Lone Wolf and Cub: Shattered stones

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Dark Horse Comics, 2000 - Fiction - 304 pages
A woman driven to insanity by the murder of her child, and the horribly burned husband seeking revenge; unseen samurai under the thumb of a power-hungry woman; a beggar ronin seeking the downfall of his greedily ambitious wife; a good-for-nothing beggar willing to use a child to make easy money; a lady magician threatened by swindling gangsters - all of these people have something in common - the need to regain their honor, and this quest almost always means death. Ogami Itto, a wandering ronin on a road to vengeance, has been paid to put these folks back on that path, at any cost. For this grim samurai and his infant son, there is nothing left in this world except honor, vengeance, death, and blood. Fortunately, there's plenty of each to go around...

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About the author (2000)

Though widely respected as a powerful writer of graphic fiction, Kazuo Koike has spent a lifetime reaching beyond the bounds of the comics medium. Aside from co-creating and writing the successful Lone Wolf and Cub and Crying Freeman manga, Koike has hosted television programs; founded a golf magazine; produced movies; written popular fiction, poetry, and screenplays; and mentored some of Japan's best manga talent.
Lone Wolf and Cub was first serialized in Japan in 1970 (under the title Kozure Okami) in Manga Action magazine and continued its hugely popular run for many years, being collected as the stories were published, and reprinted worldwide. Koike collected numerous awards for his work on the series throughout the next decade. Starting in 1972, Koike adapted the popular manga into a series of six films, the Baby Cart Assassin saga, garnering widespread commercial success and critical acclaim for his screenwriting.

This wasn't Koike's only foray into film and video. In 1996, Crying Freeman, the manga Koike created with artist Ryoichi Ikegami, was produced in Hollywood and released to commercial success in Europe and is currently awaiting release in America.

And to give something back to the medium that gave him so much, Koike started the Gekiga Sonjuku, a college course aimed at helping talented writers and artists - such as Ranma 1/2 creator Rumiko Takahashi - break into the comics field.

The driving focus of Koike's narrative is character development, and his commitment to character is clear: "Comics are carried by characters. If a character is well created, the comic becomes a hit." Kazuo Koike's continued success in comics and literature has proven this philosophy true.

Kojima is a self-taught painter who began painting advertising posters for movie theaters to pay his bills. In 1967, Kojima broke into the magazine market.

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