Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Princess Jademan

We all know about Japanese comics, and to a lesser extent, Korean comics. But there’s another Asian property that’s never quite caught on - Chinese comics.

So far, most of the Chinese comics that’ve come over here have been an imprint of Jademan Comics. If I could describe them, I’d say they’re a cross between Manga and European comics. Each page is dense with art, but they’re also laced with multiple panels with one sentence occupying every panel. Of course, since every panel is cramped, this makes it harder to make word balloons fit, so as a result, some balloons overlap panel borders and can be easily misread out of order if the reader isn’t careful. Another strike against them is their colour scheme. While Manga/Manwha simplify things by keeping their comics in Black & White, the Chinese imports have all been colourized, oftentimes with very little overall page design. As a result, reading a page full of cramped colourized panels with wonky balloons can leave one a schizophrenic mess if they’re not properly prepared. This is probably why they haven’t caught on as much as other foreign comics.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped them from trying. There have been plenty of Kung-fu comics in their line, such as Chinese Hero, Oriental Heroes, The Blood Sword, Blood Sword Dynasty, Iron Marshal Drunken Fist and The Force of Buddha's Palm. You can see the problem here - they’re all virtually indistinguishable from each other. Not to mention they were long-running comics repackaged as pamphlet comics for easier reading. (Which’s never been a winning position for attracting new audiences) Blood Sword went on for 53 issues, Blood Sword Dynasty 41 issues, Buddha’s Palm, 55 issues. And those are the successful ones. All of them with long runs, very little of it collected.

It also didn’t help that they were all one genre designed to appeal to the typical action fan - Kung-fu comics. If you’ve never heard of these titles, the above indicators may be a good reason why. However, there was a short anthology that showed the lighter side of Chinese comics that weren’t restricted to feudal battles fought mano-a-mano, Jademan Collection.

In addition to various genres, (horror, drama) the anthology had more humourous stories in it than usual, which is always a plus in my book. When it comes to humour, I’m something of a connoisseur (which is just another fancy word for snob). I always prefer the highest quality available. This was at a time when there wasn’t much Manga available, and I didn’t want to waste good quality money on an inferior product. After much hemming and hawing for several months, I figured I should purchase it, since if I didn’t get the chance, I might never forgive myself. So I made the impulse purchase and paid the $5 rebate. (I’m also very cheap)

While Jog gave a scant summary of one of four comedic short stories in the first issue, The Musty Bride, he fails to convey the amount of actual weirdness in the story. Sure, he gets most of the facts right, but without the pictures (including the self-inserted fumetti of the artist himself), we’re only left with a brief approximation of what we’re missing out. It also doesn’t help that his essay is littered with extensively violent covers, which makes me wonder just how these protagonists managed to survive one chapter from the next when they were literally ripping their intestines out.

He also does a great disservice saying the Snow White parody was “just okay”. I might show some scans of The Musty Bride if there’s any interest, but for now, I’ll show what I thought was the funniest comic in the magazine, Princess Jademan.

So far, after a brief digression on human beauty, we get to the bare bones of the general fairytale plot. Seems pretty close to the source material doesn't it?

And now, just around here is where things get a little different for the damsel in distress...

This brings to mind an early Hollywood rumour, back when aint-it-cool-news was worth reading:

Disney to produce a Kung Fu version of SNOW WHITE! No, I’m not jerking ya off! No, Seriously! Dopey Fu!

Harry here... and the world has just gotten weirder. Way weirder. I’m talking really weirder. Walt Disney Studios has decided to make a Hong Kong Style re-telling of the SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES. There will apparently be no dwarves in this version though. Instead there will be seven Shaolin Monks! That’s right, Princess flees evil killer queen. Dark Forest, scary things... finds Shaolin Monastery and these Shaolin Monks decide to protect her from the magical evil forces out to kill her. This ‘brilliant’ ahem idea is being produced by the genius producer behind THE COUNTRY BEARS!!!! OH BOY!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!! Ahem... cough cough... Sorry, hairball there. Well, one can only imagine the saccharine everything to everyone telling of this story and Shaolin culture that Disney will mass-produce here. I’m really curious to read a script on this one, because there is a .3% chance that it could really be something cool and vibrant and not the lowest common denominator dreck that you would expect. So, for that .3% chance... I say, WOO HOO! It’s gotta be better than that Sigourney Weaver thing... right?For the sake of saving time and sanity, I’m only reposting the funniest comments this piece of news generated.

And the Romans made these movies when, exactly? Seriously, though, touche’. Oh, and “Foxy Bitch Poppins”... might I add, bwah-ha-HAHHH!!!!!

Why does everything need to be remade? Can’t anyone think of anything new?
Look, I don’t know about you, but not a day goes by that I don’t say, “You know, classic fairy tales would be so much better with Shaolin Kung Fu in them.” This movie will rock not only my socks, but every other white cotton garment I happen to be wearing. Now, here’s some suggestions for future installments of this wonderful, simple idea.
(1) Jack and the Beanstalk... with kung fu.
(2) Cinderella... with kung fu.
(3) Beauty and the Beast... with kung fu.
(4) War and Peace... with kung fu.
(5) The Catcher in the Rye... with kung fu.
(6) Gone with the Wind... with kung fu. THE POTENTIAL IS LIMITLESS.
P.S. Ulysses... with kung fu.

