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  • Essential Wuxia: Boxers & Saints

    The beginning of the 20th century was a tumultuous time for China. Westerners began taking positions of power, bringing with them Christianity and opium. As Christianity spread across the country, a divide was created between the xenophobic peasantry and the Chinese tradition-scorning foreigners. Everything eventually culminated in what was known as the Boxer Uprising, where a secret society known as the Righteous and Harmonious Fist (Yihequan) taught martial arts and partook in rituals that were said to make their bodies invincible. Officially condoned by the Empress Dowager, tens of thousands died in the conflict. This is where the story of Boxers & Saints begins. Written by best-selling author Gene Luen Yang, author of award winning American Born Chinese, and writer for Avatar: The Last Airbender and recent Shang-Chi comics, Boxers & Saints is the carefully crafted tale of two young Chinese commoners on opposite sides of the conflict. The two graphic novels, Boxers and Saints respectively, are 500 pages long altogether. Each follows one protagonist, but the two stories interweave. In Boxers, the protagonist, Little Bao lives a poor life in a small country village. He’s the youngest of three brothers, and spends as much time as he can enjoying the wandering Chinese opera troupes that come and go. Bao admires the gods and masks of the opera. They follow him as he does his chores and - after he gets pulled into the bloody and political tangle of the uprising - he channels them to fight off the “foreign devils.” On the opposite side of the conflict, from a nearby home, there lives Four-Girl. She’s the youngest of four children - and the only survivor. Her grandfather, superstitious that her birth is the fourth day of the fourth month as the fourth child, refuses to acknowledge her. He fears that four, sounding like death, is a magnet for bad luck. In turn, the other members of her family, with the exception of her mother, alienate her. Longing for a place in the world, Four-Girl is eventually visited by visions of Joan of Arc. From her, she discovers Christianity and converts. The church becomes a place she can belong, but she learns that not everyone is so friendly to foreign influence. Gene Luen Yang’s work is masterfully written, carefully balancing both factions. Neither side of the rebellion is painted as “good” or “evil”. The story of Boxers & Saints is dark and tragic, both sides kill and commit atrocities for their ideals. Houses are burned, fields are trampled and civilians are slaughtered. Yet at the same time, it’s easy to see what motivates these characters. There is good to both sides too. The Boxers empowered the downtrodden common folk to defend themselves, the Christians brought comfort to people that needed it. The writing of Boxers & Saints is wonderfully even to both, and subtle in some of its points. Gene Luen Yang really encourages his audience to pay attention and draw their own conclusions about Little Bao and Four-Girl. Boxers & Saints is, as a finalist for the 2013 National Book Awards for Young Adults, written with an educational bent for children and young adults. It frames the events of the Boxer Uprising in an almost simplified way through the eyes of its children protagonists, leaving some of the darker subtext out of its direct narration. This is a duology well-suited to both adults and older children, but is probably too heavy for young children. On the whole, this is a very character-driven story. It has some action and some politics, but the majority of the story follows the inner turmoil of the protagonists and they fight to navigate the complicated circumstances of the rebellion. For a more action-oriented view on the Boxer Rebellion, be sure to check out our upcoming Fa Sheng: Origins comic, currently on Kickstarter! If you enjoyed this article, click below to subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! By S. Howie Immortal Staff Sources: Comic Book Legal Defense Fund - Graphic Novels in Education: Boxers & Saints Comics in the Classroom: A Teaching Guide to Boxers & Saints Views of the Rebellion - Gene Luen Yang's Boxers & Saints Britannica - Boxer Rebellion

