The tale of William Tell has never been rendered this beautifully as in Mitsuhisa Kuji's stunning debut work Wolfsmund, where a fortified barrier-station torments the Swiss Alliance murdering all who stand against it, until William and his son attempt to defy it.
A fascinating reimagining of a European legend, Wolfsmund
is a retelling of the William Tell legend with a focus on an actual landmark in the Uri district of Switzerland, the Wolf's Maw at St. Gotthard Pass. Filled with action, politics and drama it has all the makings of The Game of Thrones
, including its share of bloodbaths, but told through a historical fiction perspective.
Little is known about Mitsuhisa Kuji (born in 1978) however we are certain that is a pen-name for an interesting young female artist with one of the finest pedigrees in Japanese comics.
is her debut series, originally published in Japan by esteemed indie comic publisher and video game taste-makers, enterbrain!
, she has been in the industry at least since 2004, mainly working on short stories with the ambition to someday have her own feature length series. But before she began working on her own short stories, she was the assistant illustrator for two of the biggest names in comic art - Kentaro Miura
(author of the best-selling series BERSERK
) and Kaoru Mori
(creator of the Victorian maid drama, EMMA
). Since her debut work, "Samurai Dream
", she has gone to draw a handful of other shorts, collected in a book called Luminous & Brightness
, before launching Wolfsmund
to critical acclaim in 2009.
Vertical is happy to present a short preview of Wolfsmund
with the help from its original publisher enterbrain!
takes this unlikely idea and makes it something noteworthy, with tales of rebel underdogs risking their lives against an imperialist regime. The violent, fast-paced fights and breathless chase scenes make a strong impression early on, but what's even more striking is the heart-wrenching outcome of each chapter. Rather than the rebels scoring predictable victories and building up their position, it's the bad guys who usually win, accompanied by plenty of carnage. However, the arrival of a famous Swiss historical figure is what really energizes this story. His heroic feats-mountaineering, marksmanship, and taking on impossible odds—are the apex of this volume, a nonstop flow of action that can only be described as stunning. The crisp artwork, similar to traditional woodcuts, also adds to the excitement. It's easy to get caught up in the dynamic battle poses, intense speedlines, and attention to historical detail (when people get hurt, it's because of serious bladed weapons, not made-up magical powers). Well-researched costumes and convincing backgrounds also add to the element of realism.”
—Anime News Network
starts off with a beheading, so you know what you're getting into literally on page one. This is a story of startling violence and startling beauty, which is to be expected from a creator who was the assistant to both Kentaro Miura (Berserk) and Kaoru Mori (Emma, A Bride's Story)...This is a little jarring next to Kuji's sweeping vistas and precise depictions of medieval life, but overall, this is a good story, smartly told, and well worth a look, even for readers who don't usually read manga.”
is a] surprising and promising series from Vertical that takes full advantage of how unfamiliar we are with artist Kuji and with the tale of William Tell. There is some risk that the shock and novelty will grow old through subsequent volumes, but Kuji certainly has learned at the side of the masters (Kentaro Miura and Kaoru Mori), and some nimble storytelling shifts in the first volume suggests a promising new seinen series in a North American market hungry for some good old fashioned pulp storytelling.”