These comic stories by Terada are raw and uncensored, full of extreme violence and sex, and not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. With drawings seemingly direct from Terada's sketchbooks, like a Moebius or Crumb stream-of-conscousness narrative.
Rakuda Laughs! treads the same ground as Frank Miller's Sin City, but reminds me of Liberatore's Ranxerox (aka Ranx) more than anything else.
It's telling that this work has an afterword by Japanese film director Takashi Miike and is released by an American publisher of Hentai.
Black & white comics with 16 pages in color, and two double-sided color foldout pin-ups.
The Japanese edition was published A4 size (8.3 x 11.7 inches). This English language edition is digest size with very small type.
From the publisher:
Yakuza bad-boy Rakuda is framed for the murder of his gang-boss by an ambitious young white-collar criminal.
New father and troubled yakuza Rakuda gets a call from his colleagues tasking him to dispose of a random body. The job is fishy, but when you are a gangster sometimes you have to just do what you're told. But in this case, who gave him the job is the problem. A young hustler named Amazaki has tasked him to take care of a corpse without any info on who the body is and how to get rid of it. Turns out the body belongs to their gang lord... Now the gang and the cops are after Rakuda. And with danger around every corner, there are now very few moments for jokes in Rakuda's world.
Katsuya Terada (born in Okayama, Japan in 1963) is a rare comic artist who has amassed success and followers on both sides of the Pacific. A self-defined "doodler," Terada's art has been seen in some of the most recognizable works to come out of Japan in the last two decades. His international breakthrough was his designs for Blood: The Last Vampire. His collaborations with properties such as The Legend of Zelda, Iron Man, and Hellboy further cemented his place within an international audience.