Next-in-Reading

Next-in-Reading #14: Dim Sum Warriors

Next In ReadingTitle: Dim Sum Warriors Volume 1 – Enter the Dumpling
Author: Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen
Publisher: Yumcha Studios
Year: 2012

“Like what? My entire life has been decided for me. And if you know what’s good for you, stay away. I see to bring bad luck to everyone around me.”

One of my favourite local comics!
One of my favourite local comics!

Unable to deal with the restrictions of palace life, Prince Roastpork “Porky” Bao often sneaks out of the palace for fun. Meeting Xiajiao and Shaomai, peddling orphans working in the market, he thinks they are nothing more than poor kids being forced to work early, until he finds them in the palace, as disciples of the long-dormant Steamed Kung Academy. This funny wuxia story talks about Roastpork and his journey with the Dim Sum Warriors to fight against evil and protect Dim Sum Nation for the corrupt powers within.

Character(s)

Roastpork Bao / Char Siew Bao, the People’s Prince

Very much like many stories involving royal heroes, Roastpork Bao is not interested in a life in the palace, citing it to be restrictive, and that his life had already been decided for him already anyway. At the same time, he faces the same kind of dilemma – his royal background shows, resulting in him being seen as a privileged person, who cannot be trusted to understand the ways of the common people in the first place.

Despite his constant rebellion against his father, Roastpork seems to be the personification of many loving sons we can relate to – he is attached to his mother. Taking time to learn a trick to entertain his mother during her birthday celebration, bothering to come back to the palace for the party, and even trying to call her after he ran away – these show his great love for his mother as well.

Theme(s)

Corruption and Power

This graphic novel shows how greed and power can lead to a new can of problems and corruption.

The Fried Kung Academy, together with Quickynoodle, a powerful businessman of great, commercial influence, show how skewed the population can be in terms of personal values and priorities when grey areas like beauty and the price that comes  with it no longer seems to be as grey as it was anymore.

Just by the desire of societally-accepted physical perfection and seemingly-endless riches, the royal guards and martial artist bodyguards turn their backs to the royal house, instead listening to a tycoon who is bent on getting entire nations addicted to his health drink (which contains drastic consequences and side effects).

Friendship and Loyalty

The practice of martial arts is built on concentration, discipline, sincerity, and loyalty. Together with a great appreciation of the master, martial arts practitioners do not only engage in physical, but also mental and value training. Friendship and Loyalty is seen through the juxtaposition of the Boiled, Baked, and Steamed Kung Academies, as compared to the capitalistic, supposedly-corrupted Fried Kung clan.

Despite being royalty, with a father who probably did not know better in his power, Roastpork goes against his protective parents to save Steamed Kung’s disciples, even going along with them despite his father’s constant objections because he sees kindred spirits in them and is grateful for their friendship.

Style & Structure

The story is structured and drawn in such a way that you can imagine watching it as an animation. As such, the sequence of events resembled a Chinese drama serial, full of action, events, endless wit, and comedy in order to keep the audience entertained while maintaining the message.

Dim Sum Warriors can be found online in both English and Mandarin as well. For more information, click here.

In the meantime…

A glimpse at what I'll be reading for next week!
A glimpse at what I’ll be reading for next week! Note: May not be suitable for some audiences.

And I’ll see you next week!Blanket Fortress Logo

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