Martial Arts Masters: Steven Seagal
As always in Sifting for Gold we will begin by talking about the cover... which will be shorter than normal. Alright so we've got the man, the myth, the legend, Steven Seagal looking confused/wishfully into what I can only assume is a setting sun.
This here comic tells the origin story of Steven Seagal (up to 1992). He started out as a football player, saw a martial arts demonstration and was totally wowed. When his family moved to California where he played in a garage band (which I would LOVE to hear) when he wasn't practicing Akido. He went to college for a bit then went to Japan to learn even MORE Akido (and teach a little english). Seagal met his 1st wife Miyako Fujitana and they had a son and a daughter, the marriage lead to him teaching at a dojo. Get this, this sounds like a movie he would star in. Since he was an American teaching in a Japanese dojo, things were extremely dangerous because people would publicly challenging him to fights... I bet he brought great shame to those opponents.
Anyway, the story goes more and more into his goofy work history, which includes opening dojos in Los Angeles and New Mexico, training unique individuals (some of which became CIA agents), security for the Shah of Iran, solving a year long missing persons case within three days of getting involved, that sort of stuff. Somewhere in there he met his new wife, Kelly, and got her pregnant, which caused a divorce with Miyako. After that Kelly has another kid, bringing Seagal's total up to 4. It's cool though, the book makes sure to note that Steven Seagal DOES pay child support! Anyway, he ended up acting in more movies on that and went on to have many great adventures. THE END! You know, this comic has some facts but it can't really say anything for sure. There is a a lot of "It's been said" or "We have been told that" and even some "No one can be sure but" sort of statements.
Black and white with hatch marks all over, this book chronicles Seagal's life from a young age, however he never looks that young. He always looks the same... maybe that's part of the legend. My favorite panels are the ones where he is doing so much karate. The art also tells me he was a very smiley guy, unless he was acting.
I am not entirely sure how this issue or this series came to be, but it was a surprisingly informative text. I mean there was a whole mess of heresay but ya know, I know at least a little more than I did about the guy. Still, what a strange life, and more than that, what a strange choice of a person to capture in comic book form.