Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Wonton Soup Collected Edition
Here is another book, another collection, that I would have never read, and yet it shows up in my inbox and my world is much the better for it. This is a great comic called Wonton Soup, and this book collects the initial run as well as Wonton Soup 2. I don't know if this originally came out as separate books or how it was released, but having this collected edition is a great way to read all of this in one place.
This is the work of James Stokoe, and he has a very unique vision and way with a story. The two main characters are Johnny Boyo and Deacon Vans, and they are space truckers. Probably not of the variety mentioned by Deep Purple, but more the futuristic equivalent of our long haul truckers rolling up the miles on the highways today. Not much is ever mentioned about their particular cargoes as that wouldn't make for a very interesting story. Rather we see their adventures along the way as they make their various stops along their route, have breakdowns with their spaceship, etc.
Johnny Boyo is also an aspiring chef, who left cooking school to do the space trucker thing. Deacon Vans seems to just be along for the ride, and the party, and a girl in every port, or sex with something in every port anyway. Boyo's past leads into a story where he gets involved in a cook off. It also leads them into a sticky spot as he goes after rare and exotic ingredients. His character seems to lead the adventures and Deacon is along for the party. It is a very engaging set of stories, well written and leading naturally from one to the next. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book or not, but I found myself reading enthusiastically and looking forward to the time each day where I could sit down and read a little more. And of course there is that little bit of sadness when it all comes to an end and you don't have any more of that story to read. That is the mark of a great book in my opinion.
The artwork is really cool, somehow looking futuristic and retro all at the same time. My understanding is that Stokoe writes the stories, does all the artwork, and puts the whole book together. To my knowledge there are not a lot of artists who do that, and I have to really tip my cap to him. His style both with the pictures and the story are very original, funky, and enjoyable. This is a book that is done in black and white, and as I have mentioned before I am always a little unsure what kind of read that is going to be. I grew up on Marvel superhero comics with bright colors and good guys versus bad guys story lines so maybe when I was younger this wouldn't have appealed to me. This is a really good book and I find myself more and more enthralled with the graphic novel form as I read different types of stories. So again, I'm very glad that I get the chance to do these reviews. This one is from Oni Press in Portland, Oregon, and another win for them. If you like your comics a little out there and a little different, check this one out. You can't go wrong with this one.