Shi Poster by Billy Tuccis
Shi is Ana Ishikawa, a hottie comic book created by William (Billy) Tucci, that has run for over ten years with a variety of publishers. It is about a young woman of mixed Japanese and American ancestry drafted into a modern-day “shadow war” between descendents of the infamous sohei warrior monks of medieval Japan. The Shi story is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, history and mythology, "Shi" literally means "death" in Japanese. This sexy tom cat's signature weapon is the naginata, that long pole arm with the wicked pig sticker in the end. The series itself is known for its scenes of stylized violence, and originates from the era of comics 'lovingly' called "bad girl comics", mmmmmm... bad girls. Despite this, the series often touches on spiritual issues, especially as they pertain to Ana's dual background in the traditions of the yamabushi warrior monks, and Christianity. As a child, Ana witnessed the brutal slaying of her father and brother at the hands of an upstart rat bastard Yakuza thug named Masahiro Arashi. Arashi was intending to impress the leaders of the Osaka crime syndicate, so... in traditional asian, hottie, death dealing, mobster type movies, Arashi leaves a calling card with every murder he commits – a simple coin engraved with the kanji for death, "Shi". Escaping the hitman, Ana is consequently spirited away and raised by her grandfather, Yoshitora amid the sacred temples of Kyoto Japan. There Grandmother Yoshitora secretly trains Ana in the ways of the Sohei so that she could seek out Arashi and avenge the murder of her family. Still clutching the coins left on the bodies of her brother and father, Ana is utterly consumed with the vengeful obsession completely giving herself up to "Shi" - where she then bcomes the living embodiment of Death, a demon who since childhood, has terrified while encouraging her in her crusade of vengeance. However, Ana is soon confronted by her mother's Catholic teachings and Ana's life soon becomes one of inner conflict and turmoil between her programmed mission of revenge and the Christian leanings she secretly harbors. Ana compromises and settles for the age old tradition of hating homosexuals and fearing (and murdering) those that are not Christian, but only so far as it does not get in the way of her obsession of finding and killing the one who murdered her family. ... And if he's gay and a Muslom, then all the better in Ana's Christo-Ninja path of death.
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