Written and Illustrated by Dan Hipp
Published by Tokyopop
Available on Comixology
Odds are Gyakushu, pronouced "Gahhh-Phhbbbblll'tttishu'paphfooie", is probably something that you've never seen or heard of before. And that's a shame because it's definitely something that your eyes need to be bathed in.
You need to prepare your eyeballs and let them drink in the awesome goodness that is Dan Hipp's GYAKUSHU!
At its core, Gyakushu is a take on a classic kung-fu fantasy style mash-up revenge tale. It would sit nicely beside some of my personal favorite revenge flicks such as Kill Bill Vols 1&2, Oldboy, Memento, and The Outlaw Josey Wales, but what sets Gyakushu apart, aside from the horrible name which I've already made fun of (and can't seem to stop doing), is the shear confidence and master-class artwork dropped onto the page like a slap in the face from Dan Hipp.
I just can't stop looking at it. Staring at it. Living inside those panels. They're so full of drama and emotional resonance and balls-to-the-wall action that they're impossible to just breeze by them. You want to spend time with them, to make yourself slow down and appreciate just what you're seeing, and not rush to the end like the average comic. The art is nearly perfect. Usually I could nit-pick something about an artist's work like any other jerk, and say there is something they do that I'd prefer that they give up immediately (like Skottie Young drawing super babies), but there is absolutely nothing art-wise that Hipp does that doesn't strike me as brilliant in this work.
Hipp's style is definitely manga influenced but I would say it is equally influenced by cartoon/anime/cell animations. It just seems an inch away from popping off the page and coming to life as animation. It's begging for it, really.
Am I way off? Is it better than I said? I want to know!