23-year-old Ayame Ozaki is a martial artist who is building a new life after the death of her parents. But she’s possessed by a powerful Kami. Ayame soon discovers the path she has chosen has come back to haunt her when her brother is abducted.
With time running out, Ayame must learn to join forces with the powerful Kami within or risk losing her brother, the only family she has left.
I’m telling you right now, I love a good story, and freshman comic creator, Parmy Baddhan, has a great one. Not just his actual comic, Tiger Dragon: The Rebirth (coming soon to Kickstarter), but his bio reads like the best lowkey underdog story since Rudy. An IT tech, Parmy wanted to do something more than check cable connections and tell people to restart their computers. He wanted to create something but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Lacking the skillset, he dug in, did the research, and he got to work.
Right away, I was impressed with Parmy’s ability to give his characters a decent “speaking voice”, not perfectly fluid, conversationally, but much better than many first-time writers. Dialogue is, according to many people I’ve spoken with, one of the most difficult things to get right. In many cases, it’s done with an overly formal tone in an attempt to punch in the drama. The result is that characters wind up not sounding like actual people. Parmy has a decent sense of that already, maybe with some room to improve and plenty time to do it.
Regarding digital artwork in general, I had my misgivings going into Tiger Dragon. Often, there are things that don’t quite work in this kind of a project. In this case, facial features are often exaggerated or don’t quite match up with what a character is doing, and some of the young characters look aged when they’re supposed to be serious or angry. I’ll tell you one thing that Baddhan nailed throughout Tiger Dragon is body mechanics, particularly in his action sequences. Where many digital artists seem to have a hard time getting body positions to look natural and the action dynamic, he once again dug in and did the work. That attention to detail pays off in a big way and may have been the most impressive thing in the book.
One thing I need to point out is that this is an origin story, and it carries all of the pitfalls that go with this particularly brutal corner of superhero comics. The pacing is very slow as characters are introduced and concepts are built. While I mentioned the action sequences as high points, one of the lower points is that they’re kinda few & far between. Baddhan is trying to build a world around eastern mythology, some things that many western readers may not be as familiar with. There might have been more of a balance between character intros & some explanation to help fill in some of those blanks.
Or, I suppose, a curious reader such as myself could do a quick Google search…
Kami is the Japanese word for a deity, divinity, or spirit. It has been used to describe mind, God, supreme being, one of the Shinto deities, an effigy, a principle, and anything that is worshipped.Wikipedia
In the end Tiger Dragon: The Rebirth is a good time. Parmy Baddhan earned my respect for acknowledging that the skills needed to create a comicbook/graphic novel are hard-earned, requiring all of the determination and commitment one can muster. For that alone, I would love to see his work get some traction, to give him the chance to move farther in his efforts and continue with his story. It might have been a little slow, there was enough going on to keep me reading… which is pretty much the main goal of any comic creator.
Final score: 10/13