Flying pigs. Death-ray robots. Chinese-style vampires. Demons with tentacles. Welcome to the warped world of Ken Foo, an up-and-coming Singaporean comic artist. The artist’s artistic sensibility is a dizzy derivative of Japanese manga (think Excel Saga and Trigun), Stephen Chow-esque mo lei tau humor, and fetishism. Since 2005, Foo has created a respectable body of work, which range from short strips to full-length graphic novels.
Foo’s talent is on display here, where the hilarious “True Story of Ken Foo” is available for free. He also draws a weekly comic blog, a forum for his zany day-to-day musings. A note of caution: Foo has an irreverent approach to social taboos (for example, a recent post is an eulogy to his pet turd), which may turn off sticklers for social norms. However, those with a freewheeling sense of humor will find it hard not to be amused.
For those interested in something longer, Freedom Love Forever, is Foo’s first full-length graphic novel (340 pages, full color.) While the story ostensibly centers around a group of misfits—an angst-filled teenager, an aspiring samurai, a happy-go-lucky simpleton, and a melancholic singer—on a road trip together, the book is actually a showcase of his earlier works, many of which are interspersed as short strips throughout the book. These stories run the gamut from meditations on love to action-packed video game parodies, and thus vary in theme and quality. What keeps the book compelling is the gorgeous artwork, black humor, and unfettered imagination that is the hallmark of Foo’s style.
Article by Winston Len, June 15, 2011.