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The Would-Be Bridegrooms
posted April 27, 2009


Creator: Shawn Cheng
Publishing Information: Self-Published, Mini-Comic, 48 pages, 2008
Ordering Numbers:

The good news is that Shawn Cheng's revised version of The Would-Be Bridegrooms is a model mini-comic. The bad news -- and it's really more like the slightly less-good news -- is that the model involves reduced expectations. In this case, the principle in question is that a mini-comic sometimes better serves its audience by limiting itself to the execution of a single premise or gag. Would-Be Bridegrooms isn't even in the same universe as the more format-transcendent issues of Supermonster, King-Cat or stand-alone publications like Oaf might inhabit. It's a book where this most humble of comic book formats matches a short, straight-ahead story done with skill and verve. You can tick off its positive elements like fingers on your hand -- Cheng's book features an appealing yellow cover, is recognizably hand-crafted, emphasizes its author's great skill with designing creatures, and ends up being one long, silly joke of the acerbic storyteller kind -- but you only need one hand. There's more of a period than a punch line at the end, although it's hard to care after the burst of creativity one has just experienced. Would-Be Bridegrooms is both very charming and limited to such summary appraisals.