While digging through some ancient long boxes in the crawl space, I came across a title purchased over ten years ago that had been forgotten among old manga and Valiant books. About twelve years ago, Jim Jaramusch wrote and directed a little film entitled Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. A moderatlely successful art house gangster flick starring Forrest Whitaker as a Hagakuri spouting rertainer for New York City mobsters, and featuring a soundtrack (as well as a brief cameo by) the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, it hardly seemed a likely candidate for adaptation. Even more suprisingly, warranting new content being produced and published for this particular medium. But, Oni Press had a way of trying radically off the wall licensing. (The back of Ghost Dog promotes an ongoing title to be called The Blair Witch Chrionicles, sadly, I actually have that somewhere, too.)
Oni Press's Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai one-shot written and illustrated by Scott Morse includes a single story, "Ghost Dog: Retainer" which successfully imitates in tone and presentataion the original film. Ultizing a stark black and white approach, and slightly cartoony design, Morse follows Jaramusch's lead by integrating quotes from the Hagakrui as a means of reflecting the code by which Ghost Dog lives... and kills.
|Nothing like some comic book Japanese wisdom!|