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What in hell...? A Wonton Soup Review

Written by CajunBean on Wednesday, July 02 2014 and posted in Reviews

What in hell...? A Wonton Soup Review

James Stokoe goes full crazy on us... and it is kind of nice.

Wonton Soup

“The wind whispers… sex bear…” – Wonton Soup

So, there you have it, this book is ****ing weird. What do you mean you want details? OK… details…

So, this book is collection of two volumes of space weird compiled by the oddly brilliant and visually astounding mind of one James Stokoe.

Narrative and visual duties alike are undertaken by Mr. Stokoe, and they match step for step in ridiculousness and weirdness (in a good way?). It is the tale of two space truckers, one of which whose goal is to have sex with any and every oddly shaped semi-sentient thing in the galaxy, and the other who wishes to deep fry and filet them afterwards.

The narrative is very strange, and really, there is no coherent end plot. It is more of a stream of consciousness approach to the tale. And the consciousness is charmingly bizarre to say the very least. There is a point where Stokoe teases us with a deep underlying plot, a potential world shattering weapon that is guaranteed to end lives by the hundreds of billions, but that is quickly de-railed by the libido and palette of Stokoes lead characters.

The story seems to be something conjured from MTV’s 90’ cartoon hayday, when The Head and The Maxx were running about the telly in a series of non-sensical adventures. It is fun, disturbing, and essentially destined to cause some emotional scarring, but if bizarre is one of those things you love, this needs to be on your bookshelf.

Visually, Stokoe’s work is amazing. It lacks the color work done in his other books, which is tragic because the color really does help the emphasize the absurd amount of detail the artist jams into the background panel after panel. The main characters have a gritty anime appearance, and support characters all have a fun and unique design, but where the visual power kicks in is the back drop. Scene after scene, a nuanced and disturbing vibe is slathered and strewn about the background. Murdered trees, giant offensive mountainous fists, and things that squirm and goo without reason are tucked away page after page. It is impressive how far Stokoe's mind wanders as he composes each panel.

In summation, the book is really freaking weird. The narrative is barely coherent. The art feels like someone dragged your unprotected brain through a vat of LSD. But if weird is your thing, this book is a must own.

4 out of 5.


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About the Author - CajunBean

He was born in the swamps of Louisiana, where he spent his days punching gators in the crotch and funneling gumbo til his eyes bled. Then one day, a powerful foreign entity dragged him across several state lines, and tethered him to the Colorado Rockies, where he lives in perpetual fear of freezing to death and there is nary a gator crotch in sight for punching. Now he hides inside, dreading snow flurries, and hammering away reviews and non-nonsensical ramblings for the outhouse overlords (cuz apparently someone saw fit to lord over outhouses). 

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