This comic is based on the Sankebetsu brown bear incident, something I’ve wanted to make a comic about for a while now. I first heard this story on Caustic Soda – a great little humor podcast about all things morbid. This 1915 bear attack on a small Japanese village was discussed (appropriately) in their Bears episode, and I thought it would make perfect fodder for a comic. Unfortunately, I knew close to nothing about Japan, so I put this idea on the back burner until I had time to do some serious research. While I was in Tokyo, I spent a lot of time collecting photo references and looking into Japanese history, all of which I put to use in this comic.
Rather than taking my usual, strictly-facts approach, I invented some character developments and dialogue, so this turned into a pretty heavily fictionalized version of the events. I also added some aspects of the images digitally, another departure from my regular process. These pages are an experiment that I hope you will enjoy!
Fair warning – this comic is about a series of bear maulings and it does get a bit gory in places!