Art and Cover By
Self Made Hero
Rick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park – a family destination ‘inspired’ by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears and a big behind) and other original characters.
The park’s general manager hires Rick to greet Fengxian customers dressed in a furry costume. When American terrorists take the entire park hostage, only Ricky Rouse can save the day…
This original graphic novel is a relentless action comedy, a satire of US-China relations, a parody of Western entertainment, and a curious look at a country that, once we look past its often outrageous copyright infringements, is a culture ripe with innovation and a unique, courageous spirit.
The book includes an introduction by Christopher Sprigman, Professor of Law at New York University and author of The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation.
I must admit that after reading the synopsis of this one, I wasn't all that sure what I was actually getting myself in to.
The thing that stuck me however was just how easily it straddled so many different genres and styles while feeling utterly original. There are so many nods and winks to various things. You have little digs at the superhero genre, buddy movies and they even manage to tackle the relationship between the US and China in a very funny satirical way.
Normally a release that tries to tackle so much in one go would end up feeling really disjointed or sometimes even feeling a little convoluted in places but that's not the case here at all. The flow and the pacing has a hypnotic and almost poetic feel to it.
It's in that hypnotic feel that the story sinks its claws in and hooks you in until the final page. That's where one of it's many strengths lie. Equal parts action story and a riot of a comedy story, there's a great cinematic sheen over the entire book. The panel work and art here does a superb job of living side by side with the superb writing.
The satirical look at the relationship of the US and China, really had me in tears of laughter in places. The way the writing takes a look at how their attempts to copy some of the famous characters in pop culture history can sometimes be just as famous as their original counterparts is really well done and adds an interesting layer to the book.
I would be remiss if I didn't some of the brilliant characters thrown throughout the story itself. Rambi, a deer wearing a red head band, and Ratman, a caped crusader with a tail. I absolutely loved these guys and they really hit the nail on the head big time about the whole, sometimes, outrageous copyright infringement that can sometimes happen.
All in all, if you are looking for a fun and hilarious action packed book then this one is definitely the one for you.
Self Made Hero have released, ahead of the September release of the paperback version, a lavish limited-run 'Gold Edition' of Ricky Rouse Has A Gun that is limited to just 500 copies so get yours while you can!