Saturday, March 27, 2010

Malinky Robot 1 & 2

by Sonny Liew

I first came across Sonny Liew's work in Liquid City, the Image anthology of Asian comics, and his Malinky Robot story was my favourite in the book. I found it quite charming, and resolved to track down the comics in the series that had been published (in 2002 and 2005). I got them both this week off Ebay, and I'm pleased with the purchase.

Malinky Robot is about two young kids living in a run-down Japanese city (I think). Atari is the scarred leader of the duo, always coming up with big plans or dreams. I don't know what Oliver is - he looks a little like a stuffed trunkless elephant. They hang out in the rough areas of town, don't go to school, and are watched over by Mr. Bon Bon, a friendly construction worker.

The first issue of the series, 'Stinky Fish Blues' is the exact same story published in Liquid City. The only difference is that this earlier publication is not coloured, and is harder to follow than the lushly coloured later printing. It's still a cute story, although I was hoping for a little more content. This issue was self-published with a Xeric grant.

The second comic was published by Slave Labor Graphics, and is at least partially coloured. It is smaller than a regular comic, being about the size of Jason Lute's Berlin or Chester Brown's Louis Riel comics. In this issue, the two kids 'borrow' a pair of bicycles to travel to a suburb or other town and visit their friend Misha who has recently moved there. The middle of the comic is filled with two other stories, ostensibly told and illustrated by Misha and Atari, about Mr. Bon Bon. Between them are a series of comic strips modeled on a Sunday comics section, by Oliver.

There's not much story to hold onto in this comic. Nothing really happens, but it continues to be pretty cute and charming.

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