[27 January 2005]
Truly, Deeply, Profoundly Disturbing
Ever hear a story so pointless that you’re left wondering for a long time why anyone would have told it, only to realize later that reaction was exactly the teller’s intent? The Wang is heinous in the extreme, not because of its content, but because of the offhand manner in which it is presented. The most brutally filthy comic in recent memory, Kieron Dwyer’s Lowest Comic Denominator, out-stanks the Wang by a mile. However, Dwyer went into the endeavor with the sole intention of creating something disgusting and he did so with style. The Wang carries itself like a quirky little indie comic that doesn’t wanna hurt anyone, but random appearances of pseudo-incestual lesbianism and lightsaber battles with sexual devices keep popping out like a nervous tic. If this effect was intentional, it’s comedy gold. If it wasn’t it’s a damned nightmare. Either way, for the right reader, it’s a bizarre ride.
Stan Yan’s meandering story focuses on Eugene, the titular Wang, who refuses his girlfriend’s advances while studying for a test, so she seeks relief and solace in the arms of his haggard, grating harpy of a mother. This compounds Eugene’s loser-hood infinitely as he stumbles into a crappy job following a crappy graduation. The second half of the story deals with a ray of possible hope in Eugene’s life, a pretty girl named Sue Ann Potts, who turns out to be a member of a quasi-religious psycho cult a la the Church of Scientology or the Landmark Education Forum. Having been forced by a cultist friend to sit through one of these crapfests, I could completely relate to Eugene’s hunger pangs as the brainwashers droned on.
Yan’s artwork is stark and angular, and visually jarring, His transitions can leave you confused in some areas, but overall it’s not a terrible-looking read. The writing is just as spartan as the look and in some cases the dialogue comes off as a little stilted. However, Yan’s gift for names is unmatched, including but not limited to: Dea Flemings, Robin Deblynde Investments, and Fall Scod; fun stuff. The Wang is a fun read, not world-shaking but entertaining and certainly unpredictable nonetheless. It’s certainly worth a look if you’re into this sort of thing.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/wang-the-big-one/