The Art of Darkness

The Adventures of Samurai Cat

June 23rd, 2015 by Cobwebs

Samurai Cat

Sixteenth-Century Japan — a land suffering through the long night of Sengoku Jidai, the Age of Battles, a period of constant civil war, of anarchy and terror, of savagery and bloodshed and lots of other good stuff. The social order was shaken to its core; class distinctions blurred as military prowess became all-important. With luck, even a peasant could slash a place for himself among the mighty.

Even a cat…

You guys. You guys. How have I run this silly blog for 8 years without ever mentioning Samurai Cat? That is simply inexcusable.

Miaowara Tomokato is a cat. Who is also the best samurai in the world. He returns from visiting his brother to discover that his (human) master Nobunaga has been murdered by…everybody. Martians. Nazis. Al Capone. Cthulhu. Morgan le Fay. Joseph Stalin. Darth Vader. Everybody. (Nobunaga made a lot of enemies in his youth.) As any noble samurai must, he sets out to avenge his master’s death by tracking down the killers.

Tomokato’s quest, in which he is frequently accompanied by his psychotic kitten nephew Shiro, spans six books: The Adventures of Samurai Cat, More Adventures of Samurai Cat, Samurai Cat in the Real World, The Sword of Samurai Cat, Samurai Cat Goes to the Movies, and Samurai Cat Goes to Hell. They’re written and illustrated by Mark E. Rogers, and sort of stray into graphic novel territory in that nearly every page features a color illustration depicting the events being described.

Each book is comprised of several standalone stories parodying movies, books, or historical events: In the first book, for instance, Tomokato travels to thinly-disguised versions of Middle-earth, Innsmouth, Hyboria, and Valhalla. The stories are prefaced by a relevant excerpt from a fictional biography of the Tomokato’s life, Cat Out of Hell: A Biography of Miaowara Tomokato, by William Shirer and A.J.P. Godzilla.

Although sadly out of print, the books are widely available through secondhand resellers like Amazon and AbeBooks.

“The Spad,” Arthur said. “The plane Joseph of Arimathea flew the Holy Grail to Britain in.”
Merlin nodded. “Only a knight of the Round Table who has achieved the Spad can defeat Mordred.”
“But achieving the spad …” Arthur said. “No one’s ever come close. Not even Jacques Cousteau … Of course, he kept looking for it in the South Pacific, so what do you expect?”

Really. These books are worth digging up.

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