book cover of The Walls of Zhumar

The Walls of Zhumar

(The first book in the Way of the Rat series)
A Graphic Novel by

Publisher's Weekly
CrossGen now enters the territory of martial arts comics, in particular the kind of historical kung fu slapstick popularized by Jackie Chan. This is, first of all, an exceptionally well-drawn comic, even by CrossGen's standards, full of wonderfully detailed exotic panoramas and exciting stop-motion combat scenes. The setting is a version of ancient China, where the frontier fortress city of Zhumar is in the grip of winter and besieged by a barbarian horde led by the great Bhuto Khan. Zhumar's commander, the snaky Judge X'ain, intends to betray the city by giving Bhuto several magical artifacts. But his plans go astray when the artifacts are stolen by a young thief, Boon Sai Hong, the Jade Rat. Putting on the magical Ring of Staffs, Boon becomes a master of that weapon. Unfortunately, having the magical loot also makes him a target for the judge's assassins and for members of the incensed thieves' guild. Life inside Zhumar becomes quite hectic for Boon, while Bhuto tries to batter down the city walls to get at him. Boon is a likable little guy who is simultaneously given huge challenges and power; he has to learn quickly. In combat scenes, as he hangs suspended in mid-air, his expression shows he can't quite believe what he's doing. Yet he begins to control his new abilities and use them intelligently. In short, he can be both heroic and amusing. Dixon is an old hand at mixing moods like this, and the result is an entertaining genre piece. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal
In the city of Zhumar, on the western frontier of an empire based on medieval China, the thief Boon Sai Hung steals a ring and a scroll from an aged scholar. A talking monkey tells him that the ring is the Ring of Staffs, granting its wearer supreme mastery over the staff as a weapon, and that he, Boon, has been chosen to wear it. At first, Boon wants nothing to do with this destiny, but circumstance forces him to defend Zhumar against the invading Bhuto Khan, who wears the Ring of Blades. This series is a Hong Kong martial arts film on paper, full of action, mystery, and mayhem (and a Jackie Chan-like sense of humor) but also mirroring that genre's general lack of depth. The narrative is much more straightforward than that of actual Hong Kong martial arts comics, such as Storm Riders. Still, the coloring is excellent, and the high-quality art is beautifully detailed, with fight scenes that (unlike those in some comics) can be followed. Recommended for all but the smallest collections, for teens and adults. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Genre: Science Fiction

Used availability for Chuck Dixon's The Walls of Zhumar

Hardback Editions

March 2003 : USA Hardback

Title: Walls of Zhumar
Author(s): Chuck Dixon, Chris Garcia, Jeff Johnson
ISBN: 0-613-99849-9 / 978-0-613-99849-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Sagebrush Education Resources
Availability: Amazon   

Paperback Editions

April 2004 : USA Paperback

Title: Way of the Rat Traveler: The Walls of Zhumar
Author(s): Chuck Dixon
ISBN: 1-59314-032-0 / 978-1-59314-032-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Crossgeneration Comics Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2003 : USA Paperback

Title: Walls of Zhumar (Way of the Rat, Book 1)
Author(s): Chuck Dixon, Jeff Johnson
ISBN: 1-931484-51-1 / 978-1-931484-51-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Crossgeneration Comics Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU