related story he’s involved in. So, when I came across Wolverine: Old Man Logan: The Last Ronin, you can bet I was excited to dive into the story. Written by Jeff Lemire, the graphic novel revolves around Old Man Logan’s adventures in the main Marvel Universe and his battle to stop the version of his future from happening. There’s everything you could want from a Wolverine adventure in Japan: ninjas, action and plenty of emotion.
Japanese culture has been popular in the west for years, with anime being woven into the fabric of pop culture. Westerners also visit Japan to learn about the country’s history and the samurai are an important part of it. The traditional view of samurai are noble, honourable warriors who dedicated their lives to a singular cause. It’s no surprise that samurai have been featured in comics. But how are they portrayed? Do mainstream comics like Marvel and DC remain faithful to what samurai stood for? The Comic Vault is looking into the history of samurai in comics and the kind of characters that are associated with the image.
Japan is known for its beauty and rich history, but the country has a dark side that isn’t explored as much as it could be. Japan’s seedy underbelly is exposed by Ryu Murakami’s In The Miso Soup, which focuses on the sex trade and Tokyo nightlife. Kenji, a young tour guide, takes an American tourist called Frank on a journey. But Frank is far more sinister than he appears to be and it’s not long before Kenji is dragged into a nightmare he wishes he could escape from.