  • Monks in Media

    The monk - a master of mind and body, a follower of the Buddha, and inheritor of a long legacy of meditation and martial prowess. For centuries, tales of these legendary figures have captured people’s attention - and for good reason. While not all monks practice martial arts, they remain paragons of discipline and internal strength. Here’s a list of monk characters from popular stories that have captured our imagination, and fueled our collective obsession with this archetype. Jue Yuan - Shaolin Temple Set between the Sui and Tang dynasties, in the seventh century, Shaolin Temple tells the story of Jue Yuan, a novice of the titular Shaolin Temple. After the rebellions that ended the Sui dynasty, a brutal warlord takes the throne. Jue Yuan and his father, a practitioner of kung-fu, are prisoners forced to do hard labor. After Jue Yuan’s father is slain personally by the Emperor and he, himself, is heavily injured in an attempt at revenge, Jue Yuan makes his escape to the Shaolin Temple. There, he recovers and makes a decision that will forever change his life. Released in 1982, Shaolin Temple was directed by Chang Hsien Yen and was the first film acclaimed actor Jet Li starred in. By virtue of having actual, trained martial artists in the cast, the fight scenes in Shaolin Temple are a must-see for any wuxia enthusiast. This movie was so well-received, it’s even credited for reigniting public interest in the Shaolin Temple which, at the time of its release, did not even have an abbot. San Te - The 36th Chamber of Shaolin Liu Yide was a student who worked to rebel against the harsh Manchu Government. Before they could put plans into motion, their uprising was discovered and put to an immediate, bloody end. Anyone related to the rebellion was slain - even if they were merely friends or family to those involved. Liu Yide, injured in his escape, desperately makes his way to the Shaolin Temple, swearing to learn kung-fu and take vengeance on the oppressive government. Despite any initial resistance to accepting outsiders, the temple abbot takes pity on him and he begins his journey through the training chambers of the Shaolin Temple with a new name - San Te. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, or Master Killer, as it was titled in the West, was originally released in 1978 and directed by Lau Kar-leung. It has since become one of the best-known kung-fu movies of all time. San Te’s journey through the titular chambers of the Shaolin Temple is a treat to watch. While many of the lessons each chamber teaches are physical, his growth is just as much spiritual. At the beginning, his inexperience leads to many comedic moments, but as he improves, the challenges he faces become much more exciting. Lee - Enter the Dragon Enter the Dragon tells the story of a martial arts tournament, held on a private island where only the best of the best compete. Han, the host of this tournament, is suspected to be at the helm of an insidious crime ring involving themselves in abduction, drug trafficking and prostitution. Lee, an instructor at the Shaolin Temple, enters at the behest of an international intelligence agency to find proof of Han’s involvement. He and the other contestants slowly uncover the truth behind Han’s operations - even as the threat of death if they’re discovered looms over them. Lee, played by Bruce Lee, was by far his most successful role. Enter the Dragon was Bruce Lee’s fourth movie and final role, released in 1973. The movie premiered a month after his death, a fact that, paired with the incredible action work and narrative of the film, created a legacy of near-legendary status. Xu Zhu - Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils The plot of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is somewhat less linear, due to it telling the story of three protagonists simultaneously. Xu Zhu, one of these three protagonists, is a Shaolin monk with a soft, kind personality and a strict adherence to Buddhism. He lives a quiet life at his monastery until, by accident, he gains possession of a precious treasure which causes his martial arts to suddenly progress leaps and bounds. Finding himself thrust into new dangers and heavy responsibilities, Xu Zhu longs for nothing more than to return to his previous life. Having been adapted from a novel by legendary author Jin Yong into multiple movies and live-actions, it’s difficult to provide a singular release date. Its most recent adaptation was released in 2021, its oldest released in 1977, while the original novel itself was published in 1963. Despite its age, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils remains popular to this day! Those with an interest in characters with strong morals and those that enjoy grand, complex adventures will definitely enjoy this story. Tang Sangzang - Journey to the West Tang Sangzang is a buddhist monk tasked by Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, to journey to the west and retrieve precious buddhist scrolls. Faced with a China full of greed and hedonism, the Tang Sangzang and his disciples, including the famous Sun Wukong, travel through perilous mountains and demon-infested lands to complete his mission. The story is told in something of an episodic monster-of-the-week fashion, for the most part. Journey to the West is a classic of Chinese literature, its roots dating back to the 16th century. Decades of dramas and movies have retold the story, and other tales - such as Dragonball - reference it very strongly. In English, it has several notable translations, with varying levels of scholarly language. The most well-known of these is an abridged version by Arthur Waley which is sometimes published as “Adventures of the Monkey God”. Tang Sangzang is by far one of the most popular monks to have existed in fictional media. If you enjoyed this article, click below to subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! By S. Howie Immortal Staff Sources: Buddhist Webnovel Recommendations The 36th Chamber of Shaolin Wiki The 36th Chamber Den of Geek Enter the Dragon Wiki Enter the Dragon TVTropes Shaolin Sect Wiki Shaolin Temple(1982) Wiki Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils Wiki Journey to the West Image Source: The INCspot

