Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks

  This is the sort of story that leaves one self-conscious about scratching one’s nose.

As the title suggests, this story focuses on two main characters: Gordon Yamamoto and Miles Tanner (a.k.a. “the King of the Geeks”). Gordon is an upperclassman in high school who, with his friend Devon, is a bit of bully. Miles is the freshman they choose to pick on this year. This first issue of the series (later collected by SLG) introduces us to the characters and the characters to each other… in more ways than one.

 I don’t want to spoil the story, but one of the key elements of it is Gordon’s nose. He keeps having strange dreams about his nose (such as his nose being pregnant and he goes into labor to deliver, or getting an animal cracker lodged in it), which disturbs him a little bit. But not as much as how these dreams are later resolved. That’s a rather funny bit of business that also serves as Gordon’s “lesson on life” for this issue.

 The characters are fairly one-dimensional so far, but from the setup in this issue, I sense that’s going to change for at least some of them. Devon is oblivious to others’ feelings, Miles is an intellectual over-achiever and social under-achiever, Gordon is a less-than-brilliant adolescent… but with a dawning sense of maturity. The balance between comedy and poignancy, between sci-fi and slice-of-life is just right.

The art is rather nice, very cartoony with character designs that convey a lot about the characters just by themselves. Yang uses just enough background to establish setting, without letting it distract from the action. His page layouts have enough variety to maintain interest without being wild, and they set the pace of the story effectively.

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