Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Vertigo Pop: Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights Paperback – January 27, 2009
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
Customers who bought this item also bought
Vertigo Pop, a showcase for realistic adventures with pop-cultural trappings, flopped, but these stories are much too good to go missing. In both, young Americans get in over their heads in exotic settings. In Tokyo, Steve, in Japan solely to buy the latest consumer tech, falls for a 16-year-old media-star wannabe. With him in tow, she kidnaps a rock star her bungling Yakuza brother is supposed to shake down. Chases and riots ensue, and Steve eventually loses his visa. Seth Fisher applies a customarily sparingly used manga mannerism throughout to maintain an antic, screwball-comedy atmosphere (Fisher’s accidental death in 2006 is obviously a grievous loss for comics art). In Bangkok, young crusading feminist Tuesday drags her aspiring actor boyfriend into her spur-of-the-moment cause of liberating a teenager from prostitution. Although there’s plenty of comedy in it, this is a weightier story that includes some very sobering developments before it’s over. Giuseppe Camuncoli contributes more-detailed figures but less-intricate backdrops than Fisher’s in Tokyo. Vankin’s scripts are way better than the movies these days.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
The author gets one star for using his imagination. I would guess that he researched a little bit about each country. Did he limit his research to reading comic books or internet bashing based on stereo-types? Perhaps. Did he do extensive research so that the stories would seem plausible? Extremely doubtful. Are the stories good in and of themselves anyway? Not really. Could the author have done a better job? I would like to believe so. The Japanese story does include some written Japanese but opening credits thank two J-girls so most likely that was thrown in at the end.
The Japanese story takes place in Tokyo. The theme is a visiting American experiences culture shock. It reads a bit like Scott Pilgrim vs the World in that the protagonist is living in a fantasy world because none of this would ever ever happen. The basic problem being that every cliche about Japan that one can imagine over a beer is intertwined in this story making it appear to be a parody or spoof rather than a story with a point. In that sense, it is like 99% of most manga, something written to kill time and easily thrown away. Unfortunately, the cost of printing it with colors makes one wish it had more consistency since it is an expensive throwaway but still very much a throwaway. The author has probably played The World Ends With You on his DS to be familiar with the names of famous Tokyo locations and does a liberal job of name-dropping. He also probably watched the movie: Lost in Translation as many of the cultural differences are cited. Did we really need Godzilla? Did the yakuza hitman really need an Elvis hairstyle? Is the author even aware that Ko-gal are older than 16? Does the author seriously believe that Japanese parents will allow their 16 year old daughter to bring home a strange American to spend the night? Do Japanese parents really proudly phone up the local yakuza boss and ask him to hire their children? How can the American get hired to translate English to Japanese yet not know enough Japanese to understand anybody outside his office and therefore depend totally on the girl for the entire story?
The Thai story takes place in Patpong district of Bangkok. The theme is the same: a visiting American experiences culture shock. With two such themes in the same book, one wonders how the author will stereo-type every other country that he chooses to write about next. :( The same strategy exists: watch a cliche based movie like Broke Down Palace, read a news article about prostitution and then create a story. Again the author doesn't get the point that people who can speak English well in either country have so many doors opened to them financially that they will not spend any time in either imaginary world and more importantly to speak English well requires such a strong support system that such characters would never be involved in any of this behavior. The protagonist cannot speak Thai at all but somehow manages to bump into fluent English speakers in even the least educated people working the most menial jobs. Is the author aware that monks do not talk to women and would strongly object to getting hugged by American girls? Is the author remotely aware of how much an elephant eats in a day or how much effort is required to care for one? Is the author aware that prostitutes come from the North East as well as the North almost always by choice? Does the author really think a prostitute will enjoy sleeping in the same room as two Americans and willingly watch them have sex?
My major annoyance with the graphic novel, hence the two stars, is that the author wrote two boring stories then crossed out names and locations and inserted local names and locations so the story flavor may feel authentic to the uninitiated but to an experienced traveler, it reads like insulting ignorant propagation of stereo-types. My minor annoyance is that neither story had anything to say about the human condition so they lack staying power. You won't reflect on the wisdom gained or even recall a particular moment later for reference in a conversation. The stories are completely forgettable like the billboard on a passing bus.
This compilation was published by DC Comics. It is quite a departure from old SUPERMAN & SUPERGIRL comics. This volume was originally published as VERTIGO POP! TOKYO issues 1-4 & VERTIGO POP! BANGKOK issues 1-4.
"Tokyo . . . " is a graphic novel detailing the travails of an American living in Japan who ends up getting involved with young high school girls, Yakuza gangsters, too popular rock stars & the over-the-top- frenetic paced life of Japanese youth & modern culture. It's a culture clash gone wild. It's comic. It's erotic. It's scary. It's suspenseful. Be warned, there is nudity of Japanese high school girls.
"Bangkok . . . " also deals with visiting Americans clashing with an Asian culture. There are some comic elements but the theme & subject matter is much more serious. An American couple plan a trip to Bangkok to rev up their fading relationship. They both hope to jump start their romance in exotic Thailand. Instead, through some convoluted wrong choices & comic encounters with an elephant & corrupt police, they end up getting involved in the whole matter of child pornography.
Two Western ex-pats want to use them as unknowing dupes to smuggle out a teen girl to live with a much older American as his own personal whore. The female half of the American couple becomes a do-gooder. The American guy is left in limbo land. The natives are left to show how this is not all black & white. The end is more gray. One of the freed girls returns to her pimp. Another freed girl is shown living a dreary existence on a poor rice farm wondering if she made the right choice to flee. The American couple splits up. The woman remains in Bangkok & becomes a volunteer for a native Thai agency which seeks to help young prostitutes.
The artwork in this volume is more realistic than in "Tokyo . . . " The nudism is more explicit & the sadism is more bloody. This is definitely not for a PG audience.
The first tale is set in Tokyo, and follows a young man who is addicted to gadgetry. He has a job to cover his expenses and spends his free time getting the latest electronics. Through a twist of fate he meets a young Japanese girl who helps bail him out of some trouble, only to lead him into bigger trouble. Rich pop stars, Yakuza and a girl who just wants to have fun are a just a few of the things making life , shall we say more challenging? For Steve, our unlikely hero.
In Bangkok Nights the adventure follows two people from LA, a couple trying to fix a relationship which seems to be pretty screwed up. Marz Kay and his girlfriend Tuesday are both people with their own agendas. Marz is a minor actor with some B movie credits, Tuesday likes spending his cash and messing with him. Soon after landing they realize that the way they behave back home won't work here. There adventure gets more interesting when they steal an elephant, get caught up in a hassle with sex workers and their bosses, and go to a kick boxing match with a transvestite champion.
The stories here move at a nice clip and are very interesting. I'm guessing Vankin spent time overseas because it just feels to authentic to think otherwise. I love the way he plays the Americans, rather oblivious to the way other people live and getting in trouble as a result. It seems like they eventually catch on, but maybe just enough to keep from getting in serious trouble. It's a big world out there and TOKYO DAYS, BANGKOK NIGHTS does a groovy job of showing some of it.