Book Review: Volcano High Prelude by Ahn Chul and Hwan Kim (Illustrator)

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volcano high prelude

Featuring art by Hwan Kim and story by Ahn Chul Jung, Volcano High Prelude is just what it sounds like; a comic adaptation of the events leading up to the start of the 2001 Korean action comedy. With a large cast in the film, more than a few questions came up in my original viewing about who these crazy students were and just what in the heck was the ‘Teacher’s Memorandum?’

Serving more as a primer, the Prelude doesn’t really have a story to speak of, it simply introduces the characters as freshmen and establishes relationships that will be seen in the film. You witness main players like Chae-yi, Jang Ryang, Hak-rim, Bang, and the main protagonist, Kim Gyung-soo.

Told in comedy form, the Prelude has solid art that shifts between typical martial arts styled manhwa and hyper-deformed ‘omake-esque’ styles. Light on action, there are a handful of character pieces that show a few stylized techniques, but like the film, it is mostly superpowered posturing. The comedy tends to be hit or miss with a great deal of slapstick and lowbrow humor thrown in.

The release also features a reproduced press kit for the feature film that includes interviews with the creator, studio background, and behind the scenes information. Very informative and interesting.

Volcano High Prelude isn’t something I’d suggest to everyone, but if you really enjoy the film and want to complete as much of the story as possible, it’s worth a look.

176 Pages. Published by Media Blasters. Paperback.

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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