Zen and the Art of Kung Fu Angels | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 01, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:59 AM, June 01, 2017


Zen and the Art of Kung Fu Angels

"Pree Ashma. Yis-Asram, the Blooded One. Yis-Prama, Hansa and Prat Pavam, who temper my heart. Yisun Atru Vyam. Forgive me for this violence I am about to inflict.”

So chants the peacekeeping angel 82 White Chain Born in Emptiness Returns to Subdue Evil before laying down some hurt. Armoured in ash, White Chain is the first friend and barely-tolerant guardian of sorority sister Allison Ruth when she stumbles onto Throne, the city at the center of the multiverse and final resting place of the gods. Allison was handed the Key of Kings, an ancient artefact that does something she is ignorant of, but mostly she wants to find out what the hell is going on and who kidnapped her boyfriend.

It is an inauspicious beginning for the prophesied inheritor of creation, the hero who will one day be called Kill Six Billion Demons.

Written and drawn by Abaddon (real name Tom Parkinson-Morgan) this webcomic is one of the most vibrant ongoing stories you can find online. Updated multiple times a week the narrative sprawls across the actual pages of the comic, alt-text displayed by hovering over the pages, worldbuilding quotes and narratives in the image captions, Abaddon's tumblr, trivia sections of the site… and even the comments left by readers are sometimes included into the canon. It is a reading experience that will reward you the more you dig into it, but crucially it can be enjoyed just by reading the comic and nothing else.

The world of K6BD is one of ancient, cosmic scale power and glory crumbling to nothing and presided over by mad-kings, scheming angels and criminal demons. It is at once lofty and mundane, the aesthetic greatly drawing from Abaddon's ability to draw both in great scale and in minute detail. Don't let the apparent vagueness of much of the flavour-text fool you: the meticulous detail of the worldbuilding is uniform and everything is eventually relevant. Abaddon is excellent writer able to write in the style of a Zen koan or an old legend, investing every character with a particular voice. The characters and concepts are complex and entertaining, ranging from Allison's own incompetent determination to Pree-Aesma, the aggressively boorish mythological figure who defeats gods through violence, ignorance and bad taste.

This, then, is a taste of Kill Six Billion Demons. Read it if you want sprawling epics about kung-fu angels, eastern mysticism, angry gods, 777,777 universes, noodle bars and angels who use sinners as motorbike wheels.

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