Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hungry Ghost Festival: The Story

This is an original story, I was working in Hong Kong after my undergraduate degree. One day I was walking around the financial district after work, and I saw lots of businessmen and women walking aimlessly to me they looked like zombies. It wasn’t hard to imagine then coming in and out of the office everyday, like soulless creatures similar to zombies. And it came to me; what if there is a zombie outbreak taking place in Hong Kong.

I was also inspired by horror movies made in Hong Kong during the 80s and 90s, the genre has changed a significant amount. And through my graphic novel I want to introduce that genre of horror into Hong Kong comics, since the industry over there is saturated with martial arts comics, as superheroes comics in US. I have always admired the diversity of genres in Japanese comics, such as sports, science ficition, crime, horror, comedy and so on.

Imagine Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets Dawn of the Dead. The story is set in present day Hong Kong, a Taoist monk, Master Ken Lee battles for immortality, during the Chinese Ghost Festival when the gates of hell to remain open for 14 days. Ghosts and demons roam free on earth to wander and feed. Will he able to cheat death and become an immortal?

The main character is a Taoist monk called Ken Lee, it is his goal to become a wise sage and an immortal. But he found out he has terminal lung cancer, and his time to archive his goals is running out. In order to cheat death, he had to defeat Ox Head and Horse Face the soul reapers also gate keeper of hell.

The protagonist in this story is Ken Lee, an old Taoist Monk, who has terminal lung cancer he battles for immortality, during the Hungry Ghost Festival when the gates of hell to remain open for 14 days. As many Taoists believe if you live and practice the way of Tao, Taoist believers can become a sage or an immortal. In Chinese traditions, a lot of ‘exorcism’ or supernatural events are usually handled by either Taoist or Buddhist Monk. In this story Ken Lee is a Toaist monk, and performing exorcism, killing ghosts and demons is his duties. His supposed date of death is the last day of the festival. The story is about his journey to fight ghosts and demons as his duties as well as defending himself from the two soul reapers Ox-Head and Horse Face.

The antagonists are Ox-Head and Horse Face, the two soul reapers from the Chinese Buddhism, and folk tales. They are two fearsome guardians of the underworld in Chinese mythology, where the dead face judgment (and punishment) prior to reincarnation. As indicated by their names, one has the head of an ox, and the other has the face of a horse. They are the first people a dead soul meets upon arriving in the Underworld; in many stories they directly escort the newly dead to the Underworld.

Hungry Ghost Festival Pg1-4

Hungry Ghost Festival Pg5-8

Hungry Ghost Festival pg9-12

Hungry Ghost Festival pg13-17