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Vertigo Pop! - Bangkok #1

Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2003
By: Page45



Writer: Jonathan Vankin
Artist: Giuselle Camuncoli

Publisher: DC Vertigo

This is definitely a writer to watch out for. I loved what he did with VERTIGO POP: TOKYO, a true farce, exquisitely candy-coloured, and a real testament to the strengths this medium holds over others. The artist did with the script what no film director could accomplish - you simply can't act out the scenes required.

Once more Vankin once takes his gaijin to unfamiliar territory, where their naivety, their ignorance of the local 'rules' - or in Bangkok the lack of them - is going to be their undoing. This time, however, he's armed with an artist more grounded in reality, because beneath the comedy caper's there's going to be a nasty bite to the tale, involving two sisters paying out their family's debts as sex slaves.

Tuesday has guilt-tripped her boyfriend Marshall (or "Marz" as he insists on being called) into taking them to Thailand on the proceeds from a cheesy late-time movie he's just acted in, after finding out he'd fucked his co-star in her trailer. This is his penance, and Tuesday has every intention of making the entire trip a punishment. Even if it means buying an elephant. That's as far as she's though things through. Unfortunately, if you don't make specific plans of your own, you're going to end up as part of someone else's. And so Marz stumbles under the influence of Julien and Benny (the latter being less of a sex tourist, more of a "sexpatriate"), who need a mule to get a sex-slave back to the States: "Somewhere in the crowd of maggot-infested backpackers who crawl through Bangkok day after day, we're going to find the dumbest sucker of all." And that would be Marz. "That was our vacation in Bangkok. We showed up with our good old American ways, wisdom and cash. And when we left... someone was dead."

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