This is a smart, funny graphic novel exploring the life, legend, and lore of two of the greatest poets in Chinese history-Han Shan (known as "Cold Mountain") and Shih Te-who reportedly lived during the Tang dynasty (618-906 CE). They were critics of authority (both secular and religious) and champions of social justice who left their poetry on tree trunks and rocks. They were also reportedly monastics, drunks, cave dwellers, immortals, and many other wild and wondrous things. There is much delightful uncertainty about this "Laughing Pair"-including whether or not they actually existed. What is known is that the poetry attributed to them was greatly influential in both China and Japan, and to the Beat writers in the United States during the 1950s and '60s.
Acclaimed manga creator Sean Michael Wilson has brought these renegade poets to life, showing the places they went and the philosophical and meditative aspects of their lives, as well as revealing their humor and wackiness and their penetrating insights into the human condition.Their poetry is interwoven throughout-translations by J. P. Seaton, one of the most respected tranlsators of Chinese poetry in the United States.
"The poetry of the manga here expresses the poetry of this pair of 'mad men' of Cold Mountain. Read the wise verses of Han Shan and Shih Te and, like the sage, your face will also break into a great big smile."--Paul Gravett, author of "Comics Art "and editor of "1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die"
SEAN MICHAEL WILSON is a Scottish comic book writer who lives in Japan. He has had more than a dozen books published by US, UK, and Japanese publishers, and he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga-style books, such as "Hagakure" and "Yakuza Moon."