Sweatdrop Studios: Murphy’s Law.

Published On February 18, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Murphy’s Law

by Faye Yong

Sweatdrop Studios

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Now this I was really hoping for good things. After all, I’m very partial to that rarest of things in Western comics; the Rom-Com. So much so that I wrote (moaned) about it a while ago on this very blog. Murphy’s Law has all of the elements of a good Rom-Com and it nearly, oh so nearly pulls it off. But all the way through I could feel myself almost willing the book to go off in the romantic, sentimental or funny direction it needed to with a little more commitment.

Murphy’s Law certainly isn’t a bad book by any means. It’s good, it’s just not everything it could be. And I really wanted it to be more than it was. But then again, maybe, just maybe, since this is Shoujo Manga (which I understand to be literally “Young Girl” Manga designed for teens and twenty somethings) maybe I just don’t get it on two counts; the old age and the Y chromosome? It’s perfectly possible.

But I can see enough in it to see that Faye Yong has great potential. Her art is delightful, light of line stuff, but it does have a habit of being a little too pretty sometimes at the detriment of the storytelling. She throws a range of styles at her pages here and these old eyes were occasionally having to work hard to decide where the narrative was heading across the pages.

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(Two different art styles on display in Faye Yong’s Shoujo Manga Murphy’s Law)

In Murphy’s Law we’re presented with that staple of Rom-Coms; the love triangle. Our heroine, Mary, is a bit of a klutz and rather a bookish and innocent college freshman (it’s the glasses that do it) who suddenly finds herself the interest of two young men; the rich, suave and charming Alex and the mysterious Rai. There’s a disastrous dinner date with Alex, an aristocratic rival and is wooed rather unconventionally by Rai (insults, confusion and generally being bloody overpowering – definitely unconventional wooing). After that it’s all about confusion, comedy mix-ups and the inevitable Rom-Com breakup and final resolution, where true love wins out as it always should in any good Rom-Com.

Of further interest, on looking at her website is Faye Yong’s entry for the A 2 page short comic created for the Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize 2008. The art and page/panel construction of Where The Sun Don’t Shine is a vast improvement uopn Murphy’s Law and really proves that her style’s obviously a fluid thing and she may have achieved a more natural and relaxed style, rather than feeling she had to draw Shoujo style. Personally I think it’s really nice work and definitely a direction she should pursue:

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(Faye Yong’s Observer/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize 2008 entry.)

Murphy’s Law, together with all the other Sweatdrop Studios books is available from the Sweatdrop shop. Faye Yong has a website for your perusal and two strips on WirePop.

Richard Bruton.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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