This book won the award for the best comic from the National Institute for Translation in 1986. Although more than 20 years have passed since then, there is still a great appreciation for this book. This book is based on the Chronicles of the Historian from the Han dynasty scholar Sima Qian. It includes the legends of the five assassins: Chaomu, Yurang, Juanju, Niezheng and Jingke, during the Spring and Autum Period. The comic is beautifully printed in full color. Chen Uen used traditional Chinese brushes, and he drew each page as one on special hand-made calligraphy paper. It really took a lot of skill to paint one panel after another on this kind of calligraphy paper. Only Chen Uen has the ability to use calligraphy skills to paint comics. There are 500 colorful paintings, from small to large, with exact and difficult-to-achieve details. He has to draw each page quickly, with skill in determination. If he makes a single mistake, the whole page is lost. There are a lot of special details in the facial expressions; his point is to try to express their fleeting emotions through their eyes, their brow and mouth. He gives lively personal characteristics through painting the five assassins in different circumstances, atmospheres, mindsets, emotions, and how they dedicated themselves to lethal missions with their cunning, bravery and nobility. It's quite captivating.
Chen Uen is really modest to say that he drew the legends of assassins because he was moved by these stories. We were so touched by his depiction, that we asked his agreement to republish them and share them with everybody.