Features these Characters

Belongs to these Storylines



Panel 1. A Portuguese ship is docked at a harbor.

There it is, my friend! The “heathen lands.”

Not a Moment too soon. The good word was meant to be spread on solid ground; A fisher of men is useless at sea.

Oh? Does a ship not provide a captive audience?

Panel 2. Vasu and Manuel are looking out over the edge of the boat.

My sermons have made a greater impression on the sea gulls than they have on you, my guru. Considering how the birds don’t try to convert me back.

A Guru must teach, it is our nature.

Panel 3. Ricardo approaches Vasu and Manuel from behind and rests his hands on their shoulders.


Wahoo! Welcome to the Japans boys! Finest tail this side of the orient! Lemme tell you, the ladies dress up real fancy for us foreigners!

Panel 4. Ricardo, Vasu, and Manuel deboard the ship while sailors in the background move cargo.

*Sigh* Lessons taught at sea rarely make it to shore.

Remind me again why these are considered the heathen lands?

Unlike at home, they don’t know that they’re sinning.

Oh, such tragedy.

Panel 5. Lex, disguised as a sailer, is moving a crate while overhearing the conversation.




LOOK AT ALL THESE NEW CHARACTERS! We’ll be spending a little bit of time with them before getting back to the main cast. I know it’s been a year of waiting to find out what happens next with Yori and Co, but we’d long planned on the introduction of these characters at this point in the story!

Captain Ricardo Bartello is ┬ávery boisterous guy who’s heavily influenced by John Rhys Davies’ character from the Shogun miniseries. In fact, the outfits for the Portugese characters are all inspired by the costume designs from Shogun.

It was Joe’s idea of having the Christian priest, Manuel Alvarez, and the Hindu Guru, Vasu Nair, always trying to convert each other to their own religion. Brilliance, I thought!

Also, waaaait a second, I recall a prophecy involving a Christian Priest, Hindu Guru, and Blind Taoist Monk from somewhere…

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  • Pascalle Lepas

    Here we go!!

    • suburban_samurai

      It only gets crazier from here!

  • Unhooked

    Oh, wonderful sound effects, I have missed you so much…
    “a prophecy involving a Christian Priest, Hindu Guru, and Blind Taoist Monk”
    … Oh dear.

    • suburban_samurai

      We deal in only the best sound effects.

  • Hakka

    Oh wait… /THAT/ guy and a Christian priest and a Hindu Guru?….. My sense of impending doom is tingling.

    • suburban_samurai

      I dare you to draw a connection!

  • Gillsing

    I concur with your assessment of Joe’s idea to have the priest and the guru always try to convert each other. And you can’t go wrong with that Shogun miniseries.

    • suburban_samurai

      Joe’s full of good ideas, I kid you not.

  • Scila

    OMG, suddenly new epic characters. And THATGUY (i missed NNFB’s sound effects!). I’m already loving the priest and the guru.

    • suburban_samurai

      The new dynamics the foreigners will bring to the story is something I’m really excited about!

    • leavescat

      I actually just realized, back when Lex changed the rules for Matrix, she asked “know something I don’t?” and he replied “always.” This is the “something.”

      • suburban_samurai

        You’re a keen observer, leavescat!

  • Sarah

    I’ve been reading Shogun since just before you mentioned your come back, and it’s been really crazy re-reading nn4b and Shogun at the same time. I LOVE that you’re combining these things together! Could we pleeease have a guest appearance from Blackthorn? That would totally make my day :)

    • B. Ross Ashley

      Sarah, I dunno if they want to borrow someone else’ fictional character like that … OTOH there was the man Blackthorn was based on. Will Adams. English sailor, pilot of a Dutch trading fleet at their first attempt to trade in Japan, shipwrecked, ended up as a samurai in the service of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Go ahead, Alex, thrown in someone like him!

      • suburban_samurai

        Since Hirotomo is kind of our surrogate Nobunaga in NN4B’s fictional Japan, we’re several decades too early for an Ieyasu controlled country! We’re currently not planning any other foreign character for the plot, but we do have a lot of wiggle room with the story down the line, so who knows!

    • suburban_samurai

      Shogun is amazing, but don’t expect us to be retreading any of its story elements. These characters are the closest we’ll be getting to a Shogun crossover! But you have to admit that’s pretty darn close!

  • gary102

    And this concludes my rereading the archive. I’m incredibly glad this story continues! :) Also new awesome characters! Woo go NNFB

    • suburban_samurai

      Things is about to get REAL, sir!

  • KungFuKlobber

    I don’t recall anything in the prophecy about the Taoist monk being blind. I guess this means the prophecy is not, in fact, referring to Brother Wu or Brother Tang.

    • suburban_samurai

      We did a rewrite on the older pages some time ago when we printed the first book. Joe added more details to the prophecy to explain why Wu and Tang would be so certain that Cho is the prophecy catalyst.

  • Aetre

    *called it…*

    • suburban_samurai

      *tosses Aetre a snickerdoodle*

      • Kasper

        If you have snickerdoodles, pass them around.

        • suburban_samurai

          no, the rest are MIIINNNEEEE.

  • poo4nnfb

    Great job on the character design, you can tell the Captain breaks any ice between them just by the colors!

    • suburban_samurai

      I’m a big fan of Captain Bartello, he’s a lot of fun to draw and he’s very self assured.

  • charles81

    Time for a pub crawl

    • suburban_samurai

      oh noooo!

    • Pascalle Lepas


      • Neska

        But, pub crawls are fun!
        And if the world is ending anyway, why not?

        • DarthJazzHand

          I still wonder how 3 priest from different religions in one bar will end the world.
          I’m guessing they’d get drunk and summon each of their gods to prove the other religions wrong? That would be quite a sight.

  • A Rock

    But Hindus aren’t supposed to convert people – I mean, one of the huge golden rules is that all rivers reach the sea, so it’s no big deal if someone’s a christian or a muslim or whatever.
    I’m sorry if I’m over thinking this

    It’s just weirding me out man

    • jwkovell

      Vasu isn’t really trying to convert Manuel. It’s more of an amiable dialog between the two.

      From Manuel’s perspective that might seem like an attempt to convert him.

      I get your point though, and we’re doomed to make mistakes there.

    • suburban_samurai

      Well, the Guru isn’t trying to convert the priest so much as when the priest tries to convert the guru, the guru explains his belief system to the priest, and the priest, not accepting that the guru hasn’t necessarily accepted Christ as his personal savior, continues to attempt to convert the guru. It is an endless cycle. Gots ta save da soles, sir!

  • Sythrael

    Welcome back, I’ve missed this badly.

    • suburban_samurai

      And we’ve missed you, Sythrael!

  • Shadilyn

    Welcome back!! Missed your comic. xD Omg *THATGUY?!*

  • John Smith

    Hey! It’s That Guy!

  • M. Northstar

    I really like the dialog on this page, especially the next to last panel.

  • Joy Choe

    Oh you missionaries are going to be banned out of Japan real soon

  • dr pepper

    When i saw the previous page, i thought, “wait a minute, that’s a european ship”. And i’m not particularly ship savvy, so good job with the art. Now we get to see how literal the punchline to the joke is.

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