This sounds like a vomitorium.
Actually it sounds kind of cool, but I’ve been dying to use the word vomitorium and I haven’t seen Attack of the Clones yet.

Welcome to the next century.
The world is really a-changing. Who would have thought that Disney ever had the balls to rape Snow-White this way. If this goes ahead, I’ll never forgive the mouse.

Let’s watch Sleepy break a cinder block with his powerful sneeze...
My God. This is the worst idea ever. I actually want to see Scooby-Doo and Thunderpants 2 times each before seeing this horribly desecrated version of Snow White created by Disney themselves. It’s like the Night Of The Living Dead 30th Anniversary *yeesh*.

Correction... I meant Sneezy. Jesus Christ, I cannot type in the morning.

I don’t know...
This could be the most asinine movie of whatever year it graces with it’s release... Or it could be a risk they’re only taking because they know how to do it right. Who knows?

I was looking forward to this weekend.
But now my will to live has been sapped...

As an aside, I just love the dramatic pose between the Princess & the Queen here...

How dare they!
This is an outrage! Taking a cherished story and putting in a totally different setting! Bollocks! Why, next they’ll be turning Seven Samurai into a western! Horrors! Why, they may be so bold as to update A Christmas Carol with some clownish buffoon like Bill Murray in the lead role! I won’t be surprised if we get an inner city remake of Romeo and Juliette. I’m sure they’ll make it a musical or some such rot! A previous poster mentioned a sci-fi version of Hidden Fortress. Well, I certainly can’t think of a more horrifying idea for a film. When will it end? Tsk.

Mulan cameo...
Total throw down at the end... Evil Queen breaking the mirror and throwing shard stars, which Snow White and Fa Mulan flip and dodge Spider-Man style. By the way... is this where the Chinese restaurants came up with Snow White chicken?

Snow White and the Seven Samurai?
Wasn’t this a joke on Ninja Turtles?

Yeah right! Where are they gonna find 7 midgets skilled in the Shaolin Arts?
Sounds made up to me.

And I promised myself I was gonna stop doing drugs first thing in the mornin’
What? I’m not hallucinating? This is true? #&$% me. Actually, that idea of the Wicked Queen throwing down with mirror shards, Jade Fox style, is probably 100 times better than the eventual movie will be. And what will the Disney executive who thought this thing up say when they hand him his bagful of cash? “THANK YOU, SATAN!”

What the hell does this sentence mean?
“Well, one can only imagine the saccharine everything to everyone telling of this story and Shaolin culture that Disney will mass-produce here.”

“That Sirgourney Weaver thing?”
The S.W. Snow White was badass. Dunno what movie you were watchin’.

What’s really weird is that I’m totally unsurprised by this news.
I read the headline and just... shrugged. It’s so inline with everything else going on in the early 00s.

Well...if nothing else, this news has produced one of the all-time funniest Talkbacks.
Man, this story is... weird to say the least.

Incidentally, I have no idea why the dwarf here is suffering from a nosebleed. The Queen’s “disguise isn’t particularly attractive.

I’ve read this
It’s an epic action adventure that focuses on a young princess who is sold into slavery by her stepmother but escapes and enlists the help of shaolin monks who help her only b/c she bears a mark that says she’s the chosen one. it’s only loosely based on the story of Snow White. Pretty well written.

Isn’t this the first sign of the Apocalypse?

Kung Fu Pooh Pooh
What the.......? Is this starring a CGI Bruce Lee?
You gotta be kidding, right? What happened, someone saw and liked ‘Crouching Tiger’, and umm. Decided that it would be a Great way to redo Snow White? The coke must really be flowing there in LA. Yikes.

Yay evil empire!
I’m going to shoot myself. Now. No, wait, that would be a waste of bullet... I mean, I’m not responsible for the driveling crap that Disney produces, no, not me. THEY’RE the problem. Where the hell are they getting this the manpower for this animation? How many poor, starving artists are forced to sell their souls to draw for Disney? Are they channelling Walt into all of these animators’ bodies just so they don’t feel bad for being a part of this? Maybe. I think the evil mastermind at the helm of Disney needs a day off... golf is nice... of course, we’ll probably end up with a series of hacked kids movies that resembles a watered down Caddyshack.... Why don’t they just give up and die?

Sounds kinda cool
Its got to be better than the Walt Disney movie they did in the 30s.

Kung Fu Snow White? What next....
The Lion Pimp? Mulan Rouge? Boyz In The Hood version of Robin Hood? This Kung Fu version of Snow White sounds like something 12 year olds would do with their home video cameras and action figures.

And my only question is...
Given the downhill production value at the mouse’s empire, what will the dubbing on the film be like? Anyone care to wager on how ridiculous a poorly dubbed Dopey will look?

The Thing About SNOW WHITE Is That The Queen Was The Hot One...

