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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Ricky Rouse Has a Gun


Writer: Jorg Tittel
Artist: Christopher Sprigman
Publisher: Self Made Hero
RRP: £14.99, US $24.95, Cdn $24.95
978 1 906838 82 9
180 pages
Publication Date: 05 September 2014

Rick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park, a family destination heavily "inspired" by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat's tail), Bumbo (small ears, big behind) and other original characters. The park's general manager is convinced that Rick was destined to greet Fengxian customers, dressed as none other than Ricky Rouse. 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 China, a country that, once we look past its often outrageous infringements, is a culture ripe with innovation and a unique, courageous spirit...

Ricky Rouse Has a Gun is a humourous graphic novel that explores the unique attitude of the Chinese when it comes to Western brands and copyrighted properties.

The foreword is an essential read as it sets the book in some sort of real world context - examining the Chinese practice of shanzhai wherein western goods are copied and passed of as Chinese originals.

The amusement park's various costumed characters are also well realised, from the title character of Ricky Rouse, to the oddly shaped Bumbo (big arsed Dumbo) and the sexy Rambi (Rambo crossed with Bambi).

The basic plot is very simple. Rouse is hired to play the part of Ricky Rouse (a Mickey Mouse copy) in an amusement park. But he also stumbles upon an underground plot to hold the park's visitors hostage. Out come the guns and the blood as Rouse is loose about the haunted house as he plans to stop the terrorists. He would have made a run for it, but his daughter is one of the guests in the park in the fateful day.

So, an interesting and rather amusing tale. Not an essential purchase, but if you're after something a little different then this may be what you're looking for.


Darren Rea

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