Monday, August 4, 2014

Shogum of the Dead Book 1: Twilight of the Samurai

by Daniel L. Werneck

This book was the last of my TCAF impulse buys that I hadn't read yet.  Cartoonist Daniel L. Werneck took popular the current trend for zombie stories, twisted the usual tropes of the genre a little, and set his tale in feudal Japan for Shogum of the Dead.

At the beginning, Lord Tachikawa has travelled to meet with Izanami, a supernatural creature from the underworld.  She promises him that none of his clan would stay dead for as long as Tachikawa's war with Yasutomo, his enemy, continues.  When one of his soldiers is struck down, he rises later, not bothered by his injuries, and ready to continue the fight.  As their death continues, these soldiers develop a bit of a smell, and a desire for human brains, but they retain their personality and intelligence.

The story is pretty sprawling, encompassing intrigue within Tachikawa's house, the travails of an AWOL soldier, and the adventures of the Dirty Seven, a group of dead killers who are sent to kill Yasutomo's son, but figure the best way to do that is to wait for him at a brothel for weeks.

Werneck takes a pretty irreverent approach to his story, and that makes this book fun to read.  His art is a little on the rough side, but it works with this type of story.  There's plenty that could be expanded upon in this story, but I feel like he does a good job of telling a complete tale.

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