Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sanho Kim's Wrong Country!

Before Yang there was Wrong Country. In an singular example of catching a trend before it really caught fire, Charlton commissioned notable Korean artist Sanho Kim to create his own very legit martial arts comic saga. He did just that in the story of a misplaced  Korean master of Tae Kwon Do in the Old West titled Wrong Country. The first part of Wrong Country was written and fully drawn before it was entrusted to the sprawling mail services which were the arteries of publication in those halcyon pre-internet days. And for a time it was lost in that abyss. Having made room for the title on its publishing schedule and not wanting to miss a beat in that relentless process (for Charlton it was publish or die almost) the editors decided to enlist Charlton iron man writer Joe Gill to whip up an alternative and then got reliable Warren Sattler to draw it. The result was Yang.   Later Sanho Kim was put to work on a Yang spin-off titled House of Yang, but more on in later posts.

Wrong Country did eventually emerge from the depths of the postal depths, too later to be fitted into its original publishing slot, so this remarkable piece of art languished. It languished until some few years later when the CPL Gang, a clutch of Charlton fans led by Boy Layton and numbering among their ranks such talents as Roger Stern, John Byrne, and Duffy Vohland expressed a desire to include the unlucky story in a special "Kung-Fu" edition of their fanzine Charlton Bullseye. They got that permission and so belatedly Wrong Country found an audience at last, if an extremely limited one.

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Here are a few pages of the glory that Sanho Kim wrought. He is a remarkable artist who pioneered early "graphic novels" and worked for Marvel, celebrated in his own land but alas still little known these days in this country.

To read the complete first part of Sanho Kim's Wrong Country check out this exceedingly groovy link. Special shout out to Dojo reader Russ for reminding me of Wrong Country and its singular role in the development of Yang, one of my favorite Charlton comics.

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