Tuesday, October 20, 2009

APE '09: The Magic Yo-Yo

The Magic Yo-Yo by Oke Rosgana

I was beckoned to Doctor Popular’s booth at the Alternative Press Expo by his quarter-sheet silk screenings of a Pac-Man headed Ghostbuster. Yes, Doc Popular had managed to combine two of my favorite things from childhood, and he was happily giving it away with the purchase of a comic from his table. For the little print alone, I had to take him up on it.

My eyes were drawn to The Magic Yo-Yo, starring Doc Pop but lovingly drawn by fellow artist and yo-yo enthusiast Oke Rosgana. As a 24-hour comic (if you haven’t heard of Scott McCloud’s 24-hour comics challenge, check it out here), this little comic is impressive, and the story is linear and charming. Basically, The Magic Yo-Yo is Doctor Popular’s ethereal origin as a yo-yo master and how he uses his skills to better the world around him. If Sam Raimi has decided to give Peter Parker a yo-yo instead of organic webshooters, this comic is what the first 20 minutes of the Spider-man movie would’ve looked like.

Unfortunately, as with most 24-hour comics, some panels are better drawn than others, but the passion is apparent on every page, and the lines are bold enough to reproduce clearly -- a challenge for every independent comics artist, especially if they’re hurriedly using the copy machine at work or something. The pivotal panels really pop off the page, propelling the story like any good yo-yo trick, and most importantly Doctor Popular’s caricature is consistent, keeping the whole issue visually grounded. In the best way possible, Rosgana proves that anyone and everyone should consider the 24-hour challenge. He makes it look like a blast!

Finally, my brief conversation with Doctor Popular (who was kind enough to sketch a karaoke-singin’ Pac-Man for me) revealed that he and Rosgana have actually never met! I only wish I had a friend that cared so much that he’d draw a comic book about me, for one whole day on the other side of the planet, to boot, but perhaps their mutual love of comics and yo-yos transcends geography. Around the world, indeed.


Doc Pop said...

I'm so happy that you took the time to review my friends comic. When he first started asking about 24hr comic book day I practically begged him to do it, but I never expected it to be a yo-yo story or anything like that.
I'm sure Rosgana is going to be happy to know how many people dug the end result.

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