Japanese folklore is filled with spirits and mythical creatures, and one of the most well-known beings is the tengu. Tengu are an important part of Shinto and Buddhism and form part of the yokai. Originally seen as demons, the importance of tengu have changed over time. Many people wear tengu masks and the image has been woven into popular culture. The Comic Vault is looking into the history of the tengu to see what they are and their significance to Japanese culture.
Symbols are an important part of any culture and there are many significant images in Japanese folklore. Spirits play a vital role and one of the most important is the kitsune, or fox spirit. Kitsunes are depicted as intelligent shapeshifters whose magical ability increases with age. They have the ability to be benevolent or malicious depending on the situation. Some stories portray them as guardians, while others depict them as tricksters. The ambiguity of the fox makes it an interesting symbol in Japanese folklore, one that’s transitioned into modern pop culture.
Over the weekend I went down to Birmingham for a comic con at the NEC and to see some of the local sites. Being the comic geek that I am, I was on the lookout for anything pop culture related and I was happy to discover a comic shop called Nostalgia & Comics near to my hotel. The shop looked inviting and seeing I was in town for a comic con, it only seemed right that I went inside.
A year ago I decided to explore my passion for comics by creating my own website. I didn’t know how it would go or if people would even want to read it. All I knew is that I loved comics and I wanted to write about characters I connected with and stories that made me happy. Today marks the one year anniversary of The Comic Vault and it’s become bigger than I could have hoped for. I’ve achieved goals, discovered new characters, increased my knowledge and become even more passionate about comics.
During the 1960s and 1970s, comics were full of stereotypes, such as damsels in distress. When Jack Kirby created his Fourth World concept for DC, a character that went against stereotype was Big Barda. The wife of Mister Miracle, Barda was taller, stronger and more intimidating than her husband. The reversal of a traditional relationship was unheard of at the time, which made Barda stand out even more. The Comic Vault is taking a look into Barda’s history and what makes her such an awesome character.
For a long time Marvel and DC have dominated the comic industry, which is fair enough, given how awesome their characters are. Other publishers like Image and Dark Horse have produced some good stories as well, but Marvel and DC have always been at the top. Mainstream comics are great, yet it’s an exciting time for independent comics. Indie writers are hungry to get their work out there and are willing to take more risks than others who’re established in the industry. Here are my thoughts on the power of independent comics and why indie authors should be supported.
Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows in the world and I’ve watched it from the beginning. Recently, I travelled to Ireland and went on a Winterfell Game of Thrones tour. I had the chance to explore the sets and locations of earlier seasons. Along the way I met direwolves, visited Winterfell, almost became King in the North and even got to channel my inner Jaime Lannister.