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Beneath The Clouds

A comic of ghosts and gunpowder, set in Heian Japan. Guaranteed to be the best graphic novel about 11th Century Japanese exorcists that you'll read all week.

Recent Comments

Thanks Spirit of Water! Yes, you are right . I am sure I've read that there were a number of ceasefires in historical Japanese wars, sometimes lasting for several years. I'm struggling to find evidence to back that up though!
Glad you are enjoying it, thanks for the comment :)
I thought I heard once that war used (at least somewhat) to stop during the wintertime. It wasn't over, just a weather-induced ceasefire until it got warmer. I don't know if that carried over to Japan or not, though, or how widespread it was.

Keep up the good work! :)
Can't decide whether I like or hate this cover. Redrew it four times.Gotta love the fluorescent pink shading though!
You're right. I don't think they could have talked their way out of this one though.
September 27th, 2017
From what I've heard about the treatment of the Emishi, invoking the emperor was probably a bad idea.
I motion that this is a bad move...
Putting in the effort to give them all distinctive face shapes really paid off!
Eiji and Juro's character designs are younger versions of Tajomaru and the nameless samurai from "Rashomon".
Eiji elbowed his way into a second draft of this conversation. There's no way he's going to leave Juro to handle this on his own.
Genza has an eye haemorrhage from being whacked in the face in the last chapter. They look dramatic but they usually disappear in about a week.
I'm a long distance walker. The soldier looking after his feet on the left in the second panel is a comment on those novelists who make their characters walk everywhere yet never seem to comment on foot care, boot waxing or blisters.
Poetry nights were the Heian version of Netflix and chill. After a romantic evening with his girlfriend, a man would be expected to send a follow-up poem. If either the poem, or the reply, wasn't up to scratch, the relationship was off. No pressure!
The horses are slowly improving! Very slowly...
I don't have much evidence that Japanese warfare was seasonal. Campaigns like the Thirty Eight Year war went on for a long time! However many famous battles such as the Battle of Koromo River and the Hogen Rebellion seem to have taken place in the summer. If nothing else, moving armies around in a seasonal climate with very little infrastructure and generally horrible roads, must have been very difficult in winter.
This page lends itself to recaptioning. See the "Extras" page for an alternative version.
Modern Buddhist monks generally don't eat meat and Japanese temples can be famous for their vegetarian cuisine. In 11th century Japan this taboo likely extended to touching animal products or blood. Juro is a soldier so naturally much less squeamish.
The straw hat in panel 3 is probably anachronistic. I couldn't resist putting it in because it reminded me so much of Jayne's hat from Firefly.
The Satake clan dates to the 11th century and was a warrior clan known in later years for their proficiency with firearms. They were relieved of their title in the 1800s when the feudal system was abolished but descendants of the family still exist today.
This type of armour, called oyoroi, was popular between the 10th and 15th century. It's heavy, a whole suit of armour would probably weigh as much as a small child. This is because it's designed for horse archery and spear fighting. This design is taken from a model at the Costume Museum in Kyoto. It's probably too expensive for these guys, but it's a good way of making them stand out from the rest of the group.
Cheers Daishadar
:) Horses tend to act up in my comics for two reasons: 1) disproving the horse-as-vegetable trope 2) I am a bit scared of horses and I hate riding them
Horse archery was super popular in this period so you'd probably need a reliable horse.