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Ignatz Award Nominee 2010. “Stunning” – The Comics Journal.
“Whom will one forgive if not one’s enemies?” On Obon, The Day of the Dead, it is believed that the spirits of Japanese ancestors visit the homes of their families, and the living set paper lanterns on river waters to illuminate their path back to the netherworld. This year, in the midst of a bloody and decades long clan war, the festivities halt as the Okumura troops return from battle, carrying along with their wounded and fallen, the captive daugthers of their enemy. For samurai Oda and his two children, Ryoan and Kaimen, this homecoming begins a chain of events both intimate and violent, revealing harsh truths about themselves and their war, that will change each one of them forever.
Previously serialized on Activatecomix.com and published as “Never Forget, Never Forgive.” Available in reguilar and economy editions, including revised, expanded and new material.
“…Acknowledging that man-made horrors exist, and will continue to exist, but that each of us still holds the ability to choose not to let these horrors define us. Stunning and dynamic, demonstrating a keen sense of composition, cinematography and lighting… Efal takes the narrative equivalent of a deep, cleansing breath… one of the most impressive, thoughtful debut graphic novels.”
“Remarkable…an intense story about the generational, environmental, and societal gaps that open wider and wider in times of war…synthesizes the best of Japanese manga with the best of American graphic novels.”
“Samurai Struggles in the Shadow of Jewish Life:
The Jewish mantra of “Never Forget, Never Forgive” is given new truths when transplanted into the foreign setting and foreign soil of historic Japan, and Efal tries to understand and interpret his own thoughts regarding those lessons.”
“A new reading experience…masterful storytelling, subtle characterization…felt with a quick emotional wallop…Efal’s style is spot on.”
“…a powerful and engaging tale…a few brush strokes conveying a universe of meaning…the echoes of the loss and horror of the Holocaust can be felt through the story itself… It works as a beautiful combination of the best of both traditions.”
Jewish Outreach Institute
“Ink-heavy, occasionally scratchy, shadow-laden style to the art; anybody that likes the work ofGoseki Kojima is encouraged to look closely at this one.”