Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk Vol. 1
Iron Crotch University Press, 2010
Hardcover, 192 pages, $20 ($25 for the artist's edition)
Heralded by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai as "a well-researched saga, with wonderfully exciting action sequences." Ben Costa (MFA Writing 2008) won a Xeric Grant for this web comic featuring the titular monk. Early on Costa details the attack and burning of the Shaolin Temple by the Kanxi Emperor's forces and the harrowing escape of Pang, who finds himself on a quest for the remnants of his brotherhood, in the care of a beautiful inn attendant, and confronting an army captain for the return of a sacred book. Pang himself is a charmingly human character often filled with doubt.