Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Web Comics Week: The Wang

Yesterday, I started off Web Comics Week with a look at Calamities of Nature. That strip came to my attention due to having advertised in the past. So, why abandon that method of picking strips to take a look at already?

THE WANG is quite a funny comic. It has a diverse cast, as well as subject matter. Unlike the turn that Calamities took with changing to the old standard layout, WANG has at least kept to giving you something more akin to the double-sized Sunday newspaper version. And why not, since it is delivered weekly rather than 2-3 times a week?

But where it really breaks from standards is in the subjects and language used. Our protagonist, Eugene Wang, constantly has the short term romantic hook up between his mother and his ex-girlfriend thrown in his face. They have his friend, George L. Gedaladapus, tricks a dimwitted friend of Eugene's into bed and into handing him a check for a bogus pyramid scheme (that might be a redundant phrase, come to think of it). The language used tends to be a little blue from time to time and has no qualms about employing sexual humor.

In addition to going politically incorrect or with shock humor, they tackle the more "middle of the road stuff" (like what a dog on a walk is thinking) and politics (like addressing some of the voter suppression tactics used).

Unfortunately, since the online version only goes back to February 2008, I can't really compare and contrast how the strip started versus how it is today. It existed in some form before that date and, I'm gathering, previous strips were pulled down once they were printed in a collection. From the start of this iteration, though, Stan Yan (the creator) was in full stride.

Every strip has a laugh, even when it is really meant to set up for a larger joke. Maybe Yan is more keen on this due to his weekly schedule. Readers are probably even more concerned with having a payoff in each strip when they only get it on Mondays. But whatever the reason, it consistently works.

The cast is extremely well-balanced. While Eugene's ex-girlfriend might not be able to carry the strip with cutesy observations about a dog being walked, there is rarely a case of feeling the strip is lacking by the absence of a particular character. Quite the opposite, it works when it's Eugene & George, George & Sueann, Eugene Jr & Eugene Sr or any other combo that graced Yan's WebComicNation page. That page apparently does contain some old work with the character, but not the beginning of the version you'll see under THE WANG.

I'd head on over and catch up on the last year of strips. I don't think you'll regret the time spent.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin, thanks for reviewing my strip. Actually, the strip picks up at the end of my graphic novel series that I haven't posted to the web to-date, but can be found for sale at www.squidworks.com/Stan/Wang -- 182 pages of dysfunctionality. The Pre-History of the Wang strip precedes my graphic novels, and unfortunately, due to my workload, I've left on indefinite hiatus, as I was trying to color each page before posting it so I wouldn't be as embarrassed my by old art.


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