  • Star Wars: Essential Wuxia Review

    May the Fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars Day, and we have been just itching to do an Essential Wuxia Review ever since we first started this series. For this piece, we will be focus on the protagonist of the original trilogy; Luke is our wuxia hero for the sake of this argument, just to be clear. We gave the original series a 14 / 15, a silver! Read why below: Is Luke Skywalker a Wuxia Hero? I gave this section an 8 out of 8. Luke is an altruistic hero. If you’ve never met him, he’s the kind of kid that runs off into the enemy’s moon-sized base to rescue a random princess he’d never met, the kind of kid that puts his life on the line to help a group of folks he just met overthrow the morally bankrupt empire that rules them. Was that courageous? Absolutely! And though he arguably had a stake in the fight, since the empire killed his family and that one old guy he barely knew, but the revenge just makes it even more wuxia if we’re being completely honest. [Image source:] Luke’s not exactly one for following orders though, which is either his individual freedom manifesting itself, or just being a teenager, we’re not sure exactly which. He disappears for long stretches of time to heed the call of the Force, the literal life energy of the universe. This isn’t to say he doesn’t respect his master(s), or isn’t loyal to their teachings, but sometimes you’ve just got to go save that princess (again) y’know? [Image source:] Being a very simple and straightforward hero archetype, Luke is very honest, and gives everything he has to those around him, even when he doesn’t have much to call his own. He checks every single point we have on our wuxia hero chart (and probably every other hero checklist too, thank you Joseph Campbell). Is the series Essential Wuxia? I gave this section a 7 out of 8, it unfortunately missed the critical point that we consider the most compelling of the fundamental wuxia traits: everyone can be a hero. But moving on... [Image source:] In the tragic backstory section of this space opera, Luke discovers a dark secret about himself, which leads him to question why he was set on his hero’s journey in the first place. Through constant training, he overcomes the fact that his father has a rage problem, cultivates his power for years to harnesses the life energy of the universe, and ultimately confronts the big, bad, evil emperor that keeps his father on life support. It’s a very compelling story, full of glowing swords that are passed down from father to son as family heirlooms, and Force-powered feats of martial prowess that look awfully similar to qigong. The ultimate conclusion of the secret war between the rival secret societies, the Jedi and the Sith, remains unclear at the end of Luke’s story and is further explored in the following trilogy, but is still a riveting part of the series’ lore nonetheless. Essential Wuxia Score: 14/15! Missed points: If you aren’t born with a strong connection to the Force, or aren't at the very least Force-sensitive, you’ll probably never beat someone who was born with that potential, in a fair fight. So we do have to take one point away from Star Wars’ Essential Wuxia score, otherwise it would have had full points. If you enjoyed this quirky read, click below to subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! by S. Sifton Immortal Staff

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  • Immortal Studios | The Home for Essential Wuxia