...oh, Snow is cute if you’re having a middle earth life crisis, but the magic mirror didn’t take into account that the Queen would KNOW a lot of things Snow wouldn’t and would most likely DO anything and talk about it later and video tape it. I mean, a hot babe all in black who practices witchcraft? The only thing that could be better is that if she were also into chicks and would call you Lottie!

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines...
This is bullshit. I mean EVERYONE knows there’s only one Disney movie crying out to be remade with Kung-Fu. And that movie is The Brave Little Toaster.

Shouldn’t they do Bambi with Kung fu?
Because Bambi scares the shit outta kids anyhow, might as well add some Ju Jitsu or some shit. Scare them and warn them to stay away from Ninjas then, yeah.

Methinks Hollywood’s been plundering Buzz Maverick’s Weekly Recaps for ideas
Good grief, this sounds horrible. I’m having ghastly visions of Snow White and the Queen getting into an ENTER THE DRAGON-style fight over whether or not Snow White should eat the apple while their lips move out of synch with the dialogue. Even worse, what if this becomes a trend? What if Disney kung-fus ALL of its animated fairy tales? Can you imagine Gaston and the Beast going at it in an airborne katana fight? Prince Phillip and Maleficent trying to kill each other with wire-fu? Or Ariel and Ursula doing a striptease to Chinese gong clashes? Or, as one poster here posited, Bambi and Thumper using jiu-jitsu to beat up on the hunters? Think about it, y’all. This could be the start of a very ugly trend.

And we’ve hit a new low.
Another hit for “Chief Creative Officer” Eisner. Woo-hoo.

I flat don’t believe this. Really, I just don’t. Harry I think someone is messing with you. Oh, and Buzz–Snow White is the woman whom you’d want to be your wife. Like Kasumi Tendo, she’d be content to play the happy little domesticated homemaker, and would make a great mother, too. But it’s the evil witch-Queen you’d keep on the side as the exquisitely sleazy lover who’d give it to you every which way *but* the missionary position. And unlike Snow White, she could afterward hold an intelligent conversation with you about everything from Star Wars to Salvador Dali. Toppu o Nerae!

I heard that some dumbass Japanese director was going to remake King Lear...
Oh yeah, it was done and turned out to be one of the greatest movies of all time, “Ran”. I really don’t think Disney will relate the movie at all to Snow White people! It may be a similar story but it aint the same characters. Great stories get changed around and placed in different settings. Star Wars is a compilation of great westerns and Roman movies among others!

Um, we’re not talking about Kurosawa adapting Shakespeare, buddy...
We’re talking about Disney remaking their own movie in an attempt to cash in on CTHD/Matrix/Shaolin Soccer etc. World of difference.

Snow Fu...?
Better to scoop out my own eyeballs with a wooden spoon than to inflict such... mouse droppings... on my cinematic senses.

Must resist...urge to slit wrists...
This is actually only the second stupidest thing I’ve heard today.

...and Americans wonder why France didn’t want a Disneyland....
Hmmm... Disney has been in the deep end of insanity for a long time now, but this... I think they just pulled the plug. Disney has driven their poor black souls into a brick wall strapped to dynamite. And behind this amazing wall of doom, is the kitchen to hell. Oh great googamooga, what is Disney doing?! Under the Carbonite freeze which Walt Disney is frozen under, I can sense the tear that is slowly making its way down his cheek. It’s things like this that make me not want to start my own animated empire...within 50 years of my Death, some idiot might allow something this stupid to be made under my empire’s name. Oye vey.................

I think you can guess, I’m upset.

As long as they have a guest appearance by the animated Jackie Chan from “Jackie Chan Adventures”, then I’m there like Disney executives on stupid ideas and money.

You guys crack me up
Legend of the Drunken Mermaid? Werewolves? I wish you were ALL production executives. Then we’d have some fun!!!!

Come on, guys, kung fu is like hot sauce...
It makes everything better! Think of it: Schindler’s List...WITH KUNG FU! Braveheart...WITH KUNG FU!! Citizen Kane...WITH KUNG FU!!! Superman...WITH KUNG FU!!!! And why stop at movies, let’s do musicals!


Uh, Dicio...
“Superman...WITH KUNG FU!” You really shouldn’t be posting this stuff. McG and Jon Peters don’t need any more encouragement.

Superman...WITH KUNG FU!
There’s this already. Only it’s called Dragon Ball Z.

This last comment, I wrote myself, but didn’t submit, since I didn’t know how to, and didn’t want to be tracked down from my IP address. In any case, the Jademan comic had an obvious Akira Toriyama influence, but more Dr. Slump than DragonBall. The smiling sun & bugged-out eyes should’ve been your first guess.


  1. Looks funny, and in style that is indeed somewhere between manga and European comics...characters are Akira Toriyama, while the layout is francophone comedy.

    I must say this is the first Chinese comic I have read, but apparently I should keep my eyes open for more.

  2. Hey Kung-Fu makes everything better.

    The ideal of Disney doing a kung-fu remake doesn't worry me because it's either going to be aimed at kids or if they want to try and aim it at us older folks then i think they would have it done under another part of the company that has a better track records with that type of things.

    I haven't seen much about Chinese comics and enjoyed reading your take on them. I'm sure sooner or later they will be selling in America.