From writer Alan Grant(Judge Dredd, Lobo, Batman) and artist Jon Haward(Judge Dredd, Spectacular Spider-Man, TMNT) comes Tales of the Buddha Before He Got Enlightened, originally a long-running comic strip, now released as an e-Book featuring several strips that were never released. And yes, it is just as odd and irreverent as it sounds. But is it any good? Read on.
TALES OF THE BUDDHA BEFORE HE GOT ENLIGHTENED
Artist JON HAWARD
Colorist and Letterer JAMIE GRANT
Price: $4.99 (digital)
On Sale: Digitally available now through Renegade’s website.
Available on iTunes soon.
Hardcopy edition in late November Collecting all the stories created so far for the very first time, from the powerhouse team of Alan Grant, Jon Haward and Jamie Grant. Tales of The Buddha Before He Got Enlightened answers the question ‘just what did this holiest of men do before gaining enlightenment?’
It’s tricky business, tackling a fictional account of a religious figure, and even more treacherous to mine the character for comedy gold. Fortunately for us, Alan Grant and Jon Haward have no reservations about offending anyone. It also helps that Buddhists aren’t known for getting their holy panties in a twist when their idol is skewered.
This collection of shorts allows us to step into the world of the would-be Enlightened One, taking us from the simple yet aggravating act of meditating beneath a tree, to Buddha’s bromance with Jesus and the righteous hijinks that follow, and much more as The Buddha traverses the ancient world, encountering all manner of deities.
The rotund Buddha, not content with the dogma by which he is surrounded, begins seeking out new paths to understanding the human condition. That part is alleged to have taken place, but this hilariously brazen book mixes that history with some sometimes-violent adventures and commentary on the nature of god and religion.
This is satire at its finest, written brilliantly by Grant. He seems to have some genuine understanding and respect of Buddhist culture, and that is what makes him the perfect guy to make fun of it in comics form. Jon Haward brings his uniquely interesting art style to the series, making this collection a thing of beauty. Jamie Grant breathes vibrant life into the panels with a rich color palette that makes the book as fun to look at as it is to read.
If you are easily offended by religious icons being made into comedy fodder, this book may not be for you. (Or you could just get over it and read a funny book.) As for those who enjoy politically incorrect humor and making fun of myths, I recommend Tales of the Buddha Before He Got Enlightened.