    What is Wuxia? Shiao Yi's Library What is Wuxia? 1/5 OUR COMICS & MERCH Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen - POSTER by Bernard Chang Price $25.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen #1 - PRINT Price $7.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen #1 - PRINT: Bernard Chang variant cover Price $7.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen - POSTER by Bernard Chang Price $25.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen #1 - PRINT Price $7.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen #1 - PRINT: Bernard Chang variant cover Price $7.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen - POSTER by Bernard Chang Price $25.00 Quick View Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen #1 - PRINT Price $7.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Jeff Moy Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Gene Ha Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Ming Doyle Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print Price $17.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Jeff Moy Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Gene Ha Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print: Ming Doyle Cover Price $25.00 Pre-Order Quick View The Adept #2 - Print Price $17.00 NEWS 2 hours ago 5 Wuxia Novels for March Spring is taking its sweet time this year. The nights are still long, and so we've put together a few novels we've enjoyed reading this... 7 days ago Wuxia Weapons: Dog Beating Staff In wuxia, there are many different kinds of staves and rods that are used as weapons, symbols of power, or "ordinary" walking sticks.... Mar 16 Essential Wuxia: Nirvana in Fire Nirvana in Fire (also known as Langya Bang) is an exceptionally well-written Chinese drama, available with English subtitles on Viki and... Mar 2 Top 5 Wuxia Series on Netflix Feeling bored, but can't find something good on Netflix? Are you interested in brilliant writing, deep characters and tense drama? Then... Feb 17 Wandering Heroes Wandering heroes are found in almost every culture, stories of do-gooders who come across folks in trouble, and rush to their rescue,... Feb 3 Bleach: Essential Wuxia Review We've been wanting to do Bleach for months, but had to pause it when we got busy with our Immortal Swordsmen launch. But now, we're so... Feb 2 Spring Festival: North America There's a lot to talk about, so let's dive right in and look at celebrations across Canada and the States! Though the traditions we have... Feb 1 Spring Festival: Korea Tonight marks the eve of the Lunar New Year, and celebrations around the world are well underway. The Lunar New Year festivities in Korea... 1 2 3 4 5 INSIDE WUXIA Immortal is dedicated to creating stories in the martial arts fantasy genre known as Wuxia & bringing it to the global pop culture stage. We are bringing this beloved classic genre into the 21st century & introducing it to mainstream audiences by creating an interconnected storyverse of heroes, fantasy action, kung fu & empowerment. Artwork - Immortal Storyverse Artwork - Immortal Storyverse Artwork - Immortal Storyverse Artwork - Immortal Storyverse 1/7 INVEST in IMMORTAL Why Investors Invested in Immortal Studios INSIDE IMMORTAL STUDIOS The Adept Kickstarter Campaign Video The Adept Co-Creator Q&A: Tasha Huo Drawing The Adept Yishan Li Draws Sasha True Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen Kickstarter Campaign Video Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsmen Animated Cover Drawing Immortal Swordsmen Bernard Chang Draws Variant Cover more videos OUR COMMUNITY Our Fans - Read their Reviews Out of gallery Our Squad - Premier Martial Artists Who Support Immortal's Mission Out of gallery Our Events - Fan Engagement Amplifying AAPI Representation in Entertainment & Media Summit - May 26, 2021 Live Reading of The Adept Immortal and Shaolin Masters discuss the Shaolin Temple's Mysticism & Legends

  • The Immortal Storyverse

    The Immortal Storyverse ​ The Immortal Storyverse (TIS) is an inter-connected universe of characters and stories that bring s together all the wide-ranging influences and inspirations of the Wuxia genre , from Kung Fu to Immortals in one world . ​ TIS is adapted from the library of Chinese Wuxia legend Shiao Yi’s 60+ previously published titles along with contributions from other Immortal creators. All our stories will be published as comics and graphic novels first before considering other venues to further the stories. ​ Key tenets include: ​ There Are No Radioactive Spiders. In our world, everyone has the potential to develop heroic powers because ability comes from self cultivation and mastery. Everybody is the One in our world. ​ ​ Embracing the Ancient Future. Immortal contemporizes the Eastern martial hero tradition, setting our stories in modern times amongst today’s social, political, and cultural contexts. ​ ​ Transformative Journies. Wuxia is a transformational genre, and Immortal remains aut hentic to its traditions of empowe rment, self-discovery, elevation and connection with the world around us. ​ Welcoming Believers, Purists and Neophytes. Immortal embraces the deep historical, cultural, spiritual roots of the genre that has spanned 5000 years and is singularly focused on its continuation onto the world. ​

  • Investor Townhall | Immortal Studios

    Register for Fri, Oct 30 event - Zoom Register for Fri, Oct 30 event - Zoom Become an Owner of Immortal Immortal Studios is kicking off a big part of our goal to be an “exponential” organization by making it possible for our community to become shareholders of the Company. Ownership in growth oriented global companies has been the purview of the connected few while normal people who help companies become successful just look in from the outside. ​ With the launch of our Wefunder campaign , we are changing that by aligning our interests completely with our community, believing that a community engaged media company is going to be far more successful when its customers are also its owners. Read More Visit our Wefunder page

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