Hong Kong Pussy
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Hong Kong Pussy (c) Graham Bettany
Hong Kong Pussy © Graham Bettany

Hong Kong Pussy: Graham Bettany

TRS Review

Not a lot to do with Hong Kong. A lot to do with pussy. Mostly to do with the Camp X-Ray that is the history of US comics from the mid 1950s until fairly recently.
The historical allusions start on page 2. The EC horror comics that were so reviled by Estes Kefauver's investigation committee are revisited yet again from our side of the Comics Code divide. Instead of the Crypt Keeper or the Old Witch hosting the narrative corruption, here it's the Crack Whore in irony overdrive and no knickers, luring kiddies to her Dungeon of Depravity, enticing them to take a toke of 'that crack' and witness a world of perversion, promising "this time, I'm gonna make ya bleed".
I've lost count of the times such material has been reheated in pop culture, let alone the comics small press. Given this saturation, the most practical option is, while retaining all the classic lugubrious brio and flourish, to crank up the intensity to the point of near unintelligibility. And that's what we get here: a jokey fantasia of autoeroticism where wank and wank fantasy fuse, story unravelling as body parts merge with each other and almost every other line seems about to turn into an orifice.
There are some tips of the spunk-encrusted member to more recent comic inventions, such as Chris Ware's gigantic lettering: pages 3 to 5 could more or less be summarised graphically as FUCK YOUR SELF STUPID, CUNT FACE, FUCK FUCK FUCK, WANK WANK FUCK, COME. However the main target is the madness of porn.
In a sense, it's a testament to the enduring quality of the taboos enshrined in the Comics Code, even now when the Code itself is pretty much moribund, that little comics like this can need to exist. It suffers the problem of all transgression - its impact is reliant on the power of the taboo it flouts. However, since sex taboos have disfigured comics and comics publishing for so long, it's not as though there's no starting point at all.
What else could be bad about this comic? Illustratively, its rendering puts it a little on the wimpy side. The Crack Whore's face, for example, might be a mess of repugnant shit but Pussy's pissy little hatched lines don't really show or tell it. That's fixable, but it'll be ZUM!'s Pussy#2 review that sees it.
Steve Edgell

Hong Kong Pussy:
24 A5 pages.
Price: 50p (+P+P?)
Address: Suspected, but not confirmed. Write via ZUM HQ address: 17 Lime Street, Todmorden, Lancs, OL14 5JN - & mail will be forwarded on.
Received at ZUM! HQ:
Review Posted:
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