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The Path : Crisis of Faith Paperback – October 16, 2002


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School & Library Binding
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Paperback, October 16, 2002
$7.34 $1.05

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cross Generation Comics; Gph edition (October 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931484325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931484329
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This graphic novel collects the prequel and first six issues of the ongoing comics series "The Path." Combining superhero sensibilities with a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon aesthetic results in a compelling, at times beautiful work that will have no trouble finding readership. The characters and plot can be complex, and the work is best suited to older teens. The title refers to Obo-San, a monk who lost his faith when he witnessed the murder of his brother at the hands of capricious and cruel beings that he believes were the gods he once honored. Armed with a mystical weapon, and backed by two unusual martial-arts experts, Obo-San rebels against a supernaturally controlled monarchy in an epic battle for justice. The artwork is both bold and subdued, relying on heavy black lines, muted earth tones, and dramatic layout. At times, it resembles an elaborate patchwork of panels, while elsewhere it flows powerfully across both pages. In a concluding interview, Sears makes no bones about his artistic inspirations for "The Path": Frank Miller, creator of the "Sin City" books (Dark Horse) and The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 1997); and Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's influential martial-arts saga, "Lone Wolf and Cub" (Dark Horse). While it doesn't quite measure up to Miller's revolutionary oeuvre, and lacks the stark purity of "Lone Wolf," the compelling darkness (both literal and metaphoric) of this work bears the stamp of its progenitors.
Douglas P. Davey, Guelph Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. This first installment in The Path graphic-novel series explores the crisis of faith confronting Obo-san, a monk disillusioned by the gods' murder of his brother, and also General Ryuchi, Obo-san's boyhood friend, who serves the mad emperor of Nayado. After his brother's death, Obo-san swears revenge against the gods. His vow and his newfound cynicism lead him to question the decisions of the emperor, putting him at odds with Ryuchi. The story, with a fair amount of classic comic-book violence, seems like a Clint Eastwood western--moody, epic, and iconoclastic--with characters, heroes and villains alike, mostly victims of circumstance and their code of honor. The action is slow to start and the plot is very intricate, but Sears' art pulls readers through the rough spots, with its stark black backgrounds and details getting a lift from rich, yet subdued, colors. An appended interview with Sears is a great bonus for YAs curious about how comics are created or interested in working in the business. Tina Coleman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Browning on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Path is a very good read for avid comic fans that look beyond muscle bound super men. It's artistic approach is done with a Japanese flat style with compositions layed out like the Lone Wolf and Cub story line. I find it refreshing. I totally disagree with "zero02" comments on the art. I think they're beautiful and show a CROSS-cultural influence in the art. Keep up the good work Crossgen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you're even reading this review you probably already read comics. This is one of the most interesting approaches out there. Sears and the rest of the art team are creating a new language for graphic storytelling here. Most comics (at least Western comics with which I am familiar) try to trick the reader into forgetting that he's observing a series of static images. The Path revels in this -- most pages are constructed around a single central image or event which may be depicted in multiple ways, and time does not necessarily progress across the page from left to right. Other pages might be constructed of a dozen tiny panels, none of which make much sense individually but which, when taken as a whole, give the reader an almost visceral insight into the chaos going on in the characters' lives. The book simply presents these images and the reader fills in the intersticies. This allows the story to bypass all the analytical tricks readers have developed to help them understand "what's going on"; instead, the story aims its way directly into your head. The excellent and surprising script by Ron Marz complements this presentation, and the static graphic presentation is echoed in the stubborness of the each of the characters.
Some may worry that a reader of "The Path" will miss out if he doesn't get all of the other CrossGen books. While I recommend each of them as worth at least sampling, "The Path" is totally different than any of the others (even the Marz-written Scion and Sojourn) and stands on its own. Yes, the main character of "The Path" is marked with a sigil, a mysterious symbol which gives the bearer great power, just like characters in other CrossGen books, but that's really all you need to know about those other titles.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
There some solid and occasionally great art in this book, but the story being told never really gets going. The narrative is so highly derivative of any number of stories and films that it's hard to get very excited about it. The setting is a land modeled on feudal-era Japan, and there we meet the Emperor's warlord. He is a stereotypically stoic and heroic warrior who is instructed to lead the country's relatively small army across the water to invade the massive power (based on China) that has been their historic foe. The predictably disastrous results lead to a literal reshuffling of heads, as well as the appearance of the warlord's brother, a monk. (There are two sidekicks who make cursory appearances, a barbarian Norseman, and an elegant female swordswoman). In any event, there are some striking panels and spreads here and there, and some interesting paneling, as well as two nicely executed stylistic shifts. However, the palette is incredibly dark and drab--this book ought to come packaged with a halogen lamp! Browns, rusts, and grays dominate the book, and sometimes you really have to peer to make out what's going on. So, a few nice moments, but not a book or series I'll return to.
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