My friend Omaha Perez just launched a Kickstarter for his amazing graphic novel, Boddhisatva. I enthusiastically wrote the foreword and you can read it below. If you can, please support this worthy project.
How to describe a graphic novel that evokes the sacred intensity of the Hindu epics, Jack Kirby’s cosmic fantasies, and Philip K Dick’s reality-shredding visions? Perhaps I just did. No, wait: Let’s add a John Lennon soundtrack with a Grateful Dead jam occasionally wafting in the background. Now we have something approximating the book you hold in your hands.
I first became aware of Boddhisatva some years ago. I was at a convention—either San Diego or Wonder Con, I don’t recall which—and a shadowed figure emerged from the crowd and, without stopping, tossed a comic book onto my table. I heard a voice—let’s imagine it echoed majestically from worlds beyond ours—say something like, “I think you’ll enjoy this.” And then this mysterious figure was once again swallowed by the throng—or perhaps ascended to the astral realms he called home.
Okay, it wasn’t Indra, Lord of the Fourth Heaven I encountered that day, it was writer/artist Omaha Perez—and, being familiar with my work, he guessed, correctly, that a story combining all the elements mentioned above would hit my sweet spot. I love writing, and reading, tales that explore personal identity—the eternal, essential question “Who Am I?”—and the very nature of reality, slipping into the cracks between what we take the universe to be and the strange and wonderful place it truly is. I was delighted to discover that Boddhisatva did all that and more. It’s an epic tale of men and gods, the sacred and profane, the grotesque and the unspeakably beautiful.
But nothing I write here can truly prepare you for what’s to come in this updated collection of one of the comic book forms most unique and memorable epics, produced by one of our most unique and memorable talents. So stop listening to me and take John Lennon’s advice, cribbed from Timothy Leary (who cribbed it from The Tibetan Book of the Dead): “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…” Let Boddhisatva wash over you, seeping into heart and soul.
It’s a journey worth taking and one you’ll long remember.