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feihong

Grand Comic Reading Project #10: The Mercenary

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feihong

Welcome to another installment of the Grand Comic Reading Project! This month we will be reading El Mercenario, a classic pulp fantasy series from Spanish artist Vicente Segrelles. You can look forward to some rip-roaring action, lovingly depicted in beautiful oil-painted panels. I think the difficulty is roughly around the level of Animal Sense, although, given the pseudo-medieval setting, the style of the language is less modern.

Sample Pages:

post-38695-069959200 1301785359_thumb.jpg post-38695-025351400 1301785371_thumb.jpg post-38695-029978800 1301785383_thumb.jpg

Chinese Title: 雇佣兵

Spanish Title: El Mercenario

English Title: The Mercenary

Character Set: Simplified

Country of Origin: Spain

Year of First Publication: 1980

Genre: Pulp Epic Fantasy Action

Series Info: http://en.wikipedia....i/El_Mercenario

Read Online: http://www.dm5.com/Type.aspx?id=5624

Jump to first page: http://www.dm5.com/C...6382_page-3.htm

Buy Online: N/A

Difficulty: Medium

Legibility: Good. A few of the more complex characters can be hard to make out. The third volume uses a more stylized font that can be a little hard to read.

Summary: The Mercenary always gets the job done, whether it be piloting dragons, fighting monsters, or saving damsels.

Page Counts: Volume 1: 47, Volume 2: 48, Volume 3: 48

Other volumes are available, but they are not very legible.

CBZ File: Volumes 1-3

Word List: The Mercenary Word List

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Gleaves

This looks hilarious. I'll take a look this week.

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Gleaves

I just read through volume one. It has a great 80s fantasy vibe. It is sort of like an entire comic of van murals.

I love the onomatopoeia - TOWK!, CRUC!, STAM! CLAKN! SCLOUP!

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jbradfor

Also finished the first volume today. Yeah, gratuitous nudity!

It took me a couple of pages to realize that unlike the previous comics, this one is read left-to-right.

I was a tad surprised by how little ass-kicking 雇佣兵 did in this volume. I guess I was expecting more based on your description.

I found this one a bit hard to read. If I knew all the characters / words it was pretty clear, but I had a bit of trouble looking up the characters I didn't know. Not sure why.

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Gleaves

I was actually reading this in a coffee shop when I got to the prison scene. Quickly minimized and finished reading at home.

I like our hero, the 雇佣兵. I picture him with a ridiculous He-Man/Lion-O voice. The entire first volume is him watching other people and being like "wow, that is really something." Although, when he threw that sword it was pretty awesome.

The font can be a bit tricky in places. At one point, I started looking up 健康 until I realized it was 健康.

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jbradfor

Haha, that's pretty funny. Do you ever get people looking over your shoulder at what you are reading when you read these in public?

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Gleaves

I used to read comics on the metro everyday, which definitely got me some puzzled looks.

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jbradfor

I think you'll like the onomatopoeia in vol 2 as well. And I'm glad that our hero started to kick-ass. Well, sort-of. And it's also probably NSFCS, Yeah! ;)

Is there an error in one of the characters on page 21 (http://www.dm5.com/m55779-p21/). The character in the upper right box doesn't look like either 陥 or 陷 to me, and is not shown as one of the variants here .

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skylee

The pictures are really quite beautiful. Not sure about the story. And I don't think there is anything special about the style of the language (except that it does not seem very well translated).

But it is quite interesting to read something new. Thanks for posting.

Yes it is 陷阱 (what else can it be?) And I like the pretty nude woman.

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jbradfor

But isn't the 陷 wrong? The bottom right looks like 日 to me, not 旧 or 臼. Or is that acceptable?

Also, thanks for your comments about the writing style. It seemed a bit, umm, rough to me as well, but I'm not nearly as sensitive to the quality of Chinese writing as you are, so I'm glad to hear what you think.

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feihong

Perhaps the translator was too busy ogling the pictures and wasn't able to concentrate on doing his job.

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skylee
But isn't the 陷 wrong? The bottom right looks like 日 to me, not 旧 or 臼. Or is that acceptable?

Wrong ... I certainly don't write like that. And you have looked up the variant dictionary and couldn't find it there. Where do you think they got that font? (similar to one of the comments here.)

Perhaps because I am a native speaker and use the language everyday, I am so used to it that I don't recognise the very small details. Did you know that in the Dream of Red Chamber, Lin Daiyu (one of the main female characters) says that when she writes her mother's name, she always omits one stroke to show her respect ... :mrgreen:

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jbradfor

Finished third volume. NSFCS. Also, not safe for reading next to one's wife....

Overall, liked the art a lot. Very different than others, interesting to see. Story, not so sure ;)

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feihong

What exactly does NSFCS stand for?

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jbradfor

Not Safe For Coffee Shops.

Trying to be a joke on NSFW and the fact that Gleaves was reading this in a Coffee Shop. I guess the joke failed.

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Gleaves

I got it and chuckled.

Per some reviews on Amazon, here's some additional backstory on the world of our hero:

"A great valley lost in the upper reaches of the mountains had remained isolated from the evolution of the planet. This rough, steep and arid area had evolved its own fauna. The great reptiles had not disappeared - natural selection had them evolve into great winged creatures. As for man, an unrelenting barrange of clouds had isolated him from the lower regions. A whole different civilisation had thus developed."

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feihong

Gleaves, you should've tried reading 雇佣兵 at a less-reputable establishment (perhaps a biker bar?). Next time, I'll try to make it clear if a given title is NSFCS. And don't worry, there will be a next time ;-)

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Gleaves

Much obliged. There's actually a little naked woman on the second page. You'd think that would have been forewarning enough, but no.

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