Tina's Review On:
8-9-3 The Graphic Novel
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Above Photo: The Front Cover to the 8-9-3 Graphic Novel (GN).
At the Top Left: Jack Hsu Shows the 8-9-3 GN to Michael D Hamersky from his table in Artists Alley at the 2010 LBCC.
At the Bottom Left: The Flyer To The 2010 Long Beach Comic Con.
TODAY'S Guest Review FEATURE - Blog #3272 by Tina LoSasso:
8-9-3: A Graphic Novel Goes Inside the Japanese Yakuza
Michael and I met 8-9-3 writer and artist Jack Hsu at Long Beach Comic Con. I was intrigued by the book's black on black cover and the title: 8-9-3. I had to know the significance of 8-9-3. Unlike the numbers in LOST, I got my answer on the very first page and enjoyed how the theme played out to the very last.
8-9-3 reads like a John Woo film, plenty of action, deceit, choreographed violence, beautiful women, and a surprising twist at the end. This entertaining tale has everything but the booming sound track!
Hsu has written a strong story with interesting characters, most notably the femme fatale Carmen, and conflicting themes of loyalty and betrayal.
8-9-3 tells the story of Shin, a young Yakuza soldier in service to Hiroshi, the clan leader and Makoto, Hiroshi's son and scheming heir apparent. Set mainly in Tokyo, the story travels to such diverse locations as Rio De Janeiro and Yale University, and back and forth in time (no, not time travel!) to reveal the depth of the storyline.
While there is plenty of action, at its heart, 8-9-3 is a compelling story of betrayal and redemption. This is a graphic novel done well, a rich storyline you'd expect in a good novel being told in clean, clear and lively artwork. Hsu, the artist is an animator by day, and it shows in every panel.
This graphic novel is not for the faint of heart. The story is set in the Japanese underworld of the Yakuza so there is plenty of violence, but the depiction is not gratuitous.
Rating: A VERY FINE / NEAR MINT (VF/NM) 9.0 out of a 10.0 comic book grading scale.
Here is the link to where you can find more on this graphic novel. Plus this is where you can purchase it online, at WayOutComics.com.
Note from Michael: My thanks to Jack Hsu for bringing this graphic novel to Tina's attention at this past weekend's Long Beach Comic Con! This was the one that she wanted to read first and possibly review blog. I haven't read it yet, as we were given two short boxes of graphic novels / comics / & books to read and possibly blog about at this comic con.
So my thanks to Tina for guest blogging here today!
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