Last year, esteemed Criterion Collection put out a dope box set of Blind Swordsman Zatoichi films featuring art from 25 comic artists. I’m not mad at any of it because they all did their thing.

But yo, Criterion kinda dropped the ball by not hollering at the god Mu Pan to contribute. While most of the artists seemed to have focused on the more solitary points of being a blind swordsman, Mu Pan captures the bad mothaf-cker that Zatoichi was, slicing and dicing through opponents with that signature stance and bothered facial expression. The artist also seems to feel some type of way about it… from his Facebook:

I am a bit bitter about that Criterion never asked me to make any of those Zatoichi new covers, I can even draw Zatoichi with my eyes closed..

And then, he posts this… (holy shit!!)


found this Zatoichi drawing in my old sketchbook.
yes, I am still bitter and I will not let it go.
and this, Zatoichi and Qupid, I i did this when I was 26, with a broken heart.
so Criterion, what makes you to think that I cannot draw Zatoichi??!!!


and this!!Zatoichi and Nicholas Gazin.
so, F you Criterion!
even in my painting!!!!
just tell me that what part of me is not worth to those 25 illustrators? Criterion!
(editor’s note: I asked him for a bigger version but apparently the file’s messed up…. still dope!)
Four days later…
still bitter.


Coooootdamn…. I’m sure he’s half kidding about being really mad but the fact that he would’ve killed this is undeniable. Go like his Facebook page and check out his official website for more work.


  • Francisco Galárraga

    YOU GO MU.