When the teen materials people at the library put this one on a booklist and called it a mashup of kung fu, zombie, and blaxsploitation film styles, I had no idea what they were talking about. Then I pulled it off the shelf, and woah, the thing is huge. Jokes about infinite reading material ensued. And then? I opened it and started reading…
Infinite Kung Fu
by Kagan McLeod
Take a kung fu premise of a student who must go on a quest. Add the fact that this is necessary because the balance of the living and dead in the world is tipping, and some souls cannot find new bodies for reincarnation and instead are reanimating the dead as zombies. Finally, make one of the masters one very groovy black dude who could have stepped out of the 70s. And yes, there it is. A kung fu/zombie./blaxsploitation mashup, just like they said. Thing is? It works.
The chapters carry you through this epic piece by piece, and divide the many threads nicely, the images of the many characters are clear and consistent enough to keep track (I was worried, honestly!), and the plot is always moving forward. There is non-stop action, and yes, plenty of cartoon violence, and though it is not for the squeamish, it is not overly gory, nor does it dwell on this unnecessarily. I can’t help but think that Quentin Tarantino would love to get his hands on this, actually, if that gives you any idea of the feeling of the book.
The illustration here is really important, obviously, being a graphic novel, and I was very impressed by it. There is plenty of detail in faces and a real sense of movement, and I liked that it is all in black and white, especially given that it might come off as more bloody and lurid in colour. Given how crucial it is to like that style of a graphic, it’s extra fantastic that the publisher has nearly half the book up on their web site for preview here, so you can check it out and see if it suits or not before buying or borrowing.
Overall? This is clearly for teens and adults, not for kids, but for those who like action, it’s a great, if hefty read, and goes pretty quickly. I devoured the entire 450 pages (really) in just a few days, and I am a sloooow reader, but it is a page turner, and of course, less text heavy, being a graphic novel. It’s pretty much a perfect summer blockbuster in paper form. You might want to read this one